hat & rabbit club

A Very Spanish Weekend

While catching up on sleep, I'm coming down from the high brought on by spending five days with Dani DaOrtiz. He was a guest, visiting from Spain, here to do a series of seminars and shows with Abracadabaret, The Hat & Rabbit Club and The Browser's Den of Magic. I remember first hearing about Dani and his magic four years ago. I remember not believing what I heard. After all, this is an industry built on misleading people (for entertainment) and we have no shortage of hype. Imagine my surprise when, earlier this year at Magi Fest in Columbus, Ohio, I saw Dani live. He wasn't just as good as they were saying, he was somehow better.

There is a feeling that comes with spending time with truly great magicians. It's a sense that anything is possible that seems to ooze out of their pores and seep into you by osmosis. Or maybe it's disorientation brought on by too much time in nice restaurants and not enough sleep. Who knows? But several other magicians that spent time with us mentioned a similar feeling… almost a religious experience. Apparently those can be brought on just as easily by card tricks!

More than a few people asked me how I was able to pull off organizing these events - the sold out show, sold out workshops and the lecture packed to the rafters with local magicians. The secret is, as usual, I cheat.

It takes a lot of people to coordinate large projects and these were no exceptions. Top of the list is the executive of the Hat & Rabbit Club: Chris Harvison, Pete DiLisi, Eric Simmatis and Andrew Goss (along with our secret cohort of learned advisors). Our partners in crime at The Browser's Den: Jeff Pinsky, Lisa & Michael Close. The crew at the Wychwood Theatre: Beth Brown, Dean Johnston, Joe Culpepper and Ivan Bekcic. And for being generally magical: the loveable Ben Train, the resourceful Chris Mayhew, the dependable Bobby Motta, the generous Daniel Zuckerbrot, the incomparable Mahdi Gilbert and the hunky Joshua Jay.

Now I'm going back to sleep, then to the gym. In the meantime, you can look at pictures:

Seventeen Secrets Volume 2

I've just seen the first copies of the second volume of Seventeen Secrets. The booklet was produced by the Sid Lorraine Hat & Rabbit Club in Toronto. It was intended as a way to create something unique for our members by leveraging the talent of the amazing magicians that the club brings to the city. Editing Volume 1 was a tremendous experience. It was a collaboration with eight other people from three different countries. It was also a valuable growth experience for me as I was working with other people's material covering a wide range of fields from close up magic to stage magic to mentalism to gambling demonstrations.

The format was inspired by an earlier Toronto publication, Ibidem, which was a magazine published irregularly by P. Howard Lyons from 1955-1979. I never met Howard Lyons, so I suppose it is more accurate to say I was inspired by his legend. The cover of Seventeen Secrets was an image that reminded me of the artwork of Pat Lyons, which filled the original Ibidems inside and out. It struck me as suitably unusual for this project.

That volume was very well received and the executive asked me if I would work on another so here we are. I am even more impressed with the final product this time than I was with Volume 1. We were able to obtain more contributions (probably because the first book turned out so well). We were also able to do some rather unusual things. Chris Mayhew contributed his flourish, "Trinado" which took a huge amount of work to describe in print. Denis Behr, from Germany, contributed a card trick that comes with its own smartphone app and is so intricately constructed, I'm not even sure Denis himself knows how it works.  The only one we missed as Shane Cobalt who lectured for the club in November, but I suspect thad had something to do with our print deadlines conflicting with his wedding... next time perhaps.

The new booklet is available from the Hat & Rabbit Club here. I believe there are also a handful of copies of Volume 1 left if you act quickly.

Seventeen Secrets Vol 2