Magicians Laura London and Boris Wild Hurt Our Brain But in a Good Way

Laura LondonMagicians Laura London and Boris Wild are at The Magic Castle this week and are not to be missed.  They both play the Close-Up Gallery (although not at the same time which is easier to understand because they both have beautiful accents, the subtlety and pure lilt of which would be missed if they were shouting over each other).  Some of us old folks recall the close-up rooms of yesteryear’s’ conventions where there would be four or five close-up performers circulating among crowds to perform.  The quiet performers were overwhelmed by the naturally loud and the naturally loud were even more unnaturally louder for fear they would be difficult to hear in the hallow expanse of the local gymnasium library.

Yet, digress we do.

Let us start with Laura London.

She is a daring woman who takes risks in front of crowds not seen since the days of Harry Houdini or any bullet catcher. We are not saying “darling” woman – although we are quite confident she is.  We are saying “daring” woman.

Like the Honey Badger, she don’t care.  By the way, there is allegedly a video on the YouTube showing a honey badger dealing thirds and middles from a volunteer’s deck.  It don’t care.  We haven’t seen it but can imagine it.

We had the distinct pleasure of sitting in the front of the newly refurbished and filled to the rafters Close-Up Gallery.  Because of our vantage point, we could see some of the backstage work that goes into Ms. London’s act and it betrayed no secrets.  We were so close to the action that we thought for sure we could see her work but because her performance is based on turn of the 20th century (the 1900s) card cheats, it made sense that even being close enough to worry about the expiration of our counterfeit breath strips, we saw nothing.  Because of our almost passing understanding of how magic works – especially card magic and especially card magic with a Bee deck, we thought we would be able to pick up something.  Pero, nada, siempre nada.

Ms. London is from England and has appeared on Penn & Teller’s Fool Us.  She is calm, educational and mystifying.  She reads wonderful excerpts from a diary of a female card sharp as she performs.  Understand, she his performing very difficult card magic with both left and right hands; whilst reading a diary.  We can do one of those things at once and it is only the diary part.  Her Ace Location is something to see and puzzle over for days – we know.

Her effects were beautiful to watch for magicians and non-magicians alike.  We cannot wait to see her perform again.  We were hoping the show would last longer but, alas, like all good things, it needed to end so others could see how great a truly imaginative card performance could be.

We began our review with Ms. London under the theory that “Ladies First.”  But also because she performs the first part of the evening and then comes Boris Wild.

The Incredible Boris WildWe need to come clean about Mr. Wild.  We have read his books, bought his tricks, performed with his decks on a regular basis and yet, truthfully, have almost no idea how he performed his magic.  It is not as if we had an inkling.  It is not like we would guess the Kentucky Derby has something to do with horses and betting.  We know there were cards involved in some way but we don’t know nothing more than that.  He used cards in ways we have not seen done as effectively.

We loved being fooled – almost all the time, or at least when watching magic shows at The Magic Castle.  Mr. Wild fooled us with tricks we own or know of.  Howsabout that, now?!

My great, great-grandfather (allegedly – it is tough to tell through Ouija communications) once said, “It is what you know that fools.”  So true.  We think.

His Kiss routine is a classic and we have seen it before and loved it.   We still love it.  It is emotional – and we are not afraid to say that – and it is beautiful.  His effect before the Kiss routine is one we cannot describe without ruining it.  So we won’t.  If you have a chance to see his act this week, take it.  Get in line every early so you can see Laura London – a rising star in our book (an Inner Circle Member to boot) who should have her own show in Vegas immediately.  We need more women in magicians as magicians.  We need more magicians who love card sharping and so she is the perfect combination.

Now after Laura’s last show of the evening, get in line for Boris Wild.  We leave with a smile on your face and a renewed faith in our wonderful craft.

God bless Ms. London and Mr. Wild.  This is a wonderful time to be alive.

Sad News: Brian Gillis Passes

The Great Brian GillisWe are devastated to hear of the passing of Master Magician Brian Gillis.

Mr. Gillis was always so kind and supportive of the Magic Arts and Inside Magic.  He was the consummate performer and could hold a room better than anyone we ever saw.  He was famous for his performances on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show and among magicians for his high-energy work at The Magic Castle.  His two-person telepathy act with his partner Sisuepahn was not only baffling but so entertaining, we wanted it to continue all night.

One of our greatest honors was being asked by Mr. Gillis if he could squeeze in to perform ahead of our spot in the cellar of The Magic Castle.  We could not stop smiling and nodding as we took a position to the side of the room and watched how magic should be done.  He was simply amazing.

Our prayers are with Mr. Gillis and Sisuepahn and all who have lost so much in his passing.

The Magic Castle’s Founder, Milt Larsen, has written a special tribute to Mr. Gillis here.

Award-Winning Magician Trigg Watson at Checkered Past Winery

Magician Trigg WatsonAward-winning magician Trigg Watson will perform at the urban wine pub at 7:00 pm and 9:30 pm on July 14, 2018 and at 7:00 pm and 9:30 pm on the newly announced date of August 11, 2018.

Single tickets are $20. VIP tickets are $80 for four and come with reserved seating and one complimentary appetizer for the table. Guests are invited to enjoy Checkered Past Winery’s signature wines, pizza, charcuterie, appetizers, desserts, and more while watching the captivating magic show. Checkered Past Winery owner Sandro DiSanto is passionate about food and celebrating his Sicilian roots. DiSanto is also a devoted supporter of the Texas wine industry, offering many locally produced wines at Checkered Past Winery. Watson often jokes, “The more wine you drink, the better the magic gets!”

Wine and Magic Saturday, July 14, 2018 Saturday, August 11, 2018 Shows at 7 pm and 9:30 pm Checkered Past Winery (1409 S. Lamar, Suite 008, Dallas, TX 75215) Tickets: $20 Ticket URL: www.wineandmagicdallas.com Come for the magic, stay for the wine! Enjoy signature wines and experience an intimate magic show by award-winning Dallas magician Trigg Watson. Brad Lacour said it best for The Dallas Observer: When the show is over, you don’t leave wondering how he performed his illusions but rather like you just caught up with an old friend from out of town. That might be the best trick of them all.

Mr. Watson is a new breed of magician, preferring his iPad to a classic deck of cards. Originally from Australia, Trigg is known for his quick-witted illusions and offbeat humor. He has appeared on POP TV’s hit reality magic show Don’t Blink, Penn & Teller’s Fool Us, and CW’s Masters of Illusion.

Mr. Trigg was named the 2013 Dallas Performing Artist of the Year and 2015 Dallas Magician of the Year. For show dates and more information, visit triggmagic.com. Connect with Trigg Watson Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube About Checkered Past Winery Checkered Past Winery is an urban Dallas wine pub located in the historic South Side building (1409 South Lamar Street Suite 008) featuring Texas wines, locally brewed beer, and some of the best wines from other parts of country and the world. Co-founder, owner, and winemaker Sandro DiSanto is a first generation American coming from an Italian wine background. Both of his grandfathers made wine in Sicily. His brother-in-law Scott Relyea co-founded and designed the Mods and Rockers pub Checkered Past Winery in 2015. Carolynne Chancellor joined them as owner and grows wine grapes in East Texas.

For hours, menus, and more information, visit checkeredpastwinery.com.

Lance Burton Recalls First Time on Tonight Show

Inside Magic Image of Lance Burton, Master MagicianMaster Magician Lance Burton gained national prominence with his appearance on the Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson in October 1982.  Mr. Carson was a magician of considerable ability who translated his talents into being the king late night television.  But he never forgot his magic roots or lost his enjoyment of our wonderful craft.

We bring this up because we just read that a new set of Tonight Show DVDs are being released by Time-Life.  The collection is called The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: The Vault Series and part of that collection includes Lance Burton’s appearances on the iconic show.

The article promoting the DVDs has a great interview with Lance Burton.  He talks about how he appeared on Tonight just one week after moving to Los Angeles from Kentucky.  He went on to appear on the show 20 times (10 with Johnny Carson and 10 with Jay Leno).

“I grew up in Louisville and was doing magic shows all through school. When I was 20 in 1980, I entered a contest sponsored by the International Brotherhood of Magicians, won their Gold Medal contest and as a result was booked for two weeks in L.A. to do what’s known as The Magic Show in a theater there … And I somehow got picked after the talent coordinator came to our preview show on Oct. 28, 1981.

“The next day I’m standing next to the stage manager at “The Tonight Show,” and  I see a hand coming toward me. Instinctively, I turned to shake it and I found I was shaking  Johnny Carson’s hand. He was very nice and complimentary … They rearranged to put me on first, ahead of Dick Cavett. They both had interest in magic, and they talked about magic, and me and my act. It really was the greatest launching pad ever for a career in show business. Johnny worked as a magician as a young man, then did comedy and show hosting …  I realized that when Johnny saw me the first time, he saw himself in this Midwestern kid doing sleight of hand really well. I think that was the basis of our relationship: He saw himself.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do anything without Johnny intervening personally. I can trace 15,000 Vegas shows back to that first ‘Tonight Show.'”

Check out the full interview here.

Illusionist Adam Trent is So Much More!

Image of Adam TrentMagician Adam Trent, known to audiences as “The Futurist” is moving from touring with and Broadway smash THE ILLUSIONISTS to his own tour with his show THE MAGIC OF Adam Trent.  The show is a great mixture of magic, comedy and magic with a family focus.  He brings his show to the beautiful Balboa Theatre in equally lovely San Diego, California this Saturday, March 24th.

He caught the magic bug as a young ‘un and was inspired by David Copperfield.  Unlike many, his magic love turned to obsession and fascination and he moved on to shows for birthday parties and nursing homes.  Mr. Trent’s nickname, The Futurist, comes from his desire to bring the latest tech into his magic performances.

Mr. Trent believes he is more than just a magician – not that being a magician isn’t sufficient – but he strives to be an entertainer; hence the comedy and music in his show.

Says Mr. Trent, “I want them to say it was completely different than they expected a magic show to be. I want them to say they laughed harder than they ever have in a theatre, and I want them to have been emotionally moved by the end.”

Reporters forewarn audiences that one of this personal faves in the show is borrowing an audience member’s cell phone to serve as blender-fodder. “I borrow an audience members phone and put it in a blender onstage. I always enjoy seeing how different people react to that.”

Our guess, the reactions probably have a rather small spectrum from surprise, to concern, to more surprise and concern.

“My goal is to make people forget about the tricks. Will they be fooled? Yes. But I want them to not care about being fooled because they are too busy laughing.”

Why do folks like magic?  “It’s the closest thing to being a real life superhero. Magicians are people who make the impossible seemingly possible. It’s like being James Bond, Sherlock Holmes, and Superman all in one. I certainly want to be that guy.”

You can see Mr. Trent’s show and reading article www.broadwaysd.com for tickets and showtime information.

Check out young Mr. Trent on his tour on Twitter and Facebook @AdamTrent Magic.

We can’t wait for him to sojourn to the Los Angeles area where we will see him and give a full review.  In the meantime, we will watch him on his excellent website here: https://www.adamtrent.com/