Magic Waters and Confused Animals in Cheltenham

Inside Magic Image of DynamoThe Session is billed as the UK’s only close-up magic convention; it is “a conference for serious close-up magicians.”  This year the two-day fete was held in Cheltenham.

We have never been to Cheltenham but it sounds wonderful.  According to the internet, the town “has no fewer than five festivals, devoted to Literature, Music, Science, Jazz and, perhaps most famously, National Hunt racing.”

We are not sure what category close-up magic would occupy although probably not “National Hunt racing.”

The town was made famous by its spas or the ‘waters.’  Visitors to the waters have included Queen Victoria, the Duke of Wellington, Jane Austen and Lord Byron.  We have heard of each of these people and therefore are very impressed.

We were even more impressed by the line-up of magicians in Cheltenham this weekend.  Promoters listed Juan Tamariz, Asi Wind, Michael Weber, Peter Clifford, Luke Jermay, Andi Gladwin, Joshua Jay, Boris Wild, Roberto Giobbi and Daniel Madison.

But we have it on good authority – YouTube and Twitter – that David Blaine and Dynamo were also in the area.

According to the social media authorities, Derren Brown, Dynamo and Mr. Blaine went to Kukui, a nightclub on Bath Road. Danny Valentine is the manager of that establishment and told local media that the “punters” were stunned by Mr. Blaine’s magic.  “He was really great and did tricks for people in his private booth. He was really nice and polite and let one of the customers play with his pack of cards.”

Just below the article about these icons of magic descending on this historic town was a link to an article that may or may not have been related to this weekend’s celebration: “Walter the dog is confused by his squeaky toy – VIDEO.”

It sounds like there was a lot of surprise and fun confusion happening.  We wish we could have been there.

Read more about the event and Walter’s confusion here.

Mirror Online Asks Readers to Choose Best TV Magician

Inside Magic Image of Tommy CooperThe Mirror Online (UK), looking to build excitement for the launch of the fourth series of Dynamo: Mission Impossible, is asking readers to vote for their favorite TV magician.

You should head over to the site and make your choice from:
Darcy Oake
David Blaine
Derren Brown
David Copperfield
Dynamo
Paul Daniels
Penn & Teller
Tommy Cooper
Troy

There is no space for a write-in vote but they do have clips from the nominees – including our inspiration, Tommy Cooper. (Unfortunately, the sound goes out near the end of the clip but it is still a joy to watch).

Click here to link to the poling site. We don’t know if it will allow you to vote more than once but perhaps that is a concern for us Chicago natives. The rest of the world likely never considers stuffing the ballot box.

Dynamo: Stage Magic Needs Reinventing

Inside Magic Image of DynamoUK Magician Dynamo says traditional magic shows like those of David Copperfield and Siegfried & Roy helped magic but it is time to bring stage magic “up to date” and change “what people see as the stage magic show.”

He is moving from the television series Magician Impossible arena and stage venues and looks to ‘reinvent’ live magic.

Dynamo told reporters at a recent Edinburgh International Television Festival that he is going to hit the road.

“This is the final series of Magician Impossible. I think everyone wants to see me do it live and I think the possibilities in the live arena for magic is open for someone like myself to step into,” he said.

He added: “The magic shows we think of on the stage and in theatres are David Copperfield and Siegfried and Roy. What they did for magic was phenomenal but now it’s time to reinvent [stage shows], and to bring up to date what people see as the stage magic show. I will have a go at that.”

By “have a go,” Dynamo means he will attempt or try to do something.  “Have a go” is metric for “try, attempt or endeavor.”

Penn & Teller Dish from London

Inside Magic Image of Penn & TellerPenn & Teller are in London and the toast of the town with great press. We read this morning’s Telegraph for a nice interview with the duo. They express their admiration for Derren Brown, “He’s one of the best live performers I’ve ever seen. He really puts a lot of intelligence and thought into it. He’s an artist,” said Teller.

They profess only luke-warm enthusiasm for Dynamo, “Teller says that while they admire his skills, ‘we know people like Johnny Thompson who’s 78 – and by comparison with whom [Dynamo’s] skills are somewhat… minimal. Compared with some of the old masters of this stuff.’”

They respect David Copperfield’s incredible work-ethic but bemoan the otherwise dormant magic scene.

“[Copperfield] does really good tricks, and he’s always doing new ones. But there aren’t many [magicians], you know?” Penn says heavily. Yes, there’s Siegfried and Roy, “but since Roy got his head bit off by a tiger, that slows him down somewhat. David Blaine doesn’t really do anything now. Why not? I don’t know. I don’t think he made that much money.”

We note that this is the latest in their 40 years of giving interviews where they fail to mention Inside Magic. Perhaps they are saving their effusive praise for our dogged coverage for a big presser once they return to Las Vegas. Yes, that is most certainly it. After all, tens of readers over the course of twenty years adds up to a statistical probability that they have heard of us.

We are most fascinated by behind the scenes stuff. We love logistics. So, for us, the key nuggets came at the end of the article wherein we learn the two get together on Tuesdays each week to brainstorm new tricks. That is the kind of geeky, inside information that makes us giddy. We would love to be present during one of those sessions. We wouldn’t say a word or even give some sort of indication of our existence – sort of as if we were a fly or insect in the room – we would just listen and relish the moment.

We learned that they have been working on a new effect that sounds pretty interesting. They are looking for a way to perform the Vanishing Elephant but with a live cow dressed as an elephant. We don’t know why that sounds cool but it does. We cannot imagine it is easy to work with cows and note that very few magicians have used cows in their acts in the last twenty years.

We knew of a former husband and wife act (former because they divorced) in which the husband referred to his wife as a cow on stage but that does not count. She didn’t vanish but did get a lawyer. He is doing close-up now and has “returned to ‘real magic’” with just a deck of cards and a few coins.” We suspect his new emphasis on cards and coins had something to do with the results of his divorce settlement.

Penn & Teller, like David Copperfield, seem to be asked the same questions by all interviewers. They do their best to give interesting answers and some reporters follow-up with interesting questions that lead to new information. Not often, though. That is not their fault. The Telegraph article is one of the better interview pieces we have read and worth your consideration.

Criss Angel and Dynamo Engage in Full-On Magic Battle

Dynamo-and-Criss-AngelLas Vegas-based Magician Criss Angel claims UK-based Mystifier Dynamo stole his tricks, segments of his show and even his “tableau.”

We had no idea what a tableau is or does. We thought the word meant “table” and assumed Mr. Angel was suggesting Dynamo swiped his Losander Floating Table illusion.  We have since verified that was way off the mark.

The Sun reported Mr. Angel’s full quote as, “It’s not even just the material, I’ve seen literally parts of his show that people have shown me, he even steals my tableau, my pose.”

So tableau must mean something like a pose.  In fact, Mr. Angel credits Jesus Christ as the originator of the pose.

“I didn’t invent that pose, that was depicted by Jesus Christ, but I was the guy to do that in magic. I just think it’s sad, it’s pathetic.”

So by the transitive theory (if a=b and b=c, then a=c) Dynamo is ripping off Jesus Christ.  

Dynamo gave a stinging retort. 

He said Mr. Angel is simply trying to garner attention.

“I have performed over 300 pieces of magic, out of which a small number have also been performed by Criss Angel in a completely different way,” he said.  “Criss walked across a pool whereas I walked across the Thames.

“I am from a different generation to him and have no desire to be like him.”

Meow!

Check out the latest give and take at The Sun here.