magic lecture

Norman Beck lecture in Toronto

On a very wet and rainy in Toronto, filled street construction and Pride celebrations in nearly equal amounts, we hosted a lecture with Texas' Norman Beck. For those not familiar with his work, Norman is essentially cleverness personified. We arrived too early to set up for the lecture and went to lunch and he made sure that I was pre-fooled. He performs what is apparently very clear cut and straightforward magic, but what's going on behind the scenes is not at all what you'd expect. Subtlety and general sneakiness can sometimes go farther than fancy sleight of hand.

As a bonus he slipped in his secrets for getting better restaurant service and nabbing free room and seat upgrades. Useful wisdom indeed!

Special thanks to Magicana and Julie Eng for helping us to organize this event.

More magic that sucks

Last night I took part in a joint lecture at the Sid Lorraine Hat & Rabbit Club raising money for the Mosquitoes Suck Tour. The lineup included some fantastic local magicians including two Canadian Magicians of the Year. Thank you to Bill Abbott, Jay Sankey, David Peck, Matt DiSero, Bobby Motta and Anthony Lindan who donated their time to support a good cause.

Buy the Mosquitoes Suck Download – 106 minutes, 2.97 GB, $10

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:

Lessons Learned the Hard Way

On Thursday, February 21, I will be giving a lecture for the Joan Caesar Hat & Wand Club in Kitchener. I'm very excited for the lecture since it contains several things I have never shared except with close friends. Tickets are available at the door if you are interested in attending. However, I was a bit shocked when I saw the photo they used in promoting the lecture. Apparently this was modified by the secretary using an iPhone app.... Henceforth, I will have a new stipulation in my rider that promotional photos may not be altered... sigh.


Photo by Irina Popova, sparkles by Daryl Hutton