Genii Speaks by maclaren1


									Genii Speaks
Richard Kaufman                                                   Contact us by calling 301-652-5800, e-mailing
                                                                                         or surfing our website at

                I’m somewhere over the Atlantic ocean                    home in Montreal, found Ken on Long Island and brought
                  on the way from the World Magic Seminar in             back an interview and some excellent tricks—”The Zen of
                  Las Vegas to the biggest magic convention in           Ken” forms our rather unusual “Magicana” this month. •
                  the world in Blackpool, England. I must say, it’s      Jeff McBride and Abbi Spinner McBride recently brought
                  a schlep … up at 5 am in Vegas (a horribly busy        their full evening show to a casino in Laughlin, Nevada.
                  airport where John Moehring missed his flight          As an east-coast boy, my reaction was, “Laughlin where?”
                  to Blackpool last year because of the two-hour         Mike Close answers that question and brings you an
                  check-in line—I only made my flight because            intriguing report on a great show on p.56. • Good colum-
                  the folks at United treated me extraordinarily         nists are the backbone of a magazine and three of your
     well), then a short hop to San Francisco, then an almost            favorites are with us this month: Paul Osborne brings you a
     12 hour flight to London. When I emerge from this flying            “Poor Man’s Self Levitation”; Roberto Giobbi breaks down
     petri dish (hopefully without catching a cold from the guy          the components of “Artistic Magic”; and Tony Giorgio
     next to me with the leaky nose), and arrive at London at            returns after a long hiatus with the elegiac tale of Mr. Z,
     6 a.m., there’s an hour journey to Euston Station where I’ll        an advantage player in his twilight years. * Our reviews
     catch up with Matt Field, editor of The Magic Circular, for         this month are handled elegantly by Eric Mead, Joe M.
     our 10:30 a.m. train to Blackpool—another three hours.              Turner, and a returning David Oliver, whom I’m pleased to
     Blackpool is hectic, but fun. Afterward it’s off to London for      welcome back after a few months off.
     five days of work.
        Richard Turner is a remarkable guy: in
     addition to his expertise at martial arts
     and various daredevil activities like the
     trapeze and flying in military jets, he’s also
     one of the best sleight-of-hand artists on
     the planet. He was close friends with Dai
     Vernon, Larry Jennings, and Michael Skinner
     (all of whom considered him the best they’d
     ever seen), and these days Richard counts
     Steve Forte among his close friends. Since a
     lot of people consider Steve Forte the best
     they’ve ever seen, I can only imagine what it’s
     like when these two guys sit down at a table
     together. Richard’s performing persona is that
     of a riverboat gambler from the late 1800s, and
     he performed in actual riverboat style venues for years.
     Semi-retired, he works at The Magic Castle twice a year
     and does a few other bits now and then (he was at the con-          Ricky Jay Plays Poker (above) finally appeared on the market
     vention in Vegas). He’s recently been putting out a series          after several months’ delay and it was worth the wait. This
     of DVDs that are really just a taste of his enormous amount         deluxe and smartly boxed set includes a CD with 21 poker-
     of original material. Jason England, no slouch at card table        related songs, about which Ricky writes in the liner notes,
     work himself, strips Richard out of the pack for us on p.66.        “Mercifully you will not hear me sing on any of these tracks,
     • I can’t recall if I was 14 or 15 when Ken Krenzel started         so I am able to bet my entire stack that you will enjoy the
     answering my questions about card magic. At Tannen’s                tunes that I’ve selected … .” And you will. For magicians,
     magic shop on 1540 Broadway on Saturdays, always fol-               however, the CD itself is the least enticing item because
     lowed by a trip to the Governor Cafeteria afterward, he             the box also includes a wonderfully produced booklet of
     would happily teach me really difficult things. This had a          almost 70 color pages full of memorabilia, history, and wit
     great benefit: he once taught me his way of doing Jerry             from Ricky, along with a 30-minute DVD where Ricky dem-
     Andrus’s Panoramic Shift. Having learned this notoriously           onstrates some fine poker and betting-related routines in
     balletic sleight where a light touch and balance mean the           a relaxed setting with some friends, topped off by a bet
     difference between cards on top of the deck or cards on             where he knocks an egg balanced on a rolled-up playing
     the floor, I was then able to tackle equally difficult things in    card into a glass of liquid by tossing a card at it. The box
     the books Tony Spina was doing his best to sell me on an            also includes a custom deck of cards from the U.S. Playing
     almost weekly basis. Master one genuinely difficult sleight         Card Company, printed on what feels like Bee stock, which
     and all other difficult sleights become available to you.           has a one-way back design for added mischief. Buy it on
     Ken is still going strong and David Acer, bravely leaving his through the Genii Forum where you can view

10   GENII
                                                                                Now performiNg
                                                                  The mAGIC CAsTLe                      LAs VeGAs
                                                                  APrIL 2 To 8                          Compiled by David Neubauer
                                                                  Close-Up Gallery
                                                                  Early: 7, 7:45, 8:30, 9:15            Amazing Johnathan
                                                                  Bob Fitch                             10 pm, (Dark Thurs.), Sahara
                                                                  Late: 10, 10:45,11:30, Midnight       Beacher’s madhouse
                                                                  Bill Goodwin                          Christopher Karpiak, Chuck Lane,
                                                                  w. C. Fields Bar                      Tyas Frantz, 9 pm pre-show. Last
a clip from the DVD and receive a 10 percent discount and         (Friday and Saturday only)            Sat. of the month, Hard Rock
                                                                  Joe Monti                             Bite (Vampire Strip Revue)
free shipping.
                                                                  The Parlour of Prestidigitation       Antonio Restivo,10:30 pm
                                                                  Early: 7:30, 8:45, 9:30               (dark Thurs.) Stratosphere
Those of you who found “The Remarkable Little Man,” a             Bob Dorian                            David Copperfield
hand-cranked automaton produced by Pierre Meyer, and              Late: 9:45, 11:15, Midnight           7:30 & 10 pm, 4:30 Sat. &
about which I wrote in the October 2005 Genii, interest-          Dana Daniels                          some Sun. MGM Grand.
ing, may be even more interested to learn that he has             Palace of mystery                     Through April 19
produced a functioning miniature version that’s about             8:30, 10:00, 11:15                    Gerry mcCambridge—
                                                                  Eric Buss                             The mentalist
                                 the size of the end of my        John Shryock                          8 pm (Dark Fri. & Sat.),
                                 thumb! This little mar-                                                Rampart Casino
                                                                  APrIL 9 To 15
                                 vel is cheap when com-           Close-Up Gallery                      haunted Vegas Tour & show
                                 pared to the $850 of the         Early: Steve Silverman                Robert Allen, Jac Hayden &
                                 original (which has since        Late: Johnny Ace Palmer               Zamora, Greek Isle, 9 pm tour
                                 increased in price)—only         w. C. Fields Bar                      and show (Dark Fri.)
                                                                  Doug Brewer                           Jason Bird
                                 $100. In fact, Pierre pro-
                                                                  The Parlour of Prestidigitation       The Shops in Desert Passage,
                                 duces several of these
                                                                  Early: Matt Marcy                     Aladdin. Main stage, near the
                                 wee automata, and you            Late: Brian Gillis                    “V” Theater, Thurs.-Mon. From
                                 may e-mail him for more          Palace of mystery
                                                                                                        1:15 pm to 8:15 pm, Free
                                 information, or to order,        Robert Baxt                           La Femme
                                 at pierregmeyer@hotmail.         John Cassidy                          Stephan Vanel, 8 & 10:30 pm,
                                                                  Ice McDonald                          (Dark Tues.), MGM Grand
                                 com. Since the female
                                 Geisha he produced in            APrIL 16 To 22                        Lance Burton, master magician
                                                                  Close-Up Gallery                      7 pm Tues-Sat & 10 pm Tues.
                                 early 2006 (and which I          Early: TBA                            & Sat., Monte Carlo
                                 profiled in the August           Late: TBA                             mac King Comedy magic show
2006 Genii), he has also created an automaton of Christian        w. C. Fields Bar                      1 & 3 pm, (Dark Sun. & Mon.)
Fechner performing his stool levitation which I’ll describe       TBA                                   Harrah’s Clint Holmes Theater
in more detail in a few months. Next on his list: a miniature     The Parlour of Prestidigitation       Nathan Burton
automata of Robert-Houdin’s “Orange Tree.” It sounds              Early: David Regal                    Comedy magic show
                                                                  Late: Fukai                           2 pm, (Dark Fri. & Sun.)
impossible, doesn’t it!
                                                                                                        V Theater in the Desert
                                                                  Palace of mystery
                                                                                                        Passage, Aladdin
                                                                  Ken Noyle
The Big News in Las Vegas right now is the new show star-         Bravo Nakaya                          Penn & Teller
ring Carmen Electra (who was supposed to headline a               Albert Tam                            9 pm, (Dark Tues.), Rio
magic show that Gary Ouellet had been trying to sell                                                    Phenomenon
before his sudden death) and Dutch illusionist Hans Klok.         APrIL 23 To 29                        Hans Klok (with Carmen Electra),
                                                                  Close-Up Gallery                      (Scheduled to open May 12th
Robin Leech (a long-time magic fan) broke the news on             Early: Mark Matsumoto                 for a 13-week run), Aladdin
the website, “The decision for Carmen                Late: Doc Eason
                                                                                                        steve wyrick
and Hans to star at the Aladdin/Planet Hollywood was              w. C. Fields Bar                      7 & 9 pm, Desert Passage,
made by an almost uncanny, and eerie, coincidence as              Doc Eason                             Aladdin
former Aladdin magician Steve Wyrick opened his own               The Parlour of Prestidigitation       The magic of rick Thomas
theater downstairs in the hotel’s Desert Passage shopping         Early: Tom Ogden                      2, 4, & 7 pm, (Dark various
                                                                  Late: B.J. Hickman                    days), Orleans
center. His new theater is a lifelong dream and a $35-mil-
lion investment. Klok and Carmen, ironically, will perform        Palace of mystery                     The Ultimate Variety showcase
                                                                  Kerry Ross                            8 pm to Midnight every
in the theater upstairs that he used to work in. The show’s       Michael Finney                        Tuesday, Free. Magicians:
director will be Anthony Van Laast. He was the director           Mercer Helms                          Christopher Karpiak and “S,”
of the original Siegfried & Roy show at the Mirage. Laast,                                              Roxy’s Live, Sam’s Town
who is British, was awarded an MBE (Member of the British         magic Castle Information
                                                                  Those with guest cards,               V, The Ultimate Variety show
Empire) from the Queen for his contributions to world the-        and those who belong to               Jeff Hobson, Nathan & Sarah
ater.” Don Wayne is doing the magic consulting and Ms.            the IBM and SAM, are admitted to      7 & 9 pm, Aladdin
Electra will certainly get the male audience twitterpatin’.       The Magic Castle with dinner res-     world’s Greatest magic show
                                                                  ervations. Please call 323-851-3313   Kevin James, Kozak and guests.
Leech then wrote, “Expect Vegas magic to be kicked up a           for more information. Updates to      Billy Fergueson (pre-show). 6 pm
notch instantly. All this comes as Cirque du Soleil is days       the performing schedule can be        Sat.-Thurs., 8:15 Fri., Greek Isle
away from officially and finally confirming their new $110-       found at
                                                                                                        Xtreme magic starring Dirk Arthur
million spectacular at the Luxor with Mindfreak magician                                                Tiffany Theatre, Tropicana
Criss Angel.”                                                                                           2 and 4 pm. (Dark Fri.)

                             GENII SPEAKS, continued on page 13                                                            APRIL 2007 11
Goodbye to the Printed word: In the February 6 Washington        Good-byes: Jules Lenier died in February and it’s unfor-
Post in section D5 there appeared, in the very brief             givable that I neglected to mention it last month in my
“International Briefing” sidebar, a note that the world’s old-   haste to finish “Genii Speaks.” Jules was a unique, cre-
est newspaper, which happens to be published in Sweden           ative individual with a sardonic sense of
since 1645 (read that date again) will cease printed pub-        humor and I always enjoyed his writings.
lication and become a web-only publication. Magicseen,           He was associate editor of this magazine
which proclaims itself as “Europe’s No.1 Magazine,” and          in the late 1960s. We’ll have a memorial
which is published in England, is now selling back issues        piece in the near future. • A note arrived
in downloadable pdf format at 3 pounds (roughly equal            from J.K. Hartman on February 16: “Sad
to $6), or half the cost of their printed version. The I.B.M.    news regarding Joseph K. Schmidt. I just
gives its members the option of opting out of receiving          received a letter from his wife: ‘I want to
The Linking Ring as a printed magazine and allows them to        let you know that my husband died on the
download an electronic version from their website. In the        10th of January in the American Hospital.
past one might have written, “The handwriting is on the          He just fell to sleep, the way he always
wall,” but now it appears to be on your computer monitor.        wanted to die.’ There goes an institution,
Slowly but surely, the end of the printed word is coming.        perhaps the most prolific artist the world
                                                                 of magic has ever known and certainly
The phenomenal French photographer Zakary Belamy is back         the king of freehand illustrators. I think he was 86 or 87.”
in the U.S.A. from March 6 to April 5 to continue his “World     There were certain projects that only Joe Schmidt could
Magic Photo Tour” in which he’s shooting the greatest            handle—I used him to illustrate J.K. Hartman’s books Card
magicians living in America. This time he’ll be in Las Vegas,    Craft, After Craft, and Trickery Treats, as well as Arcade
then in Los Angeles for a few days. After his first U.S.         Dreams and The Magic of Edward Victor’s Hands. His
photo tour in September and October, 2005, and a suc-            greatest champion as an illustrator is Karl Fulves, and he
cessful photo exhibition at the recent FISM in Stockholm,        has illustrated every single thing Karl has published since
he’ll meet and shoot pros like Mac King, Joseph Gabriel,         the late 1960s. Joe Schmidt was a friendly guy and a plea-
The Majestix, Armando Lucero, Jeff McBride, Penn &               sure to work with and he will be missed. • Also noted, the
Teller, Mark Wilson, Carl Ballantine, James Dimmare, Rick        death of magician Howard Flint, a very funny man, whom
Thomas, and many more. The list of the world famous              most will remember for performing J.C. Doty’s “Bowling
magicians that he has already photographed is enor-              Ball from Briefcase.”
mous—you’ve seen some of his work already in Genii and
you’re going to see a lot more very shortly. For more, visit     It Ain’t Like it Used to Be: The U.S. Government no longer
him on the web at                          allows airline passengers to bring white doves in or out
                                                                 of the United States because of the fear of spreading
The wee erdnase: Original publishing ideas involving the         avian flu, despite the fact that no white doves have been
classics are rare. Bill Kalush and the Conjuring Arts Research   found to carry the disease. This has adversely affected any
Center (and co-author of The Secret Life of Houdini: The         dove worker either leaving or entering our country. • Los
Making of America’s First Superhero) has published a new         Angeles magician Simon Winthrop inadvertently caused
edition of The Expert at the Card Table by S.W. Erdnase.         the TSA to shut down the entire Palm Beach airport and
Subtitled The Expert Bible, the new edition is described by      surrounding roads, including a partial evacuation of the
the publisher as a “… new take on the classic cardman’s          terminal, because he packed a Butane canister in his
bible … . It’s the perfect size to fit in your hand or pocket    checked baggage. Winthrop uses it to shoot flames out
and beautifully produced using the same paper as a Bible,        of his wrists in his act. According to the Palm Beach Post,
gilt edges, a ribbon place holder, and in a soft leather-        “’Winthrop obviously is not a terrorist and will not be
like binding.” The type has been completely reset and all        charged with a crime,’ FBI spokeswoman Judy Orihuela
the lines are numbered for easy reference in your notes.         said. … The federal government could fine Winthrop if the
It’s quite something—you’ll definitely need your reading         materials in his checked luggage violate TSA rules, but a
glasses if you’re among my brothers and sisters in middle        spokesman said Saturday said he didn’t know if the items
age. You can’t beat the price: $15. Order from the website       were prohibited. … Officials from the sheriff’s office, airport or call 212-594-1033 and tell ‘em          and FBI said they hope passengers with unusual posses-
the Genii sent you.                                              sions, like flame-throwing Butane tanks, will anticipate
                                                                 attention from the TSA and declare the items in advance.”
                                                                 No kidding! •

                                                                                                                   APRIL 2007      13

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