It is a great publicity person who can sell the story of a magician eating lunch.
Credit goes to the folks behind the scenes for magician Criss Angel who got great copy in The Morning Call from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania.
We reported earlier that Mr. Angel will perform two shows at Easton’s State Theatre on January 20th and now we learn that he will also eat lunch the day before those two show.
“On the 19th, I’m going to be chilling at Billy’s Downtown Diner in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania,” Mr. Angel can be heard saying in a video posted on the diner’s website, www.billysdiner.com. “I’m going to chill and have my Mind Freak burger. So have some lunch with me.”
The restaurant will host a daily contest where hopeful diners can answer a trivia question for two passes to the VIP Room.
Lest one think this is a random event, it turns out that Billy’s diner is owned by Billy Kounoupis, Mr. Angel’s cousin.
Mr. Angel has roots in the Easton area. His late father, John Sarantakos, attended Easton Area High School, and his grandfather a local restaurant across Easton’s Northampton Street from The State Theatre.
“Easton just has a special place in my heart,” Angel said. “My dad really loved Easton. It has a very special place in my heart because of all the memories we shared in Easton.”
Mr. Angel’s early show (6 p.m.) is sold out and there are but a few seats remaining for the 9:30 p.m. performance.
On a related note, we will be at the 7-11 on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood this Thursday night where fans can join us in a Slurpee® and Big Bite® Hot Dog. We will be in the parking lot by the Redbox® machine.
There is a difference between street magic and side of the road magic. Both are good, but one can get you out of traffic tickets.
Magician Steven Brundage was driving home from a holiday party and law enforcement in Scotia, New York clocked him going 42 mph in a 30 mph zone.
He was pulled over and the officer asked the usual questions one expects to hear, “where are you coming from? Do you know how fast you were going? Why do you have a Rubik’s Cube and playing cards on your front seat?”
He explained to the officer that he was a magician and was returning home from a performance.
The officer demanded proof.
“I said absolutely, and asked if I could record it mainly because it’s not every day an officer asks you to perform a trick,” Mr. Brundage said. “I also asked if I could step out of the car and he said sure. As soon as I took the video, I called my girlfriend and said, ‘I have a viral video.'”
He got out of the ticket and has a new publicity piece. Mr. Brundage’s video became a big hit on YouTube and Facebook. He even got a gig on Good Morning America.
Some have suggested the video is not authentic and was staged for publicity purposes. Regardless, it is a great angle or cool true story.
Inside Magic does not condone speeding or lawless driving habits – even if one hopes to be pulled over for magic-based reasons.
Check out Mr. Brundage’s video here.
Out here in the greater Hollywood environs, just about everyone gets The Wrap delivered throughout the day to their email address.
It is one of the industry news sources, along with The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, relied upon by those in power and those hoping to one day attain power.
The Wrap emails come as entertainment news breaks: a dependable Hollywood star loses funding on his next big movie, a venerable talent agency picks up a new five-star client, a disgruntled writer sues a studio for allegedly ripping off a script idea. If Congress decided to declare war on Canada, it would not likely be in The Wrap, Hollywood Reporter or Variety unless it affected production on some film project in Toronto.
The big three also publish reviews of plays, movies, live shows and artistic endeavors. The Hollywood reviewers are usually very knowledgeable and pragmatic in their evaluation of the shows. They can also be brutal.
We were relieved, then, to read the glowing reviews of The Illusionists: Witness the Impossible in The Wrap.
The producers of that ill-fated “Houdini” musical starring Hugh Jackman can let out a collective sigh of relief that their star decided not to do the show. “The Illusionists: Witness the Impossible” opened Thursday at the Marquis Theatre and there’s no way a tuner based on the life of the world’s most famous illusionist could possibly be any more fun and awe-inspiring than this new magic show on Broadway.
The review describes the performers in glowing terms and with the enthusiasm normally found in a devotee rather than a jaded critic.
“Anyone who’s ever seen newsreels of Houdini performing this feat, or others like it, has wanted to go back in time to experience first-hand the cheesy excitement of seeing a brilliant stunt performer at work risking his life. Here’s your chance.”
The reviewer describes Inside Magic Favorite Dan Sperry’s performance as the most frightening.
The scariest moment in the show, however, involved a woman from out of town who really, really didn’t want to play a game of Russian roulette with the very Goth and genuinely weird Dan Sperry (The Anti-Conjuror). By the way, what is an anti-conjuror? Whatever, in addition to creeping people out, Sperry conjures up a whole menagerie of flying birds from his Count Dracula get-up. Truly amazing.
The Illusionists: Witness the Impossible runs through January 4 on Broadway before embarking on a multi-city tour of the United States.
Read The Wrap’s review here.
Charlottesville, Virginia’s The Daily Progress has a great write-up about magician Wes Iseli’s quest to perform 72 magic shows in a row to raise awareness and funds for the Children’s Miracle Network.
He will be at the Walmart in Ruckersville performing his “24 Hours of Magic” beginning next Tuesday at 10 a.m.
“I will be there for 24 hours. Come before work, come after work, come during your lunch break. Come and watch for a few minutes and throw some loose change in the bucket to help a good cause.”
This is the eighth annual magic marathon and a great way to start the holiday season.
“One year a cop pulled up late at night and asked me what I was doing out there on the sidewalk,” Mr. Iseli said. “I explained that I was doing a 24-hour magic show, and I did a couple of tricks.
“The cop spoke into his radio, ‘Bob, you have to see this.’ Before I knew it, there were 12 police cars around me. There wasn’t anything going on at that time of night, so I did my show, and they stayed for about an hour. It was a blast.
“This is by far one of my favorite events each year,” Mr. Iseli said. “The fact that I can use my love for magic to help these kids is just awesome.”
“The University of Virginia Children’s Hospital, with the help of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, is able to provide high-quality care for children in Central Virginia and beyond,” said Ryan Lightner, the Children’s Miracle Network program coordinator at UVa. “For eight years now, Wes has been a great advocate for us with his 24 Hours of Magic, and we look forward to working with him for many years to come.”
Check out Mr. Iseli’s website at: www.wesiseli.com
Steve 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.