Updated: Copperfield to Settle Labor Dispute

Inside Magic Image of World Famous Magician David CopperfieldThe industry news source The Wrap is reporting magician David Copperfield has reached a settlement in the lawsuit brought by former and current employees of his show at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Mr. Copperfield’s people correctly observed, “There are two sides to every story, and even the settlement agreement states that there was no wrong doing.  The Copperfield team settled because they prefer the employees benefit from the money rather than a three year fight where the only people that win are the lawyers.”

We know because we wear the dual hats of magician and lawyer.

A federal judge in Las Vegas provided preliminary approval of a settlement where Mr. Copperfield, Chris Kenner, Diappearing Inc. and other defendants would pay just over $550,000,00.

Fifteen named plaintiffs filed suit just about a year ago claiming they were denied overtime pay that was due to them.

According to The Wrap, the suit accused Copperfield of “consciously implement[ing] a system of coercion and deception aimed at denying employees their rights to overtime pay.”

The settlement would cover the 15 named plaintiffs as well as all “non-exempt present and former employees” who worked with the show between January 2012 and December 2013.

Under the proposed settlement, the defendants — who, in addition to Copperfield, include Chris Kenner, David Copperfield’s Disappearing Inc., Backstage Employment and Referral Inc., and Imagine Nation Company — “continue to deny liability under any of the Plaintiff’s claims.”

If the settlement goes through, class members of the suit would receive “on average $6,355.84 in overtime pay and liquidated damages,” which is “very significant when compared to similar collective action cases,” the motion for preliminary approval of the settlement says.

A fairness hearing for the proposed settlement is scheduled for May 26.

David Copperfield Speaks About Making It

Inside Magic Image of David CopperfieldMagician David Copperfield knows magic and business and how to make the two work together.  He recently spoke to budding entrepreneurs and start-up enthusiasts at a recent Tech Cocktail Celebrate Conference in Las Vegas.

Mr. Copperfield tells the audience things do not become simple once you’ve made it.  “I wish I could tell you that it’s easier when you’ve had a career for years,” he said. “If you’re doing something new, everything will be difficult.”

Of course, it was not easy to start out either.

The key is to keep pushing despite the setbacks and use the negative feedback to hone your message.

“I knocked on doors and I always had a point of view. I had something that I could identify as a special thing and say what I did very clearly,” Mr. Copperfield said. “My mentors were in my head; my mentors were people I admired in the field that had done it.  I just found enough strength to get past all the no responses. You’ve got to get up and keep fighting.”

Check out the video here.

We’re the David Copperfield of Magic Blogs

Inside Magic Image of Dominck DeCarloWe don’t know what that means but apparently it is a thing now.

Over the weekend we were perusing Hiawatha World online — as we are wont to do from time-to-time, when we want to catch up on events in Hiawatha, Kansas — and read of a hypnotist by the name of Dominick De Carlo.

The article promoted Mr. DeCarlo upcoming show at the Sac & Fox Casino next Saturday, November 15th.

“DeCarlo, known as the David Copperfield of the hypnosis world, will invite audience members to join him onstage for an evening of mesmerizing discovery and hilarious fun.”

His show sounds pretty interesting.

“It’s amazing what comes out under hypnosis,” Mr. DeCarlo told the Hiawatha World reporter .  Using a special technique called “an induction,” Mr. DeCarlo calms the conscious mind to address the sub-conscious.  “That’s where things get interesting. It makes a lot of fun for the audience.”

There was not an explanation of his title, “The David Copperfield of the hypnosis world” and we wonder how one attains such a prestigious appellation.  Perhaps there is an international body that judges the abilities of performers in various fields and labels them accordingly.  For instance, the woman at the blood bank who told us we needed to wait a full 24-hours between donations might be the David Copperfield of psuedo-medical office staff.  Or maybe the bus driver who asked us to turn down our iPod before noting that we didn’t have an iPod but were just humming show tunes could be the David Copperfield of municipal transportation workers.

Is there a Criss Angel or David Blaine of the hypnosis world?

We are confused by this news or it could be the anemia and hunger.

If you are in Kansas, check out Mr. DeCarlo’s HYPNOVIDEO show.  It promises to be a “multimedia extravaganza of videos, music, lighting and special effects. It takes the audience on an unforgettable journey of the mind, where reality is not really reality.”  Sounds very cool.

For more information go to: http://www.hiawathaworldonline.com/news/article_1a1d055b-fb6a-51d3-9b48-19f80df95701.html


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
Paul Daniels
Penn & Teller
Tommy Cooper

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.

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.