Argentine illusionist Norberto Jansenson has become an internet sensation performing his tile illusion. He begins by using 63 (9×7) square grey tiles and after a little rearranging he is somehow left with 64 tiles! He repeats the procedure until he has 65 and then 66 tiles before performing the illusion in reverse to make the tiles disappear. The most bewildering factor about this illusion is that there appears to be no sleight of hand or flourish involved. He wrote on his Youtube page “I do not claim to have any kind of powers, nor do I pretend to confuse you… I’m an artist of illusion, so my work only focuses on triggering your imagination, your sense of wonder, your capacity of being a kid again, and believing in the impossible.”
Have a look at the video below and see it for yourself.
The 8-day Edinburgh International Magic Festival or MagicFest returns for its fourth year with visitors coming all the way from the USA to Australia to see a variety of live shows featuring stage illusions, magic workshops, astonishing feats of mentalism and a host of other amazing acts!
Despite all the great television magic that has flourished in recent years from acclaimed performers such as Penn & Teller, David Blaine and Dynamo, the public very rarely gets the opportunity to see a live magic show. The Edinburgh annual festival is designed to promote magic as an art form to the widest possible audience allowing members of the general public to see just how exciting live magic can be, compared to magic on screen.
Don’t miss your chance to see extraordinary acts like this year’s Stage Magician of The Year Piff the Magic Dragon, Paul Wilson from The Real Hustle, Ali Cook and Kevin McMahon (who is also hosting the festival) (links to all). For the full line up and how to buy tickets click here.
This great video produced by Dan & Dave sets out to discover how magic is perceived by the general public, and whether media such as television and the internet have had a detrimental effect on the evolution of the art of magic.
The collection of interviews with magicians including Dani DaOrtiz, Brad Henderson, Richard Kaufman, Eric Mead, Asi Wind and the brilliant Michael Weber covers various views on how magic has evolved. As the secrets behind many magic tricks are now readily available online, it seems that much of the detail around the study of performance and development of the art is being obscured or lost, which may adversely affect the attitudes of the general public to magicians.
In Channel 4’s new four-part series, the cunning and deceptive Benjamin Earl will be on our screens with his breathtaking sleight of hand, mind reading and daredevil stunts including jumping from a moving car, setting himself on fire and catching a speeding bullet. Ben has said ‘The opportunity to work with Channel 4 is incredibly exciting. They are mischievous, controversial and not afraid to push boundaries. My kind of people.’
Each of the four hour-long episodes will be focussing on a different theme with the first revolving around crime. Every show will involve Ben inviting a group of people who to be treated to a series of tricks leading up to an audacious stunt finale.
The first show starts on Friday 26th April at 9pm.
The 45th Annual Awards of the Academy of Magical Arts took place in Hollywood on Sunday with three UK magicians among the award winners.
The Awards Show took place at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, California. The Academy is currently hosting a year long celebration to mark its 50th anniversary. Actor Jason Alexander, himself a performing magician, hosted the awards and honoured Penn & Teller as Magicians of the Year. The double act were honoured with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame just two days later.
This year’s Creative Fellowship, presented to performers who have made significant innovations and whose creativity in magic is beyond their peers, was awarded most deservingly to Paul Kieve in recognition of his work creating effects for film and theatre productions including musicals Ghost, Matilda and the Martin Scorcese film Hugo.
It was also moving to see a Lifetime Achievement Fellowship awarded posthumously to Past President of The Magic Circle Alan Shaxon.
Aside from the regular awards there was a Special Fellowship, awarded to those who did not fit within the general fellowship categories but whose contributions to the art of magic could not be overlooked. The recipients were David Britland, Luis De Matos and Marco Tempest for their unparalleled collaborative achievement in conceiving and producing the Essential Magic Conference broadcast live to over 43 countries annually from 2010 to 2012.
Our congratulations to all this year’s award winners. Full details may be found on the AMA website here.
The 51st biennial competition to find The Young Magician of the Year took place at The Magic Circle Headquarters on Sunday with 6 finalists, aged from 14 to 18, battling it out for the highly coveted title that is widely considered a giant stepping stone in the career of any budding young magician.
Hosted by comedian Noel Britten, the finalists delivered some great entertainment and strong magic. Among a very competitive field the very worthy winner was Sebastian Walton from Leeds. He impressed the whole audience and the judges with his charm and magical skills.
Sebastian is now well established as one to watch among the current crop of British young magicians. With this prestigious award he follows in the footsteps of past winners including Russ Stevens, Richard Cadell, Andrew O’Connor and Dominic Wood.
Our congratulations to Sebastian Walton, The Young Magician of The Year 2013.
On Saturday, the much anticipated sale at auction of the personal property of Cardini took place at Potter & Potter Auctions in Chicago. Cardini was possibly the most influential and exceptional magician ever. His stage name became synonymous with card manipulation which he combined with his original and unique skills to create a brilliant and wonderfully acted parody of slightly tipsy gentleman to whom the magic ‘just happened’. Born Richard Valentine Pitchford in 1895, Cardini was a Welsh magician who conquered Europe and America in an unparalleled career spanning more than 50 years. In 1933 he appeared by Royal Command at The London Palladium before their Royal Highnesses The King and Queen. In 1960, The Magic Circle presented Cardini with a Silver Wand and elected him to Membership of The Inner Magic Circle. In 1970, three years before his death, Cardini had the title ‘Master Magician’ awarded to him by Tony Curtis at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles and in 1999 he was included in Magic Magazine’s Top Magicians of the 20th Century.
Amongst the items sold on Saturday were the props and costumes he used during his performances, never before seen photographs, awards, scrap books and many more morsels of magical memorabilia.
Despite becoming the most copied magic act in history, Cardini ‘The Suave Deceiver’ was without equal. Consummate sleight of hand skills allowed objects to repeatedly appear and disappear from his fingertips with precision timing. Only one film, showing a truncated version of this amazing act exists. It was filmed for NBC’s Festival of Magic in 1957 and over half a century later, still conveys the magic of the man. Enjoy!
The British Magical Society has the distinction of being the oldest magic club in the UK. Over 100 members and guests celebrated at the Society’s Annual Awards Dinner on Saturday with guests of honour Duncan Trillo and Keiko. President Elect John Jeremy acted as Master of Ceremonies.
After dinner the formal presentations took place of which the highlight this year was once again the presentation of the David Berglas Award. The award and huge trophy was conceived and generously donated by the legend that is David Berglas to recognise outstanding achievements of British magicians. The recipient of this very prestigious Award is decided annually by members and past presidents of the British Magical Society and the list of previous winners reads like a Who’s Who of British magic and includes such giants as Peter Warlock, Paul Daniels, Alan Shaxon, Pat Page, Roy Johnson, Ron Macmillan, David Berglas, Wayne Dobson, Jeffery Atkins, Edwin Dawes, Elizabeth Warlock, Geoffrey Durham, Alex Elmsley, Paul Kieve, Mark Raffles, Terry Herbert, Roy Walton, Bob Hamilton and Derren Brown.
This year, the unusual weather prevented David Berglas attending in person to present the award that carries his name and in his absence the presentation was made by President Paul Cadley to very worthy winner Duncan Trillo. Duncan, a past winner of The Magic Circle Stage Magician of the Year Competition honed his art performing at London’s Covent Garden before a career that established him as ‘A World Class Performer’ (The Stage), entertaining at the most prestigious venues across the globe from Japan to USA. Aside from performing, Duncan also conceived and organised the popular Mind Magic convention and his highly successful online resource, MagicWeek.co.uk is required reading in the industry and always up to date with the latest news and listings.
Our congratulations to Duncan for his richly deserved award.
Derren Brown is touring again in what critics are already calling an amazing and unmissable new style show.
“Infamous” is the latest collaboration starring the brilliant Derren Brown and directed by Andy Nyman.
We don’t want to spoil the surprises or say too much, but we can reveal that the show has a really refreshing and exciting style that perfectly showcases the skills of the country’s most famous illusionist.
‘Infamous’ begins a major UK tour this month. For more information, show dates and tickets visit www.derrenbrown.co.uk – You can thank us later.
The incomparable Hans Moretti has died and another brilliant magic star has been extinguished.
Hans and his wife Helga moved to West Germany in 1940 and trained there, learning the circus skills they would use to become one of the world’s greatest illusion acts. Respected worldwide, the Morettis were recognised in 1976 at International Federation of Magic Societies (FISM) (Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques) where their Sword Box illusion won first prize in the Grand Illusion category.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Hans Moretti rose to prominence in the UK when he and Helga made several guest appearances on The Paul Daniels Magic Show on BBC1.
In 1979 a new act featuring their now famous Russian Roulette routine won first prize again at the FISM World Championship in Brussels, this time in the Mentalism category.
Hans Moretti’s contribution to the art of magic was extraordinary. Other illusions he invented include the Crossbow Escape Illusion and a Paper Tree Suspension (based on Robert-Houdin’s classic suspension ethéréenne). He also held 18 entries in the Guinness Book of Records including the October 1988 record for the Burning Rope Escape (based on Alan Alan’s original escape).
Hans Moretti was recognised with promotion to Membership of The Inner Magic Circle (Professional), this is the Society’s highest degree and has been awarded to fewer than 20 people since The Magic Circle was founded in 1905. In 1984 The Academy of Magical Arts presented Hans Moretti with a Performing Fellowship for his contribution to the art of illusion.
But for all these achievements, the most amazing thing about Hans Moretti was his personality, charm and sense of fun. His didn’t just avoid the razor sharp swords… he emerged from the box somehow changed into complete clown costume and full make up with a live chicken in his hands and another perched on his head!
Remembering that will always make me smile… and that is the real and enduring magic of Hans Moretti.