Jonah Babins

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.


Photos from The Show Before The Snow

Last week, I took part in a special year-end show put on by The Toronto Magic Company to celebrate the holidays and the end of another season of their open mic show, The Newest Trick In The Book. Over twelve magicians appeared including Marc Correia, Keith Brown, Jonah Babins, Ben Train, James Harrison, Ryan Brown, Glenn West, Chris Mayhew, Leigh Beadon and Edward Gabreal.

I got a few photos of myself courtesey of David J. Fulde.

Canada's Magic Reader's Choice Award

Some mysterious stranger has nominated me for the Canada’s Magic 2018 Readers Choice Awards

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In the past year he’s helped numerous performers make their acts better, has participated in leadership roles on several major magic projects (including Toronto Magic Company, Ring 17 Hat and Rabbit, Magicana, etc). He’s lectured on his original magic, he’s supported the community...

I could keep going on.

The criteria are delightfully vague:

“You may nominate living Canadian Magician(s) of your choosing by leaving their name along with a short note about how they inspired you in 2018…  

This is a "bragging rights" only contest.  There is no cash value for this award.”

I’m nominated along with some other wonderful magicians and friends including (in alphabetical order) Jonah Babins, Ryan Brown, Jeff Christensen, Greg Frewin, Carisa Hendrix, Mike Segal and Kent Wong. So, happy to be nominated and I hope I can count on your vote, dearest reader.

The Art of Magic

A last-minute public appearance. I’ll be appearing on The Art of Magic along with Ben Train, Jonah Babins and The Sentamentalists. This is the fifth show in the series and all of the previous shows have sold out. So if you’re in Toronto, please join us for a night of magic & mindreading.

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