chris westfall

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.

 

Chris Westfall and the Porcelain Princess

My specialty has always been "magic for grownups" but I'm often asked about doing things for younger kids and for families which usually leaves me recommending my friends who do a much better job with that sort of thing.

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Coming up in a few weeks at the Paper Mill Theatre in Toronto, there is a wonderful family show for kids and families. A good friend Chris Westfall has teamed up with circus artist Bella to create Chris Westfall and the Porcelain Princess. The show toured around Ontario just over a year ago and received some very nice reviews. If you're looking for an amazing and fun (and amazingly fun) family activity, it's in town for just two nights in July.
 

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Chris Westfall & The Porcelain Princess
Thursday & Friday, July 19 & 20 @ 6:30 PM
The Paper Mill Theatre - 67 Pottery Road

 
“Chris Westfall... & The Porcelain Princess is a true magic theatre experience. It brings the arts of illusion, circus, improv and comedy together in one amzing show perfect for the whole family. It will baffle and amaze. Keep you on the edge of your seats at the top of your imagination. Watch Chris Westfall make people appear, diappear and float while laughing the entrie way through.”

Tickets start at $29 and you can use the promotional code secrets to get an extra discount when you reserve online. 

Photos from Tricks In The Six

Last weekend, I was a special guest on the Toronto Magic Company's special show Tricks In The Six, accompanied by the ever energetic and zany Chris Westfall and charming "whackadoo" host Jonah Babins

Much like Magic & Martini, it was a wonderful intimate crowd. And there is nothing quite as much fun as performing for a group who know they love magic and have come out specifically to see it.

Here are some photos from our night at the B-Side Lounge courtesy of the Toronto Magic Company

Tricks in the Six

I'm pleased to announce that I'll be appearing at the end of this month on Tricks in the Six, a show presented by the Toronto Magic Company. I'll be appearing alongside Johan Babins and Chris Westfall

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We will be at the B-Side Lounge (669 College St., Toronto) Sunday, February 25. The show starts at 8:00 PM. Tickets are available from the Toronto Magic Company:

 

Happy Halloween

Magicians are not generally very scary people. We're primarily entertainers. But sometimes, in order to be dramatic, we need to court danger and sometimes just be a little weird. So for Halloween this year, I took a look through our archives and assembled this collection of the magicians on Magic Tonight getting dressed up or just generally being strange and creepy. Enjoy!

Magic Tonight runs weekly at the Crimson Lounge in downtown Toronto, Readers of this blog can use the code reality fir a discount on the price of tickets and dinner when purchasing online.