Jim Byrnes

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.

IMG_7372.JPG

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!

A Carnival of Wonders

If you’re in Toronto next week come to the Carnival. inside the Super Wonder Gallery, the Toronto Magic Company is hosting The Carnival of Wonders. I’ll be appearing alongside cheaters, sideshow performers and men and women of mystery and ill repute.

There are two shows that night. The early show is family friendly. The late show is…. less that. In addition to the performances, there will be carnival games and a couple of surprises I’m not allowed to mention.

Thursday, April 18, 2019
8:00 & 10:30 PM
Super Wonder Gallery
(584 College Street, Toronto)

From the organizers:

Join Ringmaster Dick Joiner for the incredible Family Circus show, featuring jugglers, magicians, and jaw-dropping sideshow performers while you check out all the exibits. All attendees will get loot bags on the way in with chips for game play and food, as well as some fun surprises.