Archive for September, 2004

On the Las Vegas Strip

Friday, September 24th, 2004

A few nights each month, we like to catch some of the new shows that have opened. I’ve heard good things about the new rock musical built around the music of Queen’s Freddie Mercury, which is called “We will Rock You.” It’s playing at the Paris Hotel. A few nights ago we caught the comedy magic show of Levent! I haven’t seen Levent since the 80′s and, wow, he packs dozens of effects – mostly fine manipulation and extraodinary original sight gags – into a power packed hour of side splitting comedy and knuckle busting sleight of hand. If he comes to a comedy club or magic convention near you, make it a point to see him. Siegfried and Roy are in the news here almost every day. While Roy may never perform as he did a year ago, he is alive and is speaking with clarity and hope. He is a living testament to the amazing healing powers of the human body. Just a few months ago he was near death and now he’s talking and working with therapists and moving towards a new life. You can still see their magnificent animals at the “Secret Garden” exhibit at the Mirage. I am fortunate to have seen their show many times and to have worked with them at fundraising events and magic conventions.

Sharpe Words of Wisdom

Friday, September 24th, 2004

“The underlying purpose of magic in its many aspects is to help people approach life and the cosmos in a state of wonder”. — from Art and Magic by Sam Sharpe, published by Miracle Factory After reading Mr. Sharpe’s quote I realized that I am in fact, living in the “state of wonder”: Nevada. There is more art and wonder in Nevada than anywhere I have ever lived. Between creating our magical art at the annual Burning Man Art festival, all the Vegas magic shows, the visiting magicians, and the events we host here at the center, we live in an almost constant state of wonder! I keep many of Sam Sharpe’s books near my desk. I often open one and read a few passages to keep me inspired and deep in thought about my art. Sam thought deeply about the art of magic and his works are wonders, written from his heart. Having a few days at home, Abbi and I are catching up on our reading. If you’ve been to our home you know that we never watch television programming (who wants to be programmed?). In fact, we have no antenna or cable, no satellite either — and our television is only a monitor to watch tapes of students or to review our practice sessions. Although the occasional cool movie like EXISTO or One Giant Leap (find these movies!) or instructional magic performance DVD finds its way if company drops over and just needs a TV fix. At home, we are mostly listening to CDs of our friends’ music, or making live music. Many of our friends are i ncredible musicians who make their own CDs of their music, so we hardly ever buy “pop” music! Abbi has been studying the Kora, an African harp. Her teacher is Toumani Kouyate, from Senegal, and he is one of the stars of Cirque du Soleil’s show “O”. Late at night, Abbi plays her music. Harpstrings fill the air with sound and mix with champa incense (our favorite) and I practice my magic routines and improvise to her sweet melodies….. ah, a few days at home… bliss!

Creating Your Own Home Magic Theater

Friday, September 10th, 2004

I started my magic career at 8 years old doing shows in my living room. Today, even though I perform in huge theaters for thousands of people, I still do many shows in my home theater for our visiting friends. When we have friends over to our home, Abbi, Eugene and I often perform our “home-theater” show. Eugene and I thought it would be great to hold a special weekend to share our practical ideas on how you can, very simply, set up a home theater and do shows for small groups of friends or even paying guests. Join us and learn the art of creating your very own intimate magic theater. We will explore the world of storytelling magic with a special focus on how to transform your home or room into a more intimate and mysterious magic theater.

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