Tyler Wilson

Winchester Retrospective

We recently had to pack up our show, Magic at The Winchester Stage and Bar and switch to a new location. To my incredible relief, the transition was seamless (with tremendous thanks to the staff at The Cage for making it possible to pull that off)! Since we moved over, many people have contacted me to let me know how much they enjoyed the Winchester and our events there, so I put together a tiny retrospective. Really, it's just my favourite photos from the archive I've been keeping, but I actually got to counting, and we did thirty events there in various formats over the past fourteen months. So thank you to everyone that came out to support us there and I hope we'll continue to see you going forward.

The photos come from various people (including members of the audience) and are of varying quality. Enjoy!

We are continuing to perform every Sunday night at The Crimson Lounge inside of The Cage 292 (map). Information and tickets are available at www.abracadabaret.com/cage

Seventeen Secrets eBooks

The two booklets I edited for the Sid Lorraine Hat & Rabbit Club are now available as eBooks. So if you prefer a lighter digital version, or just don't want to pay for shipping, both titles are now available for $15 each at Lybrary.com. Lybrary is the world's largest site for eBooks about magic and its related arts with hundreds of titles including reproductions of rare and out of print books.

Volume 1 includes contributions from me, James Biss, Matt DiSero, Richard Forget, Murray Hatfield, Will Houstoun, Joshua Jay, Michael Weber and Tyler Wilson. Read the full table of contents.

SSV1 Cover

Volume 2 contains contributions from me, Bill Abbott, Denis Behr, Eugene Burger, Alain Choquette, Matt DiSero, Tina Lenert, Chris Mayhew, Ricky Smith, Rob Testa and Chris Westfall. Read the full table of contents.

SSV2 Cover

The print and electronic versions have identical content with a few formatting changes. The photos in the eBooks are larger and in colour. Otherwise they're the same books. They cover a range of material including cards, close-up, stage and mentalism with varying levels of difficulty.

For those interested in purchasing the original print versions, which are limited numbered editions, they are available from the Hat & Rabbit Club's web store for $20 each plus postage.

Taller Tales

More photos from Illusions of Grandeur, the strange and special show I did with Tyler Wilson last weekend. Thanks to Chris Mayhew for these. The show was an amazing experience. Now I have to turn my attention to two major upcoming projects this one and this one... it's going to be a busy month.

Tall Tales

This weekend, I finished the first round of shows for Illusions of Grandeur with my friend, Tyler Wilson. The goal was to create a true close-up magic show, instead of a show on stage that people had to watch from a distance. The worst seat in the house was 12 feet away from the "stage". The feedback we've received so far has been extraordinary. Tyler and I would like to thank everyone who was able to make it out. Putting together the show was an amazing experience. We had to assemble and script everything by email and there were several of Tyler's in the show that even I didn't even have the chance to see until the day before when Tyler arrived in Toronto.

At the moment, we don't have any concrete plans to remount the show anywhere, but I've spoken with Tyler and it's not entirely off the table... so keep an eye open for the possibility.

Here is the first round of photos from the show:

These are just the iPhone photos. The Abracadabaret elf, Chris Mayhew, is busily working on the nice ones. 

Rogers: Daytime Toronto

My appearance on Rogers Daytime Toronto discussing the upcoming Illusions of Grandeur with Tyler Wilson at The Winchester

Related Posts

About Illusions of Grandeur - Read A Tall Order

Photos from Illusions of Grandeur - Read Tall Tales and Taller Tales

James Alan's YouTube Chanel

A Tall Order

I seem to lead a delightfully charmed life. Every once in a while, I seem to get an email or a phone call from a friend, often out of the blue, with a request to work on a strange or unusual project. (Actually that seems to be happening quite a bit lately, so there should be some more stuff appearing here as soon as I'm allowed to talk about it.) Tyler Wilson

Earlier in the summer, my friend, fellow Canadian magician and fellow tall person (he's 6'5 or 5'17 in the US) contacted me about doing a show. Tyler used to live in Toronto a few years ago before winding himself up in England and Spain before finally finding his way home to Calgary. He's not only a very clever and creative magician, and extremely funny in a zany-off-the-wall sort of way, he's also knows more about the history of magic (in particular close-up magic) than just about anyone I've ever met.

His project was really interesting: he wanted to do a close-up show. Close up magic is possibly the strongest form of magic. There is an immediacy and intensity that comes with magic that happens feet and inches away from you. If you watch magic on stage, you could be dozens of meters away and if you watch magic on a screen, much of the impact gets lost  – as I found out personally, listening to people talk about my recent appearance in a string of Wendy's ads.

I perform a ton of close up magic, but usually in a very unstructured way - what gets called strolling magic or mingling magic - at parties. But there it's a kind of Blitzkrieg approach, trying to show as many people magic in as short a time as possible. It's a great deal of fun and is very memorable, but it leaves the people who truly appreciate magic and want to see more feeling slightly shortchanged.

The main challenge is in economies of scale (rather lack of scale) - it's hard to have a successful show that only happens for a dozen people at a time. Historically, close-up magic has been forced into larger and larger rooms. I've attended (and competed in) magic contests that had close-up divisions in front of hundreds of people.

So for fun's sake, we've decided to put on a true close-up show: Illusions of Grandeur. We'll do the same ~50 minute show six times over two nights. Each seating will be strictly limited to fifteen people. As Tyler originally proposed it, this will be a micro-drama where we attempt to outdo, outperform and outbadass each other. (Apparently in Calgary, to outbadass is a real verb... or so Tyler tells me.) We're going to have tons of fun and we'll both be premiering some brand new material. We'll be at the Winchester, which has generously allowed us to rearrange their furniture to create our little close-up palace of mystery. The shows are separated by two hours so you're more than welcome to come early, stay late and/or enjoy some food and drink to go along with the show.

For even more fun's sake, we've added VIP seats, for the exorbitant surcharge of 3 cents. What exactly VIP treatment gets you; that's for us to know and you to find out. Hope to see you there.

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