sentimentalists

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!

Tricks in the Six

This Thursday, I'll be appearing on Tricks In The Six, a magic show organized in Toronto by the aptly named Toronto Magic Company.

I'll be appearing with The Sentimentalists - a pair of sartorially splendid mind readers just back from performing at the Magic Castle in Hollywood. I first met half of the Sentimentalists, Mysterion, at one of my earliest visits to Friday Night Magic, now over ten years ago. He was mutilating silverware, showing off new tattoos and his taxidermy albino squirrel. In the years I've known him, he has only gotten stranger. He has since joined forces with Steffi Kay who has certainly helped to class up the act. 

Then again, the same could also be said for the show's host Ben Train

Join us Thursday, July 27 at the Paintbox Bistro (555 Dundas Street East). Tickets are $25 and available online. 

 

This week on Magic Tonight

It's Boxing Day and most of the festive (over) eating is over. I hope everyone had a relaxing holiday which continues over the next week or so. Our last official event of the night is tomorrow at the Crimson Lounge downtown. We're already sold out and looking forward to a full house. My ever-so-special guest is incredibly funny Glenn Ottaway, the godfather of Canadian magic and comedy in Toronto.

December 27 Glenn Ottaway Ben Train Sold Out

I also have a special guest, the ever-so-adorable Ben Train. I need the extra hand because I'm doing double duty with the Jolakotturinn show down the street at Revival. They still have some tickets available if you'd like to join us there. It's going to be a busy night of magic.

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I'm also working on pulling together the best photos from our shows from the year, so if you've been in the audience at Magic Tonight and have photos or video you'd like to share, feel free to get in touch.