It’s been a rough week, readers. So how about you sit back, relax, and enjoy some curated magic videos courtesy of your old friends at Genii Online.
Tommy Wind appeared on KSNV News Las Vegas to promote the new season of Masters of Illusion which, if I’m not mistaken, begins airing tonight. For the impatient among you, he starts performing tricks at the 1:45 mark.
Jay Sankey dropped another tutorial, this one is for an awesome trick performed with a deck of cards and a firecracker, making it completely illegal in Canada.
Update: I have just been informed that Jay Sankey is in fact Canadian himself, meaning he is a firebrand magician with no regard for the law.
— Eli Roth (@eliroth) June 28, 2018
Hostel director, Eli Roth, has never been my cup of tea, but his upcoming adaption of children’s horror novel, The House with a Clock in its Walls looks like it might just change my mind. Jack Black is perfectly cast as a goofy magician, and judging by the trailer, the film seems to lay on the classic performance magic shtick really thick. It hits theatres September 21st.
— America's Got Talent (@AGT) June 28, 2018
Fresh from his victory over gravity itself, Mat Franco has returned to our screens to teach magic and shill donuts. Elastic band tricks are a quick and easy way to fill out a close-up routine, or annoy your co-workers at the office. Learn them.
We somehow managed to miss Piff the Magic Dragon auditioning for Game of Thrones last month. Sadly, a dragon his age will get nowhere in Hollywood without a scale lift. The green screen gag is absolute genius, by the by.
Rob Lake made an appearance on America’s Got Talent. I thought the setup was a bit overwrought, but it went down well with the judges and the live audience. Best of luck in the competition, Rob!
Christian Wedoy also made a splash on AGT (it never stops, folks. It. Never. Stops). We’ve seen him perform with this set up before, albeit in a less dramatic setting, but it’s still amazing to see him and his lungs strut their stuff.
Alex Geiser uploaded a slick, no-nonsense coin routine to YouTube.
And there we have it, a cavalcade of magic to keep the blues away. Stay safe out there, readers.
— Mat Franco (@MatFrancoMagic) June 27, 2018
Mat Franco has lived on this tiny ball of water and rock for thirty years. During that brief time, he’s developed a reputation as a man of focus and deception. A man who performs. A man of magic. A magician.
He was performing last night. Having spent the last hour demonstrating feats of cunning and dexterity, the America’s Got Talent winner took on his greatest challenge to date: Climbing a short set of stairs. A herculean task indeed.
As you can see from the video above, Franco was faced with three steps, four if you include the stage itself. He started strong, taking the first two steps cleanly with a lithe extension of his right leg that ended with a firmly planted right foot, but his overconfidence came at a cost. His left foot snagged on the first step, shifting his weight perilously forward. There was a sharp intake of breath amongst the crowd as gravity continued its dark work, pulling the magician towards the earth – towards defeat, and a thousand retweets of a hastily edited gif. But that is a fate meant for lesser men. Not Mat Franco. Not the magician, Mat Franco. With the last of his strength he hurled himself forward, gambling his safety and his dignity on one final effort. Like an aeroplane transforms forward momentum to flight, Franco transformed his stumble into a roll fraught with desperate grace. He rolled across his back, legs tucked into an undignified turtle squat until, eventually, he’s once against facing the stage. Finally, he makes it to his knees, arms open like a tiny, magic-performing Atlas grasping the world. He stops a moment for applause, having triumphed not only over the stairs, but over gravity, a fundamental force exerted by the universe itself. He waits for a beat, two. Then, slowly, but with indisputable purpose, Mat Franco rises.
The rest of the show was pretty good too, I’ve heard.
I’m running out of clever ways to open these articles, folks. You know the drill: Friday. Videos. Smug quips. Enjoy.
The magical acts in this year’s Britain’s Got Talent were swamped by no-fun jerks in the British press who chimed in after every episode to inform us that, actually, Marc Spelmann does not posses a supernatural power over time and space. Of course, anyone with an ounce of insight to the art can tell you that knowing how a trick is done makes you a magician in the same way that knowing the lyrics to Stairway to Heaven makes you a rock star.
Ozzie magic man, Ben Murphy, posted a cute, “interactive,” mind reading trick on YouTube. And no, the interactive element isn’t, “press the like button.” But you should.
The final episode of the first season of Mutant Powers is now live for your viewing pleasure. Despite my distaste for “prank” videos, I’ve really enjoyed this comedy/magic format, and I can’t wait to see what Kyle Marlett does next. Hopefully another season of this.
— America's Got Talent (@AGT) June 21, 2018
Magician and America’s Got Talent winner, Mat Franco, and the delicious taste of Dunkin’ Donuts, bring you a cheeky magic tutorial. Personally I found it hard to concentrate on the mechanics and useful presentation tips because I kept being distracted by the icy cool iced coffee on the desk next to him. Or at least I was until he shoved that straw up his nose. Now I’ll forever associate Dunkin’ Donuts with snot and chunks of Mat Franco’s brain matter.
— America's Got Talent (@AGT) June 20, 2018
Trapeze artists Mary and Tyce, better known as Duo Transcend, made an absolutely killer appearance on America’s Got Talent. To be honest, I think I’d pay good money to watch Tyce paint a fence, so the fact he and Mary are also excellent performers is icing on the cake.
And on that shameless bit of objectification, I bid you a good weekend, gentle readers. See you next week!
Mat Franco made the leap to a household name with his win on America’s Got Talent, the first and only magician to secure the ultimate title. But with all that he now juggles in touring and starring in a regular Vegas show, it’s easy to forget that Franco is just 30 years old. Even though he’s representative of what he calls a “millennial magician,” Franco certainly been able to attract the friendship and mentorship of the older generations.
He told the Chicago Tribune that one of his influences is magic legend Johnny Thompson. “Johnny’s a good friend of mine,” Franco said. “He helped put together my Las Vegas show.” The two regularly get together to “jam on different magic ideas.”
His show winds up being a blend of classic and the modern tastes, presenting vintage close-up sleights with a decidedly contemporary bent. Franco relies on increasingly common props like smartphones and also unique ones like ramen noodles.
“We don’t use sort of pyrotechnics and dancers and things to distract from the magic,” he said. “There are no TV props, no boxes, no campy dance moves. It’s kind of all about the magic and all about the audience.”
Ever since he became the first, and thus far, only, magician to win America’s Got Talent, quirky sleight-of-hand illusionist Mat Franco has been hammering out nightly shows at The Linq Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Fortunately for those of you who don’t live in the state of Nevada, other venues have managed to lure Franco out of his lair with the promise of (more) fame and riches. In August he’ll be performing at least three shows in other states. These shows are:
Mat Franco is pretty familiar with being on television. The magician had his breakout moment as the ninth season winner of America’s Got Talent, which put him in the mainstream eye and helped him secure a regular Las Vegas gig called Magic Reinvented Nightly.
Today, Franco is back on the small screen, but in a slightly different role. He’s going to be on Access Hollywood Live on January 25. We’re expecting him to share some insights about his success in Vegas, and you know they’ll be asking to see a trick or two. Check back here to see videos from his appearance whenever they come online! Or get a look inside his head thanks to an interview with Las Vegas Magazine where he talks about the importance of reinvention in his work.
Planning any big city adventures in 2018? If you’re thinking about doing it up fancy, Forbes has a few recommendations for where you can rest your head and also catch some great magic performances. The publication noted that magic’s black tie roots are getting a revival, with upscale hotels in several major metropolises now booking magicians for high-class shows.
Unsurprisingly, there are two Las Vegas gigs on the Forbes list. Magic Reinvented Nightly by America’s Got Talent winner Mat Franco and Masters of Illusion, a stage adaptation of the CW television show, are great options for bigger productions.
That said, Las Vegas is teeming with magic acts, and those are just two of many, many hotel shows. What about if you’re vacationing in Los Angeles, or planning a road trip to New York City? If you’ll be in the Big Apple, try to score tickets to Steve Cohen’s Chamber Magic at Lotte New York Palace or Dan White’s The Magician at the swanky NoMad Hotel. Angelenos should also drop by the Four Seasons Beverley Wilshire for the Intimate Illusions of Ivan Amodei.
GeniiOnline readers, have you any further suggestions? Where would you direct a magic-seeking traveller dropping by your town?
We’re in the thick of the holiday season, which means festively themed tricks galore from magicians. It also means that now is a good time to revisit a wintery wonder from last year’s America’s Got Talent holiday special. Mat Franco performed his riff on a classic, one that’s sure to get you Frozen fans a-humming. Enjoy!
The Magic & Mystery School’s Magic and Meaning Conference is right around the corner and still accepting registrations for what is sure to be an enlightening and entertaining weekend of magic and instruction.
Running from October 18-21 and held at the Sunset Station Hotel in Las Vegas, the Magic & Meaning Conference is a small, exclusive gathering of amateur and expert magicians looking to hone their craft, meet other members of the magic community, and learn from the best. Instructors include Jeff McBride, Tobias Beckwith, Bryce Kuhlman, Larry Hass, Ph.D., and Abigail Spinner McBride.
The highlight of the conference are its PEP talks—20-minute lectures on the Performance, Entertainment, and Philosophy of magic. Other events include Ensemble Shows, which allow attendees to practice in front of the group, live shows, optional evening activities, and the “Return of the Mysteries” event, held on the first night in a secret location only revealed once attendees arrive. Mat Franco, America’s Got Talent winner and host of Magic Reinvented Nightly, will also be in attendance as the guest of honor.
Tickets are still on sale for $445 for the entire weekend, but if you’re looking for a last-minute seat, register ASAP, as spots are limited to only 78 attendees. If you’re not able to make it this year, tickets for next year’s conference are already available for pre-registration for $395, and is scheduled to run October 17-20, 2018.
Mat Franco blew audiences away with his close-up magic when he won America’s Got Talent’s million-dollar grand prize back in 2014. Since then, he’s performed all over the world, returned to AGT as a guest performer, and even earned himself a residency at The LINQ Hotel and Casino in Vegas. Because he performs so often to different audiences—sometimes two or even three times in the same day—Franco often has to change his act on the fly. In an interview with Las Vegas Magazine, he explains why reinvention is the heart and soul of his stage show, Magic Reinvented Nightly.
“I’m always adapting, even from night to night. There’s even variance from the 7 to the 9:30 show,” Franco tells Las Vegas Magazine. “No two audiences are the same, so even in the same night, each show has its own personality. There is so much audience interaction involved.”
Changing and tweaking your act between individual shows is a daunting task, but it makes for more inventive and unpredictable performances. “It’s about building to a climax that feels strong enough so you feel like the trick is done, and wow, that’s great, and then taking it one step further,” Franco says. “That extra push is what makes it unforgettable for people.”
Check out the full article for yourself at Las Vegas Magazine’s website (or in this month’s print issue). Or get tickets to see what Las Vegas Weekly calls the “best show” in town at the LINQ’s official event page.