I Lie for Money Available for Pre-Order

Inside Magic Image of I Lie for Money CoverSteve Spill sent along news of his soon to be release memoir, I Lie for Money: Candid, Outrageous Stories from a Magician?s Misadventures.

You can pre-order it from Amazon.com and it looks fantastic!

From the Amazon preview page:

This funny, irreverent, unique, eccentric memoir, magician Steve Spill reveals how he managed to survive decades inside a rarely profitable, sometimes maddening, but often deliciously rewarding offbeat showbiz profession—magic!
Spill tells of how his tailor grandfather sewed secret pockets in a magician’s tuxedo back in 1910, which started his childhood dream to become a magician.

This dream took Spill on a journey that started with him performing, as a young boy, at a “Beauty on a Budget” neighborhood house party to engagements in Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean, to today in Santa Monica, California, where he’s been starring in his own shows since 1998 at Magicopolis, the theater he designed and built himself.
Being a magician has given Spill the opportunity to interact with the world’s most famous and fascinating people. In his memoir, Spill reveals the many unique encounters that his profession has led him to enjoy and endure: hosting Sting as his opening act one night, spending two days on camera with Joan Rivers, and selling tricks to Bob Dylan, as well as encounters with Adam Sandler, Meg Ryan, Jamie Lee Curtis, Stephen King, and other celebrities.

I Lie for Money . . . is a literary magic show that captures the highs and lows of an extraordinary life that will delight and amaze you with wit and wickedness.

This book should be an obligatory read for anyone considering a creative career, and it serves as an inspiration to those who desire to craft an independent life.

We’re looking forward to what sounds to be a great read.  Congratulations to Steve.

 

Submit Your News and We’re So Sorry

Inside Magic Image of IT StaffOh boy, is our face red.

We have a “Submit to Inside Magic” button at the top of every page.  It has been there since we first started Inside Magic in the late 1940s.  The country was getting back to work, the big wars were over, neighborhoods were building, cars had big fins and transistors were just a pipe dream.

When the button was first installed, we received a couple of submissions – some were even magic related.  But we haven’t heard much since.

We had our crack IT staff check things out and we learned tonight why they are called “crack” – but that is a different issue – and we learned why we haven’t seen any submissions.  The staff had the submissions routed to an old website we no longer use: PocketFishermanKnock-Offs.com.

We hadn’t checked that site since the cease and desist letters from Ron Popeil’s blood-thirsty lawyers.

We are so sorry.

The server was filled with news releases, story suggestions, fully written essays and interview suggestions.  Some of them were quite good but are now out of date.

If you have a story, a suggestion, a press release, essay or interview suggestion, please resubmit it for consideration by our previously under-worked editorial staff.

If you previously submitted your news and thought we ignored you, please accept our most sincere apologies.  As a small but earnest magic news daily, we cannot afford to alienate a single reader and it was never our intention to give that impression.

Here is to new beginnings!  Click the button above or this link.

Whit “Pop” Haydn’s New Book: A Treasure


Inside Magic Image of Whit Haydn's Newest Book, Stories of a Street PerformerWhit “Pop” Haydn is to Magic what Marconi was to communication. He is a legendary performer with the skills of a ninja and the charm of a religious idol. In a word, we think Mr. Haydn is pretty impressive.

We recently saw his performance for Magnetized Water at The Junkyard in Simi Valley, California (“Simi” is pronounced “see – mee” and not “seh meh” or “Sigh My” as we learned from about five people along the way).

He was in full character as Pop Haydn extolling the virtues of his latest discovery. With illustrated charts and graphs, he explained how Magnetized Water matches up with the body’s own natural polarity. It was a fantastic routine filled with genuine magic and a convincing sales pitch.

Even more exciting, for us, was the well-developed character of Pop himself. He is a treasure from an earlier century who readily admit his inner hustler tendencies but promises to lie only once per show. Once that one lie quota is met, he will shade the truth and perhaps be less than candid but promises to never lie outright. You have to respect an honest con-man.

We met Mr. Haydn aboard a ship decades ago. He was performing for the huddle masses on the luxurious over-sized yacht and even called upon our bride to be his assistant in his famous Four Ring Routine.

We were more excited than she at his choice and her performance. Our beloved eschews the spotlight and despite her elegance on stage, was happy to return to the relative anonymity of our stage-side booth.

“You were on stage with Whit Haydn,” we exclaimed with a mouthful of caviar.

“Who is Whit Haydn? Is he famous?” She asked, dabbing away the delicious roe from our lips, chin and tie.

“He is the man,” we offered proudly.

“Oh, the magician?” She asked.

“Yes. Yes, that is Whit Haydn and you were on stage performing his Four Ring Routine.”

“He seems very nice. Why can’t you do magic like that?”

We admit that she was very young at the time and it was likely the champagne and fluster talking. Nonetheless, she continued to sing his praises throughout the rest of voyage. Despite our natural jealous nature, we could not begrudge her crush-like admiration for Mr. Haydn.

To see Mr. Haydn perform is to forget about magic entirely. We tend to have a critical eye when watching other performers. We are not critical but we do see flaws in sleights that can distract from the overall experience. Mr. Haydn reminded us then – and now – of Dai Vernon or Slydini. Natural without forcing the impression of being natural.


Continue reading Whit “Pop” Haydn’s New Book: A Treasure

Pop Haydn in Paperback: Master Magician Tells All

Inside Magic Image Whit Haydn's New BookConsummate magician and Inside Magic All-Time Favorite Whit “Pop” Haydn has a new book out, Stories of a Street Performer: Over 40 Years of Performing Magic .

It is available on Amazon.com in both paperback and as an ebook. We ordered the paperback late last night and are downloading the digital rendition as we type this very line.

To say that we worship Mr. Haydn is to grossly misstate our true feelings. He is not just an incredible magician with enviable skills and perfect timing; he is a great person as well. Mr. Haydn has supported Inside Magic since its very earliest days. In fact, his was the very first Inside Magic Celebrity Interview and still one of the most read.

We will give a full review of the new book as soon as the download is complete and our uploading (reading) is finished.

You can check out the review of the book on Jason Stack’s page here.

Inside Magic Review: Spy Skills for the Professional Magician and Mentalist

Inside Magic Image of Work Like a Spy CoverWe are not a spy but of course, even if we were, we wouldn’t tell you for your own safety.  But we are a magician and that is somewhat like a spy.  Our specialty is Mentalism and that is very  much like a spy.  62.7 percent of our act is based on intuition, pre-show work and informed guessing.  Perhaps that is why we found so much of the information contained in former CIA operative J.C. Carleson’s new book Work Like a Spy: Business Tips from a Former CIA Officer.

Ms.  Carleson worked in the business world and then decided to join the CIA to serve her country and find adventure.  Along the way, she learned to collect, analyze and use information without detection or suspicion.  Those skills translated well when she returned to the corporate world and so her book is addressed to her new peer group – corporate executives.

Of course the ability to collect information from those who do not wish to give information – a doing so in a way that does not tip off your target – is what we as magicians do for a living.  Even if you are not into mentalism and work solely with automatic tricks requiring no “read” of your audience or volunteer, this book will help you tune your routine to the crowd.

On the other hand, if you are a mentalist or street magician, you need to get this book.  We pride ourselves in being very in-touch with our audience and able to easily pick up on their unspoken communication.  Ms. Carleson says we are precisely the type of person who could be a lousy spy.  Once you are convinced you can read people or discern truths from their behavior or background, you blind yourself to the reality of the encounter.  She provides a step-by-step method to acquire the skills you need to be successful building rapport as a business person, a spy or a magician.

We enjoyed the exercises she prescribes such as picking a stranger at random and learning the make and model of their car in a way that this perfect stranger has no idea you obtained the information.  You can do it – we know because we did it.  (But not on the first through fourth attempts).

Magicians need to pick the right volunteer to do their secret work and Ms. Carleson teaches us how to target the right person to obtain the information you seek.  How to then talk with that person to get the information without asking a single question and ingratiate yourself with your new found friend.
Continue reading Inside Magic Review: Spy Skills for the Professional Magician and Mentalist