Up first, the video running above is Nicholas J. Johnson, who bills himself as an entertainer, conman and author… but that looks like old school magic to us! He’s promoting his first book, Chasing The Ace, which is about two very different conmen who find themselves in some real trouble. He does a great deal of work as a consultant on fraud and cons for movies, television and more. You can read the first chapter of Chasing The Ace at his website Conman.com.au. The book will be out in Australia in July and we are not sure when it will be available elsewhere.
Apparently the art versus craft debate is over for magicians, at least in America. According to a press release from the Society of American Magicians meant to promote this week’s combined IBM/SAM convention, SAM president Dal Sanders was able to get magic recognized as an art by the 113th United States Congress back in April. Check out the press release yourself and if you are headed to St. Louis for the convention, be sure to find me (I’ll have a drink with anyone).
The new episode of America’s Got Talent airs tomorrow night (Tuesday, July 1) on NBC and, according to The Queens Courier, there is sure to be at least one magician in the broadcast. They are reporting that Roger Quan, owner of the Rogue Magic and Fun Shop, will be featured Tuesday. It really is shaping up to be a great year for magic on the show.
Speaking of reality TV, magician turned comic Jimmy Shubert was one of two performers cut from last week’s Last Comic Standing, although there is some type of online chance for redemption… you can check that out (and maybe cast a vote to keep a fellow magician in the game) here. Also, that Penn/Judy Gold episode of Celebrity Wife Swap airs Tuesday (July 1) on ABC at 10/9 Central.
Posted by Michael on June 23rd, 2014
America’s Got Talent made a special jump to Sunday this week (although according to the NBC website there will be another new episode on Tuesday) with only one magic contestant. Mike Super described himself as a “mystifier” and “stay home dad” before blowing away the judges with a demonstration of mental energy. He managed to go on to the next round after another psychic act failed to impress.
If Mike looks familiar, it may be that you are remembering his winning run on NBC’s Phenomenon back in 2007. After the backlash across the pond against winners from other talent shows appearing on Britain’s Got Talent, iTricks was a bit surprised to see someone from another NBC talent show competing on AGT. Will there be a backlash? Only time will tell. One thing is for certain, though and that is magic is nicely represented so far on this season of AGT and there are auditions yet to air.
Posted by Michael on June 19th, 2014
The latest edition of America’s Got Talent only had one magician, but it was about quality not quantity. Mat Franco only needed a single deck of cards and a load of patter customized for the AGT judges. The kicker ending probably helped him get four “Yes” votes, too.
Mat is a successful magician on the college circuit and was the recipient of the 2013 Reader’s Choice Award for Best Male Performer from Campus Activities Magazine. You can learn more about him at his website.
Posted by Michael on June 16th, 2014
There is a real chance that going on a national reality show could go terribly wrong. They seem to love to show awkward performances, misfiring props and tricks gone wrong. On the other hand, in a video from America’s Got Talent promoting their auditions, Nathan Burton credits his Vegas show to his season one AGT appearance. Murray SawChuck on our own Magic Week in Review Podcast said he loved what the show did for his career. After Smoothini’s appearance on last week’s AGT he has consistently appeared in Internet news searches for magic and magicians as his performance video is re-posted on more and more sites. Collins Key, Eric Dittelman and Dan Sperry all benefited from their AGT runs as well. Now from The Mirror comes news that Darcy Oake, the fifth place act from the recently concluded 2014 edition of Britain’s Got Talent, has signed with Katy Perry’s agent at the prestigious Creative Artists Agency.
Posted by Michael on June 12th, 2014
We are starting off this Magic Bulletin with a clip of Luis de Matos on BBC’s The Magicians. The show is a couple of years old, but the first season has just shown up on Hulu Plus. Search for The Magicians or visit the Shine International network.
Speaking of Hulu, as of this morning not only was Smoothini’s America’s Got Talent performance in their Top 25 TV clips, all of Tuesday night’s AGT magic clips were on the list!
The Liverpool Echo reports that Dynamo has been seen around town. Could he be cooking up something in Liverpool?
Posted by Michael on June 11th, 2014
Last night’s final AGT magician leads off today’s Magic Bulletin. Stephen Knight, much like Patrick Gable Marnelli, only got a few seconds but it appears that he got through to the next round as well thanks to his slick shell game presentation. You can find out more about Stephen at his website.
Speaking of AGT, Smoothini is already showing up on web searches for MAGIC and MAGICIAN. He seems to have made a big impression last night!
We posted a Vinny DePonto promo piece Monday from director Jeremy White’s Vimeo pages, but it was not actually the final version that was used. You can see it here.
The Guardian’s Brian Logan took a skeptical look at the skepticism of magicians. It is a short, but interesting, piece that you can read online. Penn and Derren Brown are specifically named.
Speaking of Penn, John Katsilometes recently reported in the Las Vegas Sun that Penn and Teller are adding a vanishing pygmy elephant bit to their act… at a cost of $250,000! He also mentions that the boys will be performing for British royalty later this month.