Menu
Menu

Joshua Jay doesn’t make life easy for himself when it comes to Six Impossible Things. In the 75-minute show, Jay guides an audience of no more than 20 people through a series of intricately designed rooms, each with a unique magical theme. Sometimes he performs tricks for small parts of the audience, sometimes even for one audience member on their lonesome. Oh, and you can only see the show once. Jay and his staff are keeping a database and an eye out for double-dippers, so unless you have a convincing fake I.D. and an even more convincing fake moustache, Six Impossible Things is very much a once in a life-time experience. 

And that seems to be working in Jay’s favour. The show has been getting rave reviews, and has built up a nigh inescapable cult following on social media. Tickets for the current run are completely sold out. 

But fear not, Six Impossible Things is returning to New York City later this year. From October 25th through to December 15th, it will once again be running at the Wildrence event space.

The tickets go for between $106 and $136, and are already starting to sell out for the whole run, so I’d be quick and click on this link if I were you. 

Illusionist, Justin Flom, best known for his long-running YouTube-vid-turned-TV-show, Wizard Wars, was on Nashville’s News Channel 5 yesterday promoting his live show, The Standard of Magic. And how better to do that than to start flossing your own windpipe with a pair of headphones?. Even though the effect is kind of obvious in the cold light of day, it’s still grossing me right out. 

Flom also appeared on Today in Nashville last week, though he decided to avoid the Hellraiser stuff and stick to card tricks and sleight-of-hand. 

Flom has been performing The Standard of Magic, making TV appearances, and playing a few private events in Nashville for a week or so now. He plans to continue doing so until July 5th, after which he’ll be returning to his traditional stomping ground of Las Vegas. 

For a list of venues and dates, click here. 

For almost nine years, Erick and Kim Olson have been running Wizardz Magic Theater, a magic show held every Monday at the Seralago Hotel & Suites in Kissimmee, Florida. That nine-year anniversary is something to be proud of; few magic shows (or any show, for that matter) survive that long, and after almost a decade, Wizardz is doing more than surviving—it’s thriving.

Their May 28th show was no exception: the 50-seat theater was sold out, with locals and tourists, magicians and laypeople alike, packed close together to enjoy an hour of magic. Erick and Kim have learned much over the years on how to run a successful show, and their insights are invaluable for anyone interested in starting a recurring magic or variety show of their own—here are a few of their tips for getting started.

Don’t Go At It Alone…But Pick The Right Partner

Running a show on your own is difficult, if not impossible. One of the keys to Kim and Erick’s success is that they run the theater as a team, with their different backgrounds (Erick is a professional magician and his wife, Kim, is a layperson with experience in sales) helping them better manage all aspects of the show. Partners having different perspectives can be helpful but can also create conflict.

Conflict, however, isn’t a bad thing if both partners are committed to working through their differences in opinion. As Erick explains, “Kim’s got a view of the business end, and I have more of an entertainer’s view, and sometimes those views can clash…but we talk it through. Each one of us says, ‘Let me have a chance to do it this way this week, and we’ll see how it goes.’”

So whoever you choose to work with—whether it’s a performer, a business colleague or a family member—make sure you both agree on how you want to communicate or work through points of disagreement.

Set a Schedule and Stick To It

Consistency is crucial for building a recurring magic show, especially in the first year. The Olsons hold shows every Monday and rarely cancel. Even monthly shows should happen at the same time (for example, on the third Tuesday of each month). It should be something that regular patrons can rely on, something that they can look forward to, something that becomes a part of their lives.

Embrace Your Audience…the Magicians AND the Laypeople

At Wizardz, the split between magicians and laypeople is roughly 50/50, and Erick makes sure to welcome every person who comes, no matter how familiar they are with magic. “We try to make every new person feel like they’ve been there before,” Erick explains. “Our goal is to make everybody feel that they’ve been part of [the local magic community] for a long time even though it’s their first time at Wizardz.”

Wizardz does well on this front. “It’s really intimate,” says Heather, a California resident who was in Florida on vacation when she attended the May 28th show. “It’s like a throwback to vaudeville in a town full of franchises, overstimulation and commercialism. I loved the ‘insider’ feel of the show; it was like I was part of an exclusive underground club!” Rachel, another tourist from California who also attended the May 28th show, agreed. “Everyone is so welcoming, and it’s a show for everyone—young and old!”

The heart of Wizardz, however, is its core group of regulars who come not only to see magic, but also to catch up with others in the community. “I’ve met, and become friends with, several magicians via Wizardz,” says Robert Benedict, a dedicated magic hobbyist who does a few paid shows a year and has attended almost every Wizardz performance. “Wizardz is a means of keeping in touch with friends—magician or otherwise—with whom I enjoy a common interest.”

But regardless of the mix of your patrons, the important thing is to welcome them and talk to them, not only to make them feel welcome, but to get their feedback so you can continuously provide a show that exceeds their expectations.

Find the Right Venue

Finding a venue that is willing to host a show on the same day each week or month for at least a year is crucial. When looking for the right space, it’s important to consider how it fits into your budget and if it’s in a safe and easy to find area.

In their initial search for space, Erick and Kim made sure to frame their show as something in the Seralago’s interest. “When I pitched my idea to the General Manager [of the Seralago], he said, ‘What is this going to cost me?’”, Erick recounts. “I said it wasn’t going to cost him anything, and he said, ‘Oh, can you start next week?’”

The Olsons’ relationship with the hotel continues to this day, with the Seralago benefiting from an influx of people buying food and drinks, and the Olsons benefiting from having a space that takes little time to set up and also offers on-site storage for the show’s set up materials.

Market Your Show

“I learned a lot about marketing. It’s not just open the doors and people will come,” Erick says. “My biggest tip would be to Google what to do in the area your venue is in and see what comes up,” Erick says. “Then make sure your venue is listed on every single thing there is to do. 90% of it is free.” And while specific strategies vary, both Kim and Erick also agree that social media is important in getting people to come to a show. “We’ve had good luck with Facebook ads,” Kim says. These ads are useful because you can target people in your area who might have ‘Liked’ pages that relate to magic.

Mix It Up

Equally important to having consistent shows is having a rotating cast of performers. Erick initially wanted to perform each week, but soon realized he needed to take a different approach. “I was getting locals coming back every week,” he explains, “and I didn’t have enough new material for them. Nobody does, really.”

Erick and Kim solved this problem by inviting other magicians to perform, which brought enough variety to the show that people kept coming back. “You should at least have some different acts that locally can rotate so it can be fresh as often as possible,” Erick says. “That keeps your base coming back instead of saying ‘Oh, I’ve seen that guy before.’” The expectation of different acts and performers has been a boon for Wizardz. As Erick explains, regulars “know they can come back and they’re not going to see the same thing for at least six months.”

The quality of the acts is also essential, of course. “Seeing good magic makes me feel like a kid again,” long-time regular Robert explains. “I still get great joy and entertainment when I see magic performed well, and Wizardz has provided me with seeing well-performed magic via some of the top-notch performers they’ve brought in over the last nine years.”

Be Prepared to Be Flexible, and Don’t Be Afraid to Get Outside Help

These tips, combined with the willingness to work hard, are crucial to the success of a show. But each show in each town faces unique challenges. To help troubleshoot these challenges, the Olsons offer one-on-one consulting support to help others navigate the specific nuances, variables and challenges that inevitably arise when one builds a show from the ground-up.

The Olsons also point out that hard work is necessary but not sufficient; another requirement for a successful show is that the producers have a passion and love for the art. “We truly believe that if you are in it for the money, your chances of being sustainable are slim,” explains Kim. “If you are doing it for the love of magic and to bring a magical experience to people’s lives, you will have much success.”

And there’s no doubt the Olsons have a deep love of magic—visit the Seralago on any Monday night to see their passion and enthusiasm firsthand. And if you share their love of magic and want to build your local magic community, get in touch with the Olsons—they can help you start a show of your own. 

You’ll find the Wizards Magic Theater in the Seralargo Hotel and Suites, in Kissimmee St. Cloud, Florida. For enquiries or detailed directions, click on this link. 

You know it’s been over a decade since The Prestige was released? Twelve years, man. Twelve years and we’ve had barely a handful of films about magicians. Two of the most notable were Now You See Me and its imaginatively named sequel, Now You See Me 2. 

Billed as Ocean’s 11 style heist-movies with a performance magic twist and absolutely stuffed with genuinely brilliant actors, the films are popular, profitable (particular in China), and objectively terrible according to critics. A third film has already been announced.

Hopefully the recently-announced live show incarnation of the franchise is equally successful. It’s certainly got the talent on board. And I mean that literally: Every billed magician has a notable run on “[Country] has talent,” as well as a host of other magical accomplishments to their name.

James More will be playing “The Showman.” He got his start on Britain’s Got Talent back in 2013 and went on to tour the world for two years as part of The Illusionists. 

France’s Got Talent finalist and two-time French magic champion, Florian Sainvet, will be playing “The Manipulator.”

Sabine van Diemen of The Illusionists and Holland’s Got Talent fame will be playing “The Escape Artist.”

Enzo Weyne from France’s Got Talent will be playing “The Mentalist.” 

There’ll also be a fifth cast member unique to each region the show visits. The show will open in China, which not only loves the two Now You See Me films as I’ve already mentioned, but also has a voracious appetite for stage magic. 

The films rely on a lot of CGI for their sleight-of-hand tricks, whereas the performers in Now You See Live will have to rely on their (proven) talent and expertise. The show promises “state-of-the-art magic with cutting-edge technology, surprise twists, and never-before-seen illusions from some of the greatest magicians in the world.”

What it won’t feature is whatever the hell this is.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuDKElFcm1E

There’s a duo of great card magicians coming to the Magic Castle this week all the way from Germany. In the Close-Up Gallery, Denis Behr brings some of the magic that’s found its way into his recent instructional DVD set, Magic On Tap:

Pit Hartling is also stopping by the Parlour of Prestidigitation, and his incredible card magic has to be seen to be believed:

Performances take place every evening from April 30 – May 6 unless otherwise noted, and include:

Close-up Gallery

Denis Behr: 7:00, 7:45, 8:30, 9:15

John Accardo: 10:00, 10:45, 11:30, 12:30

Tyler Rabbit: 5:00 – 7:00 (Thursday – Sunday)

Parlour of Prestidigitation

Pit Hartling: 7:15, 8:15, 9:15

Henok Negash: 10:15, 11:15, 12:30

Palace of Mystery

Scott & Puck: 8:00, 10:00, 11:30

Denny Haney: 8:00, 10:00, 11:30

W.C. Fields Bar

Robert Ramirez: 7:30 – 11:30 (Thursday – Sunday)

The Peller Theatre

Dave Cox: 8:00, 10:00, 11:30 (Thursday – Sunday)

The Bornsteins: 8:00, 10:00, 11:30 (Thursday – Sunday)

Members Only Friday Lunch

Denis Behr: 12:00, 1:00, 2:00

Saturday & Sunday Brunch

Parlour Kids’ Shows: 11:30a, 12:15, 1:00, 2:15

For more information on what’s in store at the Magic Castle this week, as well as details on how to become a member, be sure to visit the official site for the Academy of Magical Arts.

The Palace of Mystery is being taken over this week by four of the best magic acts out of Japan. On Monday and Tuesday, you can see the operatic stylings of recent Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Shimada:

Joining him in the Palace (and performing the rest of the week) are the comedy duo Caramel Machine:

The AMA’s 2003 Close-up Magician of the Year and 2018 Stage Magician of the Year, Shoot Ogawa:

And the high-flying, acrobatic juggling of Tempei:

Performances take place every evening from April 23 – April 29 unless otherwise noted, and include:

Close-up gallery

Paul Green: 7:00, 7:45, 8:30, 9:15

John Steiner: 10:00, 10:45, 11:30, 12:30

Frankie Foti: 5:00 – 7:00 (Thursday – Sunday)

Parlour of Prestidigitation

Oscar Munoz: 7:15, 8:15, 9:15

Tim Shegitz: 10:15, 11:15, 12:30

Palace of Mystery

Shimada: 8:00, 10:00, 11:30 (Monday – Tuesday)

Shoot Ogawa: 8:00, 10:00, 11:30

Caramel Machine: 8:00, 10:00, 11:30

Tempei: 8:00, 10:00, 11:30

W.C. Fields Bar

Doc Eason: 7:30 – 11:30 (Wednesday – Saturday)

Chris Korn: 7:30 – 11:30 (Sunday)

The Peller Theatre

Richard Raven: 8:00, 10:00, 11:30 (Thursday – Sunday)

MIGZ: 8:00, 10:00, 11:30 (Thursday – Sunday)

Members Only Friday Lunch

Paul Green: 12:00, 1:00, 2:00

Saturday & Sunday Brunch

Parlour Kids’ Shows: 11:30a, 12:15, 1:00, 2:15

For more information on what’s in store at the Magic Castle this week, as well as details on how to become a member, be sure to visit the official site for the Academy of Magical Arts.

Joshua Jay is trying something different this summer. He’s putting on a brand new, limited-run show in his home town of New York City called Six Impossible Things. It’s an immersive take on close-up magic that’s part illusion, part escape room, part interactive theater show, and all extremely cool. Both the magician and the audience members will move together from one part of the venue to the next, and each of the rooms will feature one of Josh’s original magic creations.

Performances of run from June 1 through July 28 on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at The Mist. Each night will have shows at 7:00 pm and 9:30 pm. Only twenty people can attend each show, and because of the unique experience, guests are only admitted to see it once. Tickets cost between $106 and $136. The official website has more information.

To get a sneak peak into what guests can expect, and into the thought process of the brains behind the ambitious project, we asked Josh six questions about Six Impossible Things. He not only gave us some incredible insight into the creative process, but also shared some as-yet unpublished photos of the show. Read on to find out how he’s bringing the impossible to life.

1. What was your inspiration for this new project?

This show is a reaction to my previous work. My career has been about doing magic that is easily accessible. At some point, I began to explore this vision for a magic show based more on experiencing magic than watching it. I saw potential in putting magic in different environments, and making each audience member take risks with me, outside their comfort zone. I heard Bruce Springsteen in an interview say an amazing thing. He said, “As a creative person, you build your box, and then you escape from it.” I have found that to be very true. I built a box as a smiling, happy magician that entertains audiences 8-80. Now it’s my turn to escape from that mold.

2. How long has Six Impossible Things been in development?

Nine years. Three years. Six months. I say nine years because I moved to New York right after my first show, Unreal. And I’ve thought about doing a show in New York every day since then, but just never got around to it. I let a lot of things–exciting things in many cases–get in the way. I say three years because I have been outlining a section of my notebooks called “Six Impossible Things” for three years. And for the last six months, this has been my sole focus; just bringing these many disparate ideas together.

3. How did this particular space impact your ability to create the magic for the show?

My team or I visited over thirty venues. We were very close to pulling the trigger on a pretty big room to do a kind of huge stage show. But when I toured The Mist, I turned to our producer and said, “This is it. I hope we can afford it.” The space is TINY, so immediately I knew the show would be intimate and unprofitable. But I also knew it was an opportunity to do something really, really special. The space is owned by two really talented, young architects: Jae Lee and Yvonne Chang. And they’ve become active in the creative end of the show. We’ve reimagined one of the rooms entirely, and altered the other rooms to fit the subjects of each experience.

4. What are the challenges of performing for such an intimate audience?

The one I struggle with the most is the lack of applause. I’ve spent my whole career gauging a trick’s worth by the applause and reactions. But when there are twenty people–standing or with things in their hands–the end of these experiences often end in silence. Stunned silence, I hope, but silence. My director, Luke Jermay, keeps encouraging me to let go of this need for audience vindication, and to accept that there are more powerful ways to appreciate the impossible than applause. So I’m trying my best.

5. Do you foresee this type of interactive theater performance as a trend that will stick for the magic world?

It’s fascinating to develop magic without the usual constraints. Imagine putting a show together and saying to yourself–you know what the best angle for this would be? If everyone stood against the wall. So, I can line up everyone against the wall. Or I said to myself at one point, “This trick really only has impact one on one.” And guess what? I was able to design a segment where each participant enters an environment alone, with me, to experience a very special moment of magic. Alone.

6. How would you summarize the experience of Six Impossible Things in just three words?

Sensory Magic Show. 

Jonathan Pendragon and his special brand of physical grand illusions makes an appearance at the Magic Castle this week, headlining the Palace of Mystery. No telling whether he’ll be pulling off the church aisle back handsprings he came up with for The Blues Brothers, but you’ll be in for a heck of a show either way. 

Joining him throughout the week are a gallery of incredible performers, including close-up card magic from Bébel, which you simply have to see for yourself:

Performances take place every evening from April 16 – April 21 unless otherwise noted, and include:

Close-up gallery

Bébel: 7:00, 7:45, 8:30, 9:15

Bill Goodwin: 10:00, 10:45, 11:30, 12:30

Tom Frank: 5:00-7:00 (Thursday – Sunday)

Parlour of Prestidigitation

Mike Pisciotta: 7:15, 8:15, 9:15

Jon Armstrong: 10:15, 11:15, 12:30

Palace of Mystery

Jonathan Pendragon: 8:00, 10:00, 11:30

W.C. Fields Bar

Doc Eason: 7:30-11:30 (Wednesday – Saturday)

The Peller Theatre

Simon Coronel: 8:00, 10:00, 11:30 (Thursday – Sunday)

Joe Skilton: 8:00, 10:00, 11:30 (Thursday – Sunday)

Members Only Friday Lunch

Bébel: 12:00, 1:00, 2:00

Saturday & Sunday Brunch

Parlour Kids’ Shows: 11:30a, 12:15, 1:00, 2:15

For more information on what’s in store at the Magic Castle this week, as well as details on how to become a member, be sure to visit the official site for the Academy of Magical Arts.

A dry grad, for those of you who live outside the comfy bosom of the United States, is a “an event which provides students with a safe, drug and alcohol-free environment to celebrate their graduation.” A school disco, in other words.

Westview Secondary School in Maple Ridge will be having quite an elaborate school disco on account of an upcoming fundraising performance by two-time world champion of magic Shawn Farquhar, whose daughter just so happens to be in the graduating year. Farquhar will be performing Secrets The Magic Show at the school, with all the proceeds going towards the upcoming dry grad. 

While Farquhar is used to performing for crowds in the thousands, the audience for this show will be a bit more select, with just 210 tickets available, a hundred of which have already been sold. 

Like the party its funding, Farquhar’s show will be a family-friendly event with lots of audience participation. 

“A lot of really cool slight of hand,” he told the local press. “Lots of comedy involved. Lots of audience participation. I will make a handkerchief come to life and dance and I’ll float things in the air. It will be a memory for everybody.”

“Parents can bring younger kids so they can demystify the high school in advance,” he added.

Secrets The Magic Show starts at 7:00pm on April 21st at Westview Secondary, 20905 Wicklund Ave. in Maple Ridge, BC. Tickets cost 20 Canuck bucks.  

Nearly a hundred years after his death, Harry Houdini is the still the face and the name of performance magic in the mind of the general public. That’s why you’ll see his name, and occasionally his likeness, plastered on any magic-adjacent business that can lay claim to some kind of connection to the iconic escapologist. 

Houdini’s Magic Bar is one such establishment. Partners, Sam Watson and Claudette Cairns, already have one bar under that name in Broadstairs, with another opening this weekend in the medieval town of Canterbury. To celebrate, resident magician, strongman and escapologist, Stuart Burrell, will be taking a shot at beating his own Guiness world record for escaping from a pair of double-locked regulation prisoner transport irons. Assuming the weather holds, as he’ll be performing outside of the cosy bar. 

Burrell’s current best time stands at 01:03.79, a record he set in July of 2015, shaving more than 30 seconds off his previous records. Escaping from manacles, however, isn’t straight forward.

“The rules are complex,” Burrell told the local press,“and, even if I follow them to the letter, I will still only have 63 seconds to get out.” 

His attempts are scheduled to run from 2pm to 4pm, Saturday, April 14th, and Sunday, April 15th. 

Everyone here at Genii Online wishes Burrell the best of luck in his attempts.