Newest Trick in the Book

Tomorrow night (Tuesday), I'll be appearing on Toronto's magic open mic, The Newest Trick In The Book. This special performance is a collaboration between The Toronto Magic Company, and The Sid Lorraine Hat & Rabbit Club (Canada's oldest magic club.)

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The show is an opportunity to debut brand new material. I'll be appearing alongside members of the club and the local magic community. The show starts at 8:30 PM at See-Scape (Keele & Dundas). It's a pay what you feel like show so please come and join us for a fun night of magic.

 

Photos from Magic & Martini in Toronto

Thank you to everyone who attended our first performance of Magic & Martini of 2018. It was an incredibly cold night in Toronto but we were warm inside, having lots of fun with a sold-out crowd. It was wonderful to be back doing this show after taking the month of December off for all of those holiday parties. 

We have lots of dates coming up this year, readers can use the promo code olive for a special price on tickets when booking online

Here are some photos of the event courtesy of Waled Hassanzay. There are plenty more on the Facebook Page

Happy New Year

The year is almost up, and what a magical year it's been. I am incredibly grateful to the thousands I've been able to perform for this past year, up close and personal at Magic & Martini and at all of the private events where I've been welcomed. Each spin around the sun does seem to get just a little more magical, and none of it would be possible without everyone else out there who delight in experiencing magic!

Thank you to Tyler, Waled and Ahmed, who do more wonderful and secret work behind the scenes than most people can imagine. And my heartfelt thanks to Jamie and Sheila of Grand Spirits who kicked off Magic & Martini back in 2016 and then proceeded to pull off an even bigger magic trick this year. 

Looking forward to all the fun and excitement next year brings and hope to continue sharing magic with you all.
 

Changing minds

One of the skills we seem to have lost as a society is the ability to have conversations with people with whom we disagree and trying to change their minds. More often these days, the trend is to (literally or metaphorically) stomp off in a tantrum and stop talking to them. You see many people now demanding that those who disagree with them "unfriend" them on Facebook.

Richard Dawkins has always been a role model in terms of communication, having written some of the most influential popular science books of the twentieth century, including The Selfish Gene and The Blind Watchmaker.) Here is his advice:

As a magician, persuasion is part of the toolkit. I need to convince people that a specially prepared prop is ordinary, or that there is no way I could possibly know a piece of information I, in fact, already do. The heat and soul of it is:

Put yourself in the position of your audience. Try to see where they’re coming from.... sympathetically. And argue your case in a way that should resonate with them.

The important, and often overlooked, point is sympathetically. You can't assume (as many people seem to now) that the reason that people don't see things your way is because they are just morons. Whether you articulate it that way or just think it, it doesn't put you in a good position to begin changing their mind.  

David Copperfield writes in The Onion

Or so The Onion claims. I've been reading the article almost but not quite entirely sure it's satire. Such is the problem with politics these days. 

Right away there was the issue of accountability. In the aftermath of Trump’s surprise victory, we realized the American people deserved better from their magicians. It didn’t matter if you were working birthday parties or headlining the MGM Grand. You had to take a real honest look at what you did and accept that whether you were making a playing card disappear, pushing a cigarette through a quarter, or levitating over the Grand Canyon, your actions would be judged in the context of an entirely new political climate.

With Trump peddling fear, xenophobia, and outright lies, we could no longer remain silent: We had an obligation, both as illusionists and Americans, not to allow such hateful behavior to become normalized.
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One pieces that I found rather interesting:

Though much of what we as Americans hold sacred has come under threat this past year, there has been at least one positive development: Many magicians no longer saw their female assistants in half, having come to realize that there are now consequences for such behavior in the workplace.

Magicians have a history of being not so nice to women (and often our audiences in general), something I've tried very hard to not emulate for my entire career.