Archive for the 'Derren Brown' Category

Magicians Vie For Brit TV Award, Billy Kidd and More [Magic Bulletin]

Posted by Michael on April 7th, 2014

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Television Award nominations were recently announced and find Derren Brown contending with Dynamo in the entertainment program category. Brown’s Great Art Heist and Dynamo: Magician Impossible are up against stiff competition in the form of Ant and Dec’s Saturday Takeaway and Strictly Come Dancing. The Magician Impossible production team are also up for a Television Craft Award. The Craft Awards will be held on April 27 with the Television Awards on May 18.

Speaking of Dynamo, the Glasgow Evening Times carried the story of Reece Newlands, who is flying to London to have a private meeting with Dynamo thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Reece has an aggressive form of Crohn’s Disease, a condition which also affects Dynamo.

Magic is been front and center in many Indian newspapers lately, thanks to PC Sorcar Jr’s new career in politics. The latest magic article in The Hindu, though, is a telephone interview with Billy Kidd. One of the topics touched upon is the challenges faced by women in magic. Kidd told The Hindu “…clothing is one of our biggest problems. Women’s clothes have the worst pockets ever!”

Finally, the video above is raw footage of Del Ray performing at the 1983 Tannen’s Jubilee, courtesy of Frank Paris. You may remember we brought you video he had taken of the Jubilee a little back; Mr. Paris has posted more from the Jubilee, including five videos of Del Ray, on his YouTube page. The video above is raw, unedited footage and the performance does not begin until about the 3:30 mark. It is worth the wait.

Magic On TV, The Web And In Print, Sorcar Update And More [Magic On The Block]

Posted by Michael on March 31st, 2014

What is “Wondershow?” It is a variety show at the Galapagos Art Space on April 11 bringing together magicians like Daniel Greenwolf, John Graham and friend of iTricks Ben Nemzer along with burlesque artist Aurora Black and more. If you are in the NYC area, Ben was good enough to tip us off to a sweet Groupon deal for $12 tickets.

The Times Of India is reporting that PC Sorcar Jr’s campaign has hit some rough waters after allegations he has made “filthy comments” about public officials.

It’s National Reading Month here in the US, but magician driven book Carter Beats The Devil got a shout out this weekend from across the pond in The Guardian’s Book Blog. Alison Flood reports on various famous authors’ favorite but under-rated books and puts in her two cents (or shillings or is it pence?) with a blurb on Glen David Gold’s historical fiction novel.

Finally, there is magic on US television this week (for those who prefer TV to books). First up Ricky Jay will be joining Jimmy Fallon tonight on The Tonight Show. Tuesday at 10:30 PM Eastern TruTV will be running a special sneak peek episode of The Carbonaro Effect, the new prank show starring Michael Carbonaro. It will start airing in May. Although it probably will not feature any magic, How I Met Your Mother with Neil Patrick Harris (he’s my president) will air its hour long series finale tonight on CBS at 8 Eastern. By the way, if you are a Hulu subscriber, Derren Brown: Inside Your Mind is currently available to stream from the All3Media network.

Derren Brown Versus Medium Joe Powers

Posted by Michael on March 14th, 2014

It was probably easier to set yourself up as the go between the dead and their Earthbound loved ones before Houdini started messing it all up. Ever since then, magicians have made a hobby of busting up a perfectly good racket legitimate service. Now Derren Brown is upholding the tradition… This newly released clip shows Brown tearing holes in the “gifts” of medium Joe Powers.

Looking Back At 2013 (July – December Edition)

Posted by Michael on December 23rd, 2013

Michael Lauck is a columnist for iTricks. His work appears on Mondays. The first six months of 2013 where covered here.

Magic had a great year in 2013.

There were ups and downs, of course, with new triumphs and lost friends. All things considered, though, magic raised its profile in 2013.

After the first six months of 2013, magic was in an interesting position. The Magic Castle was celebrating its 50th year and Genii was entering its 76th! There had already been two big screen projects featuring magic and on the small screen, America’s Got Talent was just kicking off. It really looked like magic was making a comeback.

July kept the momentum going. Although it had already run in Europe, Dangerman: The Incredible Mr. Goodwin made its US premiere on BBC America. Of course, America’s Got Talent was still moving along and featuring several magicians. The CW had already announced that it was reviving the series Masters of Illusions and it began taping the large scale stage magic segments. On the street pieces would follow. The documentary Magic Camp, which had been seen in limited release and festivals, was finally widely available through video on demand services.

The magic community also lost a few members in July. Among them were one time SAM Magician of the Year Jack Bridwell and Albert Ching Jr. (left). Probably best known as a restaurant owner when he dies, Ching had used the GI Bill to attend the Chavez School or Magic and went on to a very successful career in New York, even appearing on Ed Sullivan’s show, before moving to the West Coast.

August also saw the loss of a few interesting characters. On the 3rd, intelligence analyst and magician Bart Whaley passed away. When he was not designing high level military simulations the Magic Castle member was writing books on Erdnase and Orson Welles. At the end of the month, Mandrake the Magician ended its decades long comic strip run. Even though he was fictional, Mandrake spawned a real life magician (Leon Mandrake).

John Calvert turned 102 years old early in the month. Magic Live! was held and included a special Potter and Potter auction which included Cardini’s gimmicked wristwatch. On the more unfortunate side, Paul Daniels was quoted as making a few less than charitable remarks about why there were not more women magicians, which he later maintained were misquotes.

Magic continued to be big business in the entertainment world. The Travel Channel premiered JB Benn’s Magic Man series and A&E confirmed that Adrien Brody would star in its planned Houdini two part movie. Now You See Me continued to rake in the ticket sales across the world, making it the sleeper hit of 2013. A sequel was officially announced in August.

September would be one of the saddest months of 2013 for magicians. Shortly after a false report of his death spread through social media, John Calvert (right) passed away at the end of the month. Not only had Calvert been a successful magician, he had been a world class adventurer who had flown and sailed around the world and even had a film career.

Despite the sad news at the end of the month, September had otherwise been a pretty good month for magic. America’s Got Talent ended. Highly touted teen heart throb Collins Key made it all the way to the end, ultimately finishing 5th. Winner Kenichi Ebina was billed as a dancer who incorporated multimedia, but he also used so good old fashioned magic along the way! David Copperfield was in the middle of a wave of publicity due to his new Vegas contract, which included a new production company and strange claims that his islands contained the fountain of youth. Forbes even placed him on a list of people poised to become billionaires in the coming years. Best of all, though, David Oliver finally returned home after a lung transplant. For the record, David could still use everyone’s help so check out the Do Magic For David Oliver blog.

October was, understandably, overshadowed by the death of John Calvert. More sad news came with the passing of Fantasio’s wife Monica Roucau. There was better news, though, Criss Angel debuted his new show BeLIEve on cable’s Spike Network on the 15th. Just a few days before Ben Hanlin’s Tricked premiered on England’s ITV2. Even though it had just ended a few weeks before, America’s Got Talent was already starting auditions for the 2014 season in Miami. Meanwhile in the mountains, Magic In The Rockies was celebrating its 20th anniversary. Across the pond, Paul Daniels started his farewell tour, although he dubbed it the first of many.

Australian TV was big magic news in November. Self described unusualist Raymond Crowe made a very respectable run on Australia’s Got Talent. He made it into the Top 6 and illusionist Sam Powers placed in the Top 12 (that is Sam at the top of the page). Meanwhile former Australia’s Got Talent runner up Cosentino (left) cha-chaed his way to reality show glory by winning Australia’s Dancing With The Stars. On American television, David Blaine made a triumphant return by messing with celebrities on his Real Or Magic special. On the Internet, iTricks returned to podcasting with a special look at women and magic.

Of course, December is not quite over yet but it has already been an interesting month for magic. Derren Brown found himself in a tiny bit of trouble (or at least embarrassment) after his publicist connected his upcoming art heist themed special with a real life London theft. Art and magic also mixed in Teller’s new documentary Tim’s Vermeer, which was placed on the official short list for an Academy Award earlier this month. The big screen attention on magic continues, too, as we end the year. India’s biggest action franchise released its third installment on the 20th. Dhoom 3 features a magician robbing banks and has already set box office records.

Potential billionaires, breakout hits movies, magic on television… Magic had a pretty good 2013. It seems as if the credibility of magic is on the rise again. There are new shows scheduled, big project planned. We can only look forward to 2014!

Hype Leads To Suspicion Of Derren Brown

Posted by Michael on December 12th, 2013

Brendan Behan wrote “There is no such thing as bad publicity, except for your own obituary.” Derren Brown might be second guessing that after the hype for his upcoming art heist special caused many to believe that he may be behind a real art heist. Two works by Damien Hirst, the Young British Artist known for his death themed art, were stolen from a London Gallery. Brown’s publicist Tweeted a message mentioning the real life theft and Derren Brown. This caused some speculation that the theft of Pyronin Y and Oleoylsarcosine was tied to the upcoming special.

The publicist quickly distanced Brown from the crime. The thieves remain at large and the two paintings, each a series of colored dots organized along a grid, are still missing.

Derren Brown Convinces Your Grandma to Steal Art for Him

Posted by Editor on December 2nd, 2013

derren brown great art robber.jpg

Derren Brown has done many things over the last year including convincing a man he’s in a zombie apocalypse, providing a cover story to U.N.I.T. when they brought in the Doctor and playing some kind of role in the faked death of Sherlock Holmes.

But his latest television special will see him training elder UK residents how to become master art thieves. His point is to demonstrate how invisible the elderly become in the eyes of the young.

Speakng after a screening of The Great Art Robbery last week, Brown said public perception of pensioners was not something that’s going to change overnight but “it’s nice to do something that might help other people”. He said he had originally planned to carry out the heist – which is based on the theft of the Mona Lisa – but became interested in stereotypes of pensioners after realising his parents were getting older and chatting to a neighbour about the adventures he had had in his life.

The special airs on Channel 4 this December.

Derren Brown Plays Fagin In Reverse

Posted by Michael on November 4th, 2013

What has Derren Brown been up to? He’s been training senior citizens to become a team of high end art thieves, of course. Yes, you read that right. His new special, Derren Brown’s The Great Art Robbery, is scheduled to air on England’s Channel 4 in December. He told the Daily Express that this has been a particularly anxious project because for the first time it is entirely in the hands of others. If you happen to catch a story about a gang of retirees getting nabbed with a Dante Gabriel Rossetti or John Everett Millais* tucked under a trench coat, you can assume that the new special will be delayed!

* We have no special knowledge of the piece that Brown’s band of merry men will target; we just see him as the kind of guy who would be a Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood fan.