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.
Posted by Michael on June 10th, 2014
Although you may expect America’s Got Talent to be the only US talent competition show on at the moment with a magician in the running, Last Comic Standing has one finger flinger that has made the cut. Jimmy Shubert started in magic, which he still loves according to his bio piece (above). He has had parts in King of Queens, movies such as The Italian Job and One Hour Photo and has toured with Sam Kinison. Jimmy also puts out a podcast that mixes his comedy with comedian interviews (find it on iTunes). Could Last Comic Standing be Jimmy’s big break? iTricks remembers that years ago, before The Young Comedians Special, Saturday Night Live or Cheers a young magician and comic named Harry Anderson caught a break on a comedy competition show called The Big Laff Off.
The Last Comic Standing semi-finals begin on Thursday night at 10/9 Central on NBC.
Posted by Michael on June 9th, 2014
Darcy Oakes promised that his effect for the Britain’s Got Talent finals would be “literally the most dangerous thing” he has ever done in his life. Although he survived his stunt, it was not enough to carry him to the title. Oakes finished fifth. Singing group Collabro took this year’s title.
The Jaws of Death performed by Oakes will be familiar to many iTricks readers, who may remember that Spencer Horsman presented the same effect for his initial audition in season seven of America’s Got Talent. Of course, Horsman was not the first to present the illusion on a Got Talent franchise stage. A few months before his audition, Cosentino had presented the Jaws of Death during his tenure on Australia’s Got Talent.
This leads iTricks to wonder if Darcy Oakes made a mistake by presenting an effect that can be easily found online being performed by others on other versions of Got Talent during the audience vote stage of BGT.
Posted by Michael on June 4th, 2014
Last night’s episode of America’s Got Talent finally saw magicians audition, although it was not exactly a banner night for magic. Featured in the show was a montage of acts that did not make the cut, with some being openly ridiculed by the judges. It was in this sequence that audiences finally saw the bra stealing magician that had been mentioned so often during the show’s pre-season publicity. Despite the notoriety of the performance, the magician did not seem to even be credited when the footage of him stealing Heidi Klum’s bra finally aired (the official AGT YouTube page titled the clip “>Rich Magician, but we are not sure if that is how he actually bills himself). Magician Mad Jack was credited and got a great deal of air time (comparatively) for his, umm, unique take on the “bottom deal.” He was rejected with two no votes, although Heidi Klum did defend him.
The real bright spot for magic came in the form of David and Leeman, a pair of magi who admitted to having day jobs (as a high school philosophy teacher and barista). They were sharp enough to work in their first trick, with a magical name tag exchange, before their official performance time began and then continued to wow with a comedy magic routine using Howie Mandel as the subject to their pseudo-science demonstration that was wildly different from any magic seen on AGT in the past. The pair received four “Yes” votes to send them on to the next round.
There is still hope for more magic in the competition, too. At least one illusionist doing a Dynamo-esque levitation off the theater balcony has been glimpsed in previews and iTricks knows of at least one or two other magicians we are expecting to see during the show.
Posted by Michael on June 3rd, 2014
Here is a behind the scenes look at Ben Hanlin’s new commercial for FAGE’s Fruyo yogurt (or yoghurt depending on which side of the Atlantic you are sitting). You can see the finished commercial here, if you are interested. We realize that magic in commercials irks some of our readers… but isn’t the better than Stamos?