Ben Train

Magic Tonight at the Social Capital

Coming up September 14, we’re having a Magic Tonight revival!

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For three years (2013-16) I had the pleasure of hosting a weekly show in downtown Toronto (and occasionally in Mississauga, Oakville and Pickering). It was a wonderful collaborative endeavour where each show featured a different guest and it gave me the ability to work with a wide variety of different performers; from magicians, to mentalists to unusual sideshow performers; from seasoned world travelling professionals to novices finding their footing on stage. While there are currently other opportunities we do sometimes get together to share some magic and mystery for old times’ sake.

This time we’re back, sponsored by the Soul City Social Club at the Social Capital Theatre (Danforth & DVP) for one night with two of my favourite guests from the show; both dear friends and wonderful performers.

Nicholas Wallace

A magician that conjures with the thoughts of his audience, he plays with luck, strange conspiracies and occasionally talking to the dead. Recently featured on America's Got Talent and Penn & Teller: Fool Us, Nick Wallace may seem sweet and innocent, but he is the devil; pure evil wrapped in Mr. Rogers' sweater. Come and see one of Ontario's foremost purveyors of astonishment.

Ben Train

Ben Train is like a magician, but for real... whatever that means. He has performed across Canada, the US and Europe. Locally he is a feature performer at Dave & Busters where he presents his show Weirdo, he is also the host and producer of the acclaimed Art of Magic.

So please come and join us for an amazing night of fun and magic. Tickets are available below.

 

Happy Pride

This weekend, I got to perform at the Pride festival in Toronto alongside my dear friend Ben Train. He neglected to mention it was a performance for children, but we should accept all people, even small vertically impaired humans who have been given too much sugar.

I often joke that I am an “indoor magician” but it was a perfect day to be outside for a show.

Photos courtesy of Patrick Nemeth.

A Cheap Victory

Judge Steffi Kay

Judge Steffi Kay

Last night was Cheap Tricks 2, the nightmarish magic contest envisioned by Mysterion, Canada’s most awesomely coiffed, sartorially resplendent mentalist and half of the mindreading duo The Sentimentalists. Each contestant receives a series of constraints and has to create their act in just a few hours before performing on stage at Revival.

I appeared alongside John Roldan, Jim Byrnes, Beyond Mental Borders, Jonah Babins, Harry Zimmerman, Jacqueline Swann and Shamus MacGregor. The contest was judged by Steffi Kay of the Sentimentalists, Ben Train, Rayn, and the previous champion Chris Westfall. (I was a judge on the first contest in 2017, but agreed to give up my spot to Chris.)

My set of constrains was that i had 3 hours to build an act using a budget of $5 with only material procured at a the nearby A&W. I also had to present in the theme of a XXX-rated Adult Film…. magic for grownups indeed. I’m so glad I forgot to invite my mother to watch. I’m more glad that magic elder statesman Mark Lewis was in the audience to witness me debasing the art of magic.

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But a contest is a contest and I played to win (much to Mysterion’s regret.) You can watch the full performance below — cheaply filmed and edited by the Cheap Tricks elves. Although there’s not necessarily any reason you would want to. And certainly don’t do it with your children around:

The tl/dw is that I won…. proud of it, but not proud of what I had to do to get it. Thank you to the judges and to everyone who attended the contest.

James Alan & Mysterion the Mindreader

James Alan & Mysterion the Mindreader

L to R: Shamus Macgregor, Beyond Mental Borders, Harry Zimmerman, Jacqueline Swann, James Alan, Jonah Babins, Jim Byrns, John Roldan

L to R: Shamus Macgregor, Beyond Mental Borders, Harry Zimmerman, Jacqueline Swann, James Alan, Jonah Babins, Jim Byrns, John Roldan

I can’t wait to get back to doing normal magic!

Cheap Tricks (2)

It is the worst possible scenario for a variety performer. You arrive in another city to perform, but your props and equipment do not. (Thank you Airlines.) It’s a situation no one would want to be in, but we’re inflicting it on ourselves in Cheap Tricks. We tried this earlier in 2017 and are at it again, putting performers in awkward and unpleasant situations for your entertainment pleasure.

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All participants are given a small budget, location to buy what they can find, and have to come with 10 mins of amazing material on the fly for the audience.

Featuring John Roldan, Poppa, Jimbo, Beyond Mental Borders, Jonah Babins, The Wanderer, Jacque Swan, James Harrison, Shamus MacGregor and some guy named James Alan. Judged by Ben Train, Steffi Kay & Chris Westfall (the returning champion from the first Cheap Tricks in 2017.) With a performance by The Sentimentalists.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019
8:30 PM
Revival
783 College Street, Toronto

We hope you can join us for what is sure to be a very unusual night.

 

Photos from the Carnival of Wonders

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Last week I got to take part in The Carnival of Wonders, a variety entertainment extravaganza put on by the Toronto Magic Company. Under the direction of our Ringmaster, Jonah Babins, and his trusty tamed lion, Ben Train, we had a wonderful night and things certainly got weird.

I got to do some magic alongside Fenyxfyre, James Harrison, Dick Joiner, Aaron “Massacre” Matthews, Bella Muerta and Francis Trach. I clearly missed the memo about having to wear a red blazer, but the audience didn’t seem too upset with me.

Here are some photos from the night courtesy of David Fulde.


The Newest Trick in the Book

Tuesday night in Toronto at See-Scape, I’ll be appearing on The Newest Trick In The Book:

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This is a weekly open mic show put on by The Toronto Magic Company. I'll be appearing along with Sawyer BullockIan Crawford, Patrick NemethNikki Runnalls and the co-founder of the TMC, Ben Train. This is a pay-what-you-feel-like show. Tickets are free to reserve online. The only rule for the show is it must be brand new material you have never performed before. So there is, of course, the risk that everything in the show goes horribly wrong and nothing works... what fun!

 

When: Tuesday, January 29, 2019 at 8:30 PM


Where: SeeScape 
(374 Keel Street, south of Dundas - map)

See-Scape is a video and board game bar, so after the show, you can stick around and play.