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     It’s July already! Can you believe it? As we get ready to celebrate our 54th anniversary next week, I just wanted to take a look back at the first 6 months of this year and acknowledge some of those who we have lost in the magic community. Along with the two “Celebrities” on the list, I want to mention two other gentlemen who were just as important to the world of magic.

     Brad Jacobs (1931-2020) One day after his 89th birthday, “Mr. S.A.M” Bradley Jacobs died peacefully at his home in Hilton Head South Carolina, in June. Best known for his eighteen years as chairman and treasurer of the Society of American Magicians Magic Endowment Fund, and Convention Chairman, Brad held many important positions in the S.A.M. for most of his 68 years as a member.

     Louis Falanga (1955-2020) Louis (along with Larry Jennings) was the founder and president of L&L Publishing. All through the 80’s and 90’s L&L published what many consider to be the gold standard of classic magic literature. In the early 90’s Louis decided to start a highly successful series of instructional video tapes featuring the biggest names in magic including yours truly! When the 2000s dawned, L&L publishing was one of the very first magic producers to jump into the world of DVD instructional videos. As our friend Jeff McBride so rightfully said about Louis Falanga, “He changed the way we learn magic.”

     Roy Horn (1944–2020) Of course, we all know Roy as one half of the greatest magic duo of all time, “Siegfried & Roy”. For over 30 years, Roy (along with Siegfried) starred in the most popular magic show on the Las Vegas Strip combining large scale spectacle with their beloved large White Tigers! In October 2003, during a performance on stage, one of Roy’s large White Tigers appeared to attack him leaving him partially paralyzed for the rest of his life. Roy always maintained that the tiger was not at fault and was in fact trying to protect him. He claimed that he fainted on stage and that the 380-pound tiger was only trying to help him by dragging him off stage. Even though he regained the ability to walk, he remained what would be classified as “Immune Compromised” due to the incident. Earlier this year, Roy contracted COVID-19 and eventually succumbed to the illness.

     Marvin Roy (1925-2020) Known the world over as “Mr. Electric, Marvin Roy created a new benchmark for performers to follow with his style and revolutionary magical performances perfecting a magic act based around light bulbs that became known as “Artistry in Light”. Marvin was among the second wave of soldiers that landed on Normandy in 1944, and soon after was wounded and received the Purple Heart. For 50 years, he toured the world with his wife Carol, playing the premiere venues on the planet! He also was featured on Ed Sullivan, Merv Griffin, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and many, many more!

     Each of the men I’ve mentioned above have left a lasting impact of the  world of magic and although we will miss them, they will be forever in our hearts. I can remember many of these great magicians and as long as we continue to remember them, they will never truly be gone!

Magically Yours,
Harry Allen

The 19th annual Daytona Beach Festival Of Magic is in the books! What a weekend! Friday kicked off with our annual welcome lecture by our own Harry Allen. Harry is great for always setting the tone of the weekend. One of the things he stresses in his welcome/ dealer demo lecture is to “Leave your stress at the door. We’re here to have FUN this weekend!” And you know what? that’s EXACTLY what happens! People get loosened up and start to laugh with Harry as they see some of the latest magic in the industry as well as some killer mainstay effects that gets the whole weekend started of right!

Giovanni Livera kicked off the guest lectures with a handling of the ring and string that he modified decades ago to add a GIANT nut instead of the standard silver ring that was simply amazing! I always like to watch performers who are so comfortable in their art that they allow themselves the opportunity to see something and instead of rigidly adhering to it, thinks, “Now, how can I get MORE out of this? How can I make it my own?” That was at the heart of Gio’s lecture. His work with the classic shell game was fantastic as well!

After the lunch break, convention attendees got their first look at what Chad long was really all about. And what he’s about is ENTERTAINMENT! He has an astonishingly visual effect where he visually pulls a playing card directly out of a solid wall, replaces it in the wall, and extracts it from another location at will! It will literally drop your jaw! THAT was a “Throw away” effect for him! What he considered a fun distraction, most other magicians would build an entire routine around! When he revealed exactly how he produced four silver dollars and showed the masterful simplicity of the gimmick, the room went silent with awe! I saw more than one person go and sign up for his teach-in following his lecture!

There are some performers who get a reputation (good or bad) for being a certain type of act. That has happened, I feel with Rocco Silano. Rocco is almost universally known to magicians as “The D’Lites guy”. But if that is the ONLY thing that you know about him, then you don’t know him at all! Rocco has a style that visually sets him apart from the rest and draws your attention to him. He looks more like a high fashion playboy from the Riviera than a skilled magician, but skilled is EXACTLY what he is! He wowed the attendees with his style!

With this year’s convention happening only one day after Halloween, it was fitting that John Ferrentino came to the convention to demonstrate his spooky and un-nerving seance magic. He wound up the tension by demonstrating just a few artifacts from his act that features the Waverly Sanatorium and it’s residents. Even though he explained how it all happened, the mental images that he conjured with his storytelling and presentation still left you asking yourself the question “Do spirits return?”

As the first days’ worth of lectures drew to a close, Fielding West held court with his intimate Teach-In where it was just him and only a handful of selected convention goers who wanted to delve deeper into the mind and magic that Feilding does. There were laughs to be sure, but there was also some fantastic information exchanged and I know that everyone there got more than they bargained for!

Friday night at the News Journal Center theater started off the first of our two large stage shows. The magic got started even before the curtain rose as our Strolling Magician contest took place in the lobby. Patrons form the convention and general public were treated to contestants performing magic at their fingertips! Inside the theater, Daytona Magic’s own Rebecca Cook sang “God Bless America”, then the lights dimmed and master of ceremonies Harry Allen introduced Mondre by saying that he had “…an act SO smooth, it makes velvet jealous!”. That’s quite a bar to set before you get started, but Mondre cleared it with ease! He has an engaging style at just MAKES you want to watch him, his birds, his astonishing manipulation and oh, yeah, WHERE DID THAT CAT COME FROM?!?!? Next up, Harry showed that his reputation as an all-around entertainer is well deserved as he brought smiles to the audience with the help of some kids where everything just seemed to go wrong! Big laughs! After a brief musical break featuring performers including yours truly, Peter Alden and Armando Diaz singing the music of Motown, Elvis, and Frank Sinatra, Stuart MacDonald took the audience on a surreal trip through a haunted house where magic was lurking around every corner! Culminating in his amazing Mirror routine (It even fooled Penn & Teller!) he brought the house down! Kyle & Mistie Knight has a huge task ahead of them after Stuart’s act. Fortunately, they were MORE than up to the challenge! One routine featuring Mistie being tied up by an audience member so that she could barely move her limbs, and then in an instant, the jacket vanishes from the spectator and winds up with Mistie WEARING the jacket WHILE SHE IS STILL SECURLY TIED UP!!!

Saturday started out EARLY (A little TOO early for some people who spent the night partying in the hotel until the wee, WEE hours!) However, Mondre was undaunted. After his killer performance the night before, the room was filled with freshly minted devotees and as Mondre pulled back the curtain on his unique take on magic, it was clear that everyone who got there early made the right choice!

The term “Living Legend” is used far too casually these days but in the case of Master Magician Lance Burton, even though he is far too humble to truly feel comfortable with such a lofty accolade, the term CERTAINLY applies to him! How often do you get to sit in the same room with a magician whose career has spanned over 30 years and who is consistently ranked as one of the greatest living magicians in the world today? For an hour, Lance held an informal discussion with the crowd where he recanted life/show stories, performance tips, and took questions directly from the audience! The whole affair had the feel of just sitting around your kitchen table late at night shooting the breeze with an old friend.

Sometimes, you simply can’t top the previous act. Sometimes it’s not necessary to be the loudest voice in the room. Sometimes, it best to be the most RELIABLE person in the room. The one who can always deliver strong, powerful effects and consistently amaze and entertain any size audience. That’s exactly what you get from a Mike Hummer lecture! Mike puts new spins on old classics and makes them new again! His lectures are always dense with information and gets you excited about effects that you’ve long since overlooked!

At the state-of-the-art News Journal Center, magical contestants get to tread the same boards as some of the most influential magicians in the world! Kids and Adults all competed for bragging rights, to show of their skill, and of course, a chance to win part of our Prizes totaling over $1,000! Back at the hotel, we had a charity pizza lunch with drinks that was donated by our own Rebecca Cook with 100% of the proceeds going to benefit the Halifax Humane Society here in Daytona Beach. Between the pizza lunch and the raffle tickets we sold for a chance to win $1,000.00 worth of magic donated by Daytona Magic, we were able to raise $1,838.00!

They say if you want to see something done right, hire a professional. Well, we had FOUR of them for you in our professional close-up show featuring Mondre, Stuart Macdonald, Chad long and the unrestrained kinetic energy of Giovanni Livera! When they were finished, the room was spent. That one showing of close-up magic was worth the price of admission to the convention!

One of the slickest presentations of the weekend belonged to Kyle & Mistie Knight. They demonstrated a wonderful performance table they invented that is about 3 1/2 feet tall yet packed down to just under 12 inches! They also shared an ingenious gimmick that Kyle developed in order to produce a jumbo-sized coin at your fingertips at a moment’s notice! They finished by showing an act they performed on “Wizard Wars” and although they showed us half of how it was done, they offered a trophy to anyone who could figure out the finale that even Penn & Teller couldn’t guess! Rest assured, the trophy is till safely with them!

After the roller-coaster ride of Stuart Macdonald’s act the night before, his lecture was probably looked forward to the most by the convention attendees and he didn’t disappoint. Stuart’s knack for thinking outside the box is truly astonishing! He told a poignant story of the POWER our magic has on the world. The short version is that he contacted one of the most sought-after stage designers on Broadway and asked him if he could just WATCH a video of his act and critique it. This person would up helping him re-design and collaborated on Stuart’s act for him free of charge! This person’s work commands hundreds of thousands of dollars to secure and he just GAVE it to Stuart! Why? Because when he was in the fifth grade, Stuart came to his elementary school, called him up to help him with a magic trick, and his love of theater was ignited. He told Stuart “This is my way of saying ‘thank you’. Because if you hadn’t done your magic for me then, I wouldn’t be where I am today. YOU are the reason that I have the life I have!” Just…WOW!

The day ended with Chad Long’s teach-in and you could just tell by the looks on everyone’s face that they all made the right choice in being there! In fact, the only thing that stopped the teach-in was that if they DIDN’T stop, they’d miss the Lance Burton show! Talk about getting lost in your passion!

As I mentioned at the top of this article, Lance Burton is one of the most admired and sought-after magicians in the world. After a career spanning over 31 years, more money than he could spend in FIVE lifetimes, More awards then he can count and the legacy of knowing that Las Vegas wanted him SO bad that they custom built him a state-of the art performance theater costing MILLIONS of dollars! He debuted his brand-new touring show “Lance Burton And Friends” for the first time ever at a magic convention and it featured an evening filled with thrills, laughter, wonder and…”Bob the Bird’! (More on that later) After Becky Sang the National Anthem, the curtains rose, Lance strode forward to thunderous applause. Everyone in the room just knew that they were witnessing a part of magical history! Lance wasted no time in bringing up a bunch of kids and having fun with them as he demonstrated the classic “Vanishing Bird Cage”! If you’ve ever wondered why this effect has been around for almost 145 years, once you see it in action you will just HAVE to buy it for yourself! It’s said that you should never work with children, but Lance maximized his time with each child to great effect. Lance appeared thought the evening doing wonderful magic and hosting his show featuring his friends. The only thing WORSE to work with than kids they say is animals! Enter Fielding West and “Bob the Bird”. If you’ve never seen Fielding in action, you should be warned that you will be amazed by his magic to be sure, but you will be in stitches from laughing at his one-liners and total command of even the most unplanned for situations. For some reason, “Bob the Bird” just didn’t want to stay put. He kept flying out into the audience and seemed to be challenging Fielding for stage dominance. A lesser performer would have folded and stormed off stage. Fielding took it all in stride, rolled with the punches and delivered one of the funniest “Impromptu” magical performances I have EVER seen! Someone give that man a medal and a Purple Heart for comedy! Now, when you hear the word “juggler” you might immediately think of every hack you’ve ever seen with a pair of bean bags and prepare yourself to grind it out for the next 10 minutes. But, when you hear the name Michael Goudeau after the word “Juggler”, then you know you are in for an act that’s astonishing and entertains you like never before! I mean how can you NOT like a guy who STARTS his act by juggling three large bean bag chairs!?!?!?! Talk about setting the right tone! After Michael was finished, it was time for the large stage illusions of “Keith West and the Illusioneers!” Their magic, choreography, and props were the perfect combination and really gave a Las Vegas feel to the whole night! Finally, Lance closed out the show with a fantastic illusion that was actually given to him by Magical Legend Mark Wilson!

After the show, we met back at the hotel for a special screening of Lance Burton’s charming family film “Billy Topit: Master Magician”. After the screening, Lance and the film’s cast took to the stage for a lively Q&A and then everyone went out into the lobby where Lance and his crew signed autographs and took special care to give each and every guest their undivided attention creating a magical moment that will stay with them for a lifetime!

All good things must come to an and on Sunday morning, the dealers room opened for the last time as our world-famous magic auction took place! I personally saw TENS OF THOUSANDS of dollars’ worth of magic and memorabilia go at times for PENNIES on the dollar! It truly IS the single best value of the whole convention! Master auctioneer Jack Corcoran and his staff once again kept things flowing and lively. Before you knew it, there was nothing left to do but say goodbye!

Special thanks to all of our magic dealers DAYTONA MAGIC, AUTHENTIC HAND CUT SILHOUETTES, BJW MAGICAL JEWELRY, AL BACH, ROY KUEPPERS, MAGIC ARTIFACTS, MAGIC DOLLAR STORE, MAGIC EMPORIUM, MAGICFLIX, MARKET YOUR MAGIC, BRUCE MCLAURY, MIKE’ S MAGIC, SWC MAGIC, QLAB TUTORIAL, and TOM YURASITIS. Every year you prove that we have one of the best magic dealers’ rooms of any convention on the planet!

Congratulations to our contest winners!

1st Place Adult Stage – Chris Wyatt
2nd Place Stage – Marti Brill
3rd Place Adult Stage – Lawrence Lessner

1st Place Kid’s Stage – Jordan Berenson

1st Place Close-Up – Mike Bloemeke
2nd Place Close-Up – Peter Diamond
3rd Place Close-Up – Marti Brill

1st Place Strolling – Randy Goodman
2nd Place Strolling – Peter Diamond
3rd Place Strolling – Zachary Kyriazis

     Mark Your Calendars for NOVEMBER 6 – 8, 2020. Our convention will be celebrating our 20TH ANNIVERSARY and we have a line-up that already consists of HARRY ALLEN, ERIC JONES, SCOTT HUMSTON, STEVE MARSHALL, JOHN & MORGAN BUNDY, OSCAR MUNOZ, ERICK OLSON, ROCCO and more to be announced in the new year! We’ll see you in 2020!

Daytona magic would like to thank Erick Olson for his outstanding work in hosting the lecture rooms and keeping everything running smoothly and professionally. Wayne and Susan Dowling for their invaluable help at the registration table and anywhere they were needed throughout the weekend! It is impossible to put on the evening theater shows without having the best stage management group in the business including Art Thomas, Sue Jacoberger, James Sonster, Travis Marron, Teresa Songster and the staff of Daytona Stage College & The News Journal Center! Our auction simply would not be possible without the work of Jack Corcoran, Irv Cook, Donovan, Rebecca Cook, Lorraine Shamburg and the kids who acted as “runners” for the auction pieces. Last, but certainly not least, Toby Pittel & Greg Bergeron held down the fort by themselves back at our store while we were all at the hotel. I don’t know what we would do without you!

If I forgot anyone, please forgive me.

 

You already know that Daytona Magic provides magic for some of the biggest names in magic, from magicians who try not to get fooled and the magicians who fool them, to magicians who make large national monuments vanish into thin air in New York! But what you may not know is that we also supply magic effects and props for film and television shows as well. Now, being theatre junkies at heart, we were thrilled when we were asked to supply magic for one of the most fantastic broadway shows in production right now; “Disney’s Aladdin”!

During the scene when Aladdin frees Genie from his lamp and Genie performs the show-stopper “Friend like Me”, the producers needed several magical effects to happen all at once to visually demonstrate Genie’s magic powers, that’s where we come in! It was a special thrill to watch this scene recreated during the Tony Awards a few years back and when the magic started, we all had a big smile on our face and a wonderful sense of pride to know that we have been able to contribute in some small way to the success of this show.

Recently, when Harry was on a trip to New York, he was invited backstage to see the inner workings of the show and let me tell you, how that company manages to put on a stage show of that quality with style and precision night after night after night…that’s the REAL magic! So, if you’re ever in New York, I highly recommend that you make “Aladdin” one of the things to place on your “Must See” list! When you do, just know that we’ll be there with you, because when it comes to magic, “You ain’t never had a friend like us”!

When Wizardz Magic Theater opened in August of 2009, Erick and Kim Olson started on a journey that has seen hundreds of people come through their doors and experience the magic that can only be felt when you are in an intimate parlor setting. Not large, grand scale illusions, but magic performed just a few feet away from the audience.

Since that night, the biggest names in magic along with up a comers alike have graced the Wizardz stage. Doc Eason, Michael Ammar, Jon Armstrong, Shoot Ogawa, Aldo & Rachael Colombini, TC Tahoe, Terry Ward, The Magic Of Puck, Piff The Magic Dragon, Jonathan Pendragon, and more!

Wizardz is an intimate 50 seat theater located inside the Seralago Hotel next to Old town in Kissimmee, Florida. They have shows every Monday night at 7:00pm. Sometimes, their performers will conduct a magic lecture after the show for an additional fee. Check their website for a list of upcoming performers here: http://www.wizardzmagictheater…

Congratulations to Wizardz for 10 years of magic! We wish you another 10 years and beyond!

This week’s “Fool Us” featured some great acts including a card routine from a 12 year old girl that was a refreshing change.

First, let’s start with Mentalist Hans Peter Secker who incorporated photos of the show hosts into his routine and with the help of the giant LCD screen behind them, he took a standard “pick a card” trick and made it something magical by using Tarot cards and a reveal that had the whole audience shaking their heads.

Next, was for me, the highlight of the night. Xulio Merino whom Penn named “The Shin Lim of Sponge Balls” certainly lived up to that title. His sponge ball routine was well paced, elegant and just when you think you knew where it was going, it’s finale really POPPED! No wonder he would up fooling Penn & Teller!

I have a pet peeve with magic. There are not enough girls in our art. At least, not enough and certainly not enough who are in the public eye. So, I was already delighted when I saw 12 year old Zoe Lafleur take to the stage. Her Uncle appeared on a previous episode of “Fool Us” last year and when she sat in the audience, she  thought to herself “Hey, I can do that!”, and that’s exactly what she did. Although she didn’t fool Penn & Teller, they rightfully praised her for her poise, presentation and skill. I loved that when she was told that she didn’t fool them she smiled and said, “I think they definitely figured it out, but, just wait ‘til next year, I’m gonna GET you guys!” I hope that she does!

Josh Farley had a fun take on the standard “girl in box gets impaled with solid objects, vanishes, and reappears” routine. Not only was the idea a one of a kind, but so was his prop. In fact, he had it custom built by his father especially for this appearance on “Fool Us”. I really liked his style and attitude. In fact, he kind of reminded me of Matt Smith as the Doctor from “Doctor Who”. Kinda quirky and fun. Plus, how could I not like an act that has a giant Panda Bear who acts as his DJ spinning on the ones and twos? LOL!!

Check out “Fool US” with Penn Teller every Monday Night at 8:00pm (7:00pm central) on the CW. YOu can also see the latest episodes on the CW website by clicking HERE

What did you think of the episode? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!

In context of a magic show, I have strong opinions about how children who come on stage as volunteers should be treated. Fundamentally, I believe every helper should be a hero. Every child assistant should be shown great appreciation and respect. I do not think a child should ever be made to feel uncomfortable, nor do I believe in making jokes at a child’s expense.

Over the years, I have developed a variety of techniques to aid in making children feel good about themselves when on stage with me. A few of the ideas might be original. Others started with things I saw others do, which then were adapted to my style. As far as I am concerned, these techniques, although simple, are worth their weight in gold.

I am glad to share them. If you can use them, please do. If the end result is more children having affirming and magical experiences when on stage, it is a reward for me. I am grateful to be part of anything that brings more happiness and good into this world.

Note about selecting child volunteers

In the effort to find a volunteer, rather than standing on stage and pointing at someone, I walk out into the audience. I like to be right next to the individual I am selecting. This ensures I do not have the wrong child come up and allows me extra opportunity to interact with the audience as I walk among them searching for helpers.

Technique #1.  “This audience is so pleased you are willing to help!”

After walking out into the audience to find a child volunteer, as the child and I move back toward the stage I pretend to whisper something to the child, but actually make sure my microphone picks it up so everyone hears it. I say, “Want to know a secret? This audience is very happy you are willing to help me. In fact, they are so happy about it they can hardly wait to clap and cheer for you. When you arrive on stage you will not believe how loudly they will clap…and all the applause will be for you.”

Then, when the child and I arrive on stage, I make sure the audience does clap loudly to welcome the child. Because I already cued the audience into this, by way of my supposed “whisper” into the mic, the audience happily and loudly responds.  (This amplifies the overall enthusiasm of the audience, along with encouraging the child.)

Technique #2. “You have an awesome smile!”

When walking back toward the stage with a child who has just been selected to assist I comment, “Do you know one of the reasons why I picked you? It is because you have an awesome smile. I will show you how great your smile is. When we get up on stage, if you just look out at the audience and smile, they will go crazy. They will clap and cheer. You will see what what I mean!”

Then, when the child and I arrive on stage, I ask the child to smile at the audience. (Seeing a small child make a great big smile is cute and fun.) I step behind the child as this happens and, in a way the child cannot see, I cue the audience to go crazy clapping as the child smiles. Audiences love to do this. They like being in on the idea of making the child feel special. This too elevates overall audience enthusiasm.

Technique #3. “On their level.” 

If the child is fairly small (short), I get down on one knee so I am at at eye level as I learn the child’s name. This seems to put children at ease and makes it easier to connect with them for sake of simple conversation.  It also seems to be appreciated by an audience. People like seeing an adult lower himself to talk to a child.

Technique #4. “Is it okay if I write down your name?” 

I do not always do this, but I often do it. I have a small pad of sticky notes with me. Once the child is on stage and I ask for his or her name, I say, “I would like to make a name tag for you. Would you mind spelling out your name so I can write it down correctly?” This helps me to be sure to properly understand the name. (With modern names, one cannot always know what a name is just by hearing it.) The spelling out of the name helps to ensure I actually say the name correctly. Letting the child stick the note to himself or herself, makes it easy for me to remember the name during the routine. At the end of the routine I thank the child for being an assistant and say, “You can keep the name tag. Thanks again for being such a wonderful helper!”  (When working with assistants, I have the assistant come out and write out the name tag, while I continue talking to the child.)

Technique #5. “When I was your age I wasn’t that old!”

It is a standard line for a magician, after asking a child his or her age (such as six year old), to say, “When I was your age I was six years old too!” I have found it better to put myself down. My approach is to say, “Wow, when I was your age I was only five!”  This suggests the child is maybe superior to me. The line typically gets a good laugh and usually seems to make the child feel good. He or she basically thinks, This guy may not be as smart as I am!  Beyond what the child may think, adults in the audience enjoy the fact that I give the child have the upper hand in the matter.

Technique #6. “Where are you from?”

I think, after learning a child’s name, it is good to actually show interest in the child. One way I do this is nod my head and ask, “Wow, so your name is Caleb! Where are you from?” Children do not always know how to answer the question. Whatever they say, I listen carefully. Recently a little girl told me, “I’m from Disney.”  Rather than trying to correct her I simply said, “That is amazing. I don’t know if I have ever meet anyone who is from Disney. What do you do there?” The girl answered, “I sleep.” The audience thought this was wonderfully funny. The girl was not embarrassed because I went along with what she told me and accepted her answers. Whether the child does or does not answer the question, it is worth asking it. It provides opportunity for the child to say something that maybe cute or funny. It indicates you want to know the child.

Note about conversation on stage with a child…

I try to put children at ease and want them to know I am paying attention to them. I am careful not extend this or overdo it. I don’t try to make something funny out of everything they say. (I hope for humor, but do not force it.) I gently ask a few simple questions such as, “What is your name? And “Where are you from?” I react to whatever they say, then I move on with the routine.

Technique #7. “What do you think of my jacket?” (Or shirt)

Since, for a show, I normally wear a fancy jacket or sparkly shirt, I have found I can get some humorous replies if I look down at what I am wearing and ask the child, “What do you think of this jacket?” (or shirt.).  A child may say, “I like it,” or he or she might say, “I’m not sure.” Whatever they say, I respond with, “You are probably thinking this makes me look old?” If the child says, “Yes,” or nods his or her head in the affirmative, the audience usually laughs. If you are not an older performer you might say, “Do you think it makes me look handsome?” (Or beautiful?)

At one show, when I asked a little girl what she thought of my jacket, she said, “I have tiger pajamas at home. I like them better than your coat.” Her sincerity and the spontaneity of her response was delightful. The question is not an attempt to get a compliment from the child. The purpose is the creation of opportunity for the child to give an sincere response which likely will be entertaining.

All of these techniques center around the idea of treating the child as a person rather than a prop. I think children are more wonderful than any trick a magician would ever do. Therefore, when I bring them on stage, I want to showcase them. In my perspective, a child is not there so I can do a trick. The trick is there so I can feature a child. Whatever the trick or routine, if it involves a child volunteer, I see the purpose to be that of providing a child with a great experience and making a  reminder to all about how special children are.

I realize not everyone enjoys children like I do. Nevertheless, I think any performer who invites a child on stage needs to comprehend the wonder and delight that can be found within children. A good performer finds ways to make that wonder and delight shine out.

Duane Laflin is a noted magician, teacher and innovator. He is a former president of The International Fellowship of Christian Magicians. He is a sought-after lecturer among magic clubs throughout the U.S.

Our good friend Joshua Jay appeared Friday night on The Late Late Show with James Cordon and did a mentalisim trick that really blew the audience away! You won’t believe the ending! Congratulations, Josh! Take a look below to see how it all went down…

This year’s I.B.M. Convention is in the books and once again, they did an outstanding job! Outgoing President Michael Finney did an unbelievable job this year. He has a charisma that attracts many people new and old to our art. He has a genuine love for magic, and you can truly see that every time you talk to him or see him perform.

Speaking of performances, as much as I would love to see all the wonderful shows and performers at night, it’s just not possible for me because after a full day in the dealer’s room meeting so many friends and fellow magicians old and new, I’m really worn out by the end of each day, so I can’t give a review of the shows. But with the stellar line-up of talent throughout the convention including Paul Kozak and friends, Michael Finney, Bizzaro, Mike Hammer, Misty Lee, Banachek, Shawn Farquhar, Ken Scott, Les Arnold & Dazzle, Kevin James, Rudy Colby, and Les Bubb, I know that a good time was had by all!

Convention Chairman Ken Scott and all of the great convention staff at the Talking Stick Hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona did a wonderful job of making sure that things ran smoothly, and all their hard work showed! Simone Maron does so much behind the scenes to make things a success. It’s always comforting to know that you have someone like her in your corner.

Incoming President Alex Zander handles the dealers room extremely well, and he has the youth & enthusiasm to make things rock! I look forward to working with him in the future. Oscar Munoz and his lovely wife did a magnificent job handling the contests. They are a great presence to have around!

All good things must come to an end, and when it was all said and done, we were exhausted but it was that GOOD kind of tired. We caught an early ride back to the airport at 3:00am in order to get back home to the East Coast at a decent time on Sunday evening so I could get some rest and ready for the coming week. You know, they say that if you can go to work every day doing what you truly love, then you’re not really “working”.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the booth and said “Hi”. It’s always a pleasure to chat with, swap stories and magic with you. I’m already looking forward to next year in Pittsburgh! See you all then!

Magically Yours,

Harry Allen

    

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