Murray SawChuck Wins Twice in One Night

Inside Magic: Murray SawChuckWe learned over the weekend that Murray SawChuck was awarded Career Achievement in the Magic Arts at the beautiful Avalon Theater in Hollywood, California.

Not that everyone visiting Hollywood needs to check in with us.

Inside Magic has never been like some sort of police department where magicians and variety artists need to register before taking up residence (however temporary) here in Hollywood.

Gosh knows we are busy enough listening all night to the various police scanners and searching the ‘net for the latest in magic news.

Still, it would have been nice if we had known.

We would have gone by the Avalon Theater and waived knowingly – even if they would let us in.  Then we would have run back to our spacious studio apartment next to the dog food bakery to listen to the police scanner to hear if anyone noticed.

Nonetheless, Murray did receive the Career Achievement in the Magic Arts award right here in Hollywood.  His lovely wife, Chloe Crawford, joined him at the LA Music Awards and Hollywood FAME Awards.

But as if that was not enough, he was also named the Best Comedy Variety Act for 2014 by LA Comedy Awards for his show at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Mr. SawChuck was gracious in victory, telling reporters “This has been a fun week! I announced my new hotel I’ll be moving my show to and received two new awards to add to my wall, not a bad week for a guy that does magic tricks for a living!”

Word, brother.

Mr. SawChuck’s show MURRAY Celebrity Magician is moving from The Tropicana (or “Trop” in Sinatra-lingo) to The Sin City Comedy Theater at Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino.  His is a wonderful, high-energy show with Ms. Crawford and sleight-of-hand artist Douglas “Lefty” Leferovich that makes you proud to be a magician.  He will open at his new digs on December 10, 2014.

Congratulations to a hard-working performer with mad skills.

Read more about Mr. SawChuck’s work and life on his website here.

Criss Angel Prepares for Second Shot at Houdini Escape

Criss Angel FoxwoodsRobin Leach has the inside track to Las Vegas magician Criss Angel and has brought readers of The Las Vegas Sun an account of the final 24 hours before Mr. Angel attempts a second “Houdini Escape.”

Mr. Angel will hang upside down in a straight-jacket with a 50-pound weight hanging from his neck to promote his upcoming appearance at the fabulous Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut.

He feels better prepared — mentally and physically — for the ordeal.  He worked with UFC Champ Randy Couture last time and is apparently still in training for this attempt.

His work at Foxwoods is to launch his new touring show Mindfreak Live. He will launch a second touring show titled The Supernaturalists next June, also at Foxwoods.

We read earlier today that the demand is so high that Foxwoods has added six more shows at the casino in January.

He told Mr. Leach that he will avoid injury “by being smarter, more diligent and better prepared since going through the worst case scenario — aside from going unconscious or falling. But ultimately it’s a calculated risk.”

Yes, he was injured and sidelined for a couple of months from his last attempt at just this type of escape but this time is different.  “I am completely and utterly focused, and in the moment I visualize over and over again what it should look like in my head before I attempt it. If something should happen to change that plan, I make the necessary adjustments. Life is death without change.”

Is he thinking of leaving Luxor for a national touring stint or perhaps to relocate to Foxwoods?

Nope.

“I’m so honored to have this opportunity and want to sincerely thank Cirque du Soleil, Luxor and Foxwoods for making this possible. These outreach shows I’m doing are designed to promote Believe,  still ‘The only A+ magic show in Vegas” and the incredible experience that awaits for guests at the Luxor.”

We have yet to hear from the other magic shows in Vegas on Mr. Angel’s grading curve.

Mr. Leach promises updates on the escape as they happen.  We’ll keep our eye out for the news and share with you — that’s just the kind of folks we are.

Carrot Top to Lead Houdini Previews in Vegas

Carrot Top - Scott ThompsonWe were as shocked as anyone to read the news today in the Las Vegas papers that Houdini, the musical biography slated for the 2015 Broadway season will preview in Sin City starring Scott Thompson a/k/a Carrot Top.

The more we considered the choice, however, the more we were able to see the logic.

It is a brilliant move for Carrot Top and the producers.  Carrot Top brings great name recognition to the project and Las Vegas is a perfect location to ready the show before bringing it to New York.  Plus, the show’s backers needed to do something to counteract the negative press it has received as of late.

We have been following the show’s progress over the last few years and were disappointed to read that Hugh Jackman had to bow out of the lead role due to “scheduling conflicts” and that its original book writer, Aaron Sorkin has also left the show.  Still with music from Stephen Schwartz and our favorite magician providing the story, we know the show will be a hit.

It is not clear whether Carrot Top will star only in the Las Vegas previews of the show or if there are plans to have him follow the role to the Broadway stage.

Carrot Top observed that in many ways, Houdini was a “prop guy too.”

We suppose Houdini did use props in his shows (but then again, most magicians do) and Carrot Top has a well-deserved reputation for being the best Prop Comic ever, so the reference makes sense.

Carrot Top is currently doing capacity shows at the Luxor in Las Vegas and has been honored as Entertainer of the Year and Comedian of the Year on several occasions.  We have no reason to believe he will have any trouble adopting the role of Harry Houdini and singing his way into yet more awards.

Magician Mac King Goes to Canada for 2 Shows

Image of Mac King in Cloak of InvisibilityInside Magic Favorite and perennial Las Vegas people’s choice award winner Mac King announced today he will be taking his outstanding one-man and eponymous show to Canada at the end of the month.

He will traverse the northern border for a show on February 28th in beautiful Ottowa and then head to the Toronto suburb of Burlington for a show on March 1st.

Mr. King will perform at two great venues during this rare sojourn from Las Vegas.  In Ottawa, he will bring his Cloak of Invisibility and other magical effects to the Centerpointe Theatre.  Show time is 7:30 pm.  If you miss him in Ottawa, you can see him in the beautifully appointed Burlington Performing Arts Centre when he takes the stage at 8:00 pm.

If you have seen Mr. King’s show before, you need no coaxing from this humble internet media outlet to book your tickets now.  If you have never seen him live, you need to make reservations immediately.  Seriously.

Was Murray SawChuck Ripped Off?

Inside Magic Image of Magician Murray SawChuckLas Vegas Magician Murray SawChuck is justifiably peeved to learn his spectacular Steam Train effect has been appropriated by The Illusionists.

You recall the Steam Train Illusion, right?  Mr. SawChuck performed it on national television a few years back.  It was pretty cool and perhaps that is why it is featured in The Illusionists’ act.

Mr. SawChuck told Vegas News, “You will also notice the train is an exact copy of MY steam train illusion I designed and invented in 2010 for America’s Got Talent Semi-Finals being seen by more than 22 million viewers.”

We have no information that would cause us to doubt Mr. SawChuck.  But to be fair, we have not heard The Illusionists’ side of the story.

Mr. SawChuck said, “Most of the The Illusionist cast is from Las Vegas and they are well aware that the Steam Train Illusion is my idea yet I didn’t receive ONE phone call from anyone giving me the heads up or a nod that they wanted his idea of a steam train locomotive on stage.

“It’s a fact there has never been an illusion with a steam train locomotive inside a theater before I created mine for America’s Got Talent in 2010.  In this business you can’t patent an idea so it’s very easy to have your brand or idea ripped off without any credit!”

Actually, one can never patent an idea but we get his point.  A patent protects only new, nonobvious and useful item.  A great idea is a great idea but unworthy of a patent until it is utilized in an invention.

That being said, Mr. SawChuck could have applied for a patent for the trick and if we were wearing only our Intellectual Property Attorney hat (it is a nice bowler-style with a dark blue feather stuck in the band) we would have said he could pursue it.

But if we wear our magician hat (a collapsible fez – sort of a cross between Cardini and Tommy Cooper), we would tell him to not apply for a patent.

A patent allows its owner to exclude others from selling or using the invention.  That’s great but to receive this time-limited protection, the application needs to specify the method and construction of the device in excruciating detail.

Good news: no one else can use the device.  Bad news: everyone knows how to build the device.  As we say around the office, you can take a secret to your grave, but not to the Patent Office.

Mr. SawChuck really had no way – short of depending on the good intentions of his colleagues in our wondrous art – to keep others from performing the exact same effect.

A wise judge once told us, “the thinnest piece of bacon has two sides.”  We thought he was talking about the rather miserly portions available to prosecutors in the courthouse café, but it turns out he was advising us to always get both sides of any story before making up our mind.  We have not heard from The Illusionists yet but when we do, we will update this story.

Mr. SawChuck will be headlining his own show at The Tropicana in Las Vegas this spring.  You can check out his home page here.