Stuff your eyes with wonder.
– Ray Bradbury
Greetings from sunny and rapidly warming Las Vegas (it was 85 here today)! Jeff, Abbi and Eugene left for Canada yesterday morning, to teach a 3 day Master Class sponsored by our former Master Class Student Sheldon Casavant, along with the Festival Place Theater in Sherwood Park (near Edmonton, Alberta). I’ll be taking off to join them for a special performance of “Magic – The Secret Art” on Saturday evening – but for now I’m left behind here in Las Vegas.
There’s so much going on now, I hardly know where to begin. Last week Jeff, Eugene and I had a fabulous time doing a show for Dr. Lawrence Hass’ group from Muhlenberg College, right here in Vegas for the first time. Many of you will know that Dr. Hass sponsors one of the few (perhaps the only?) sanctioned program for the study of performance magic in a college setting. His annual program at Muhlenberg, entitled “The Theory and Art of Magic,” has featured such magic luminaries as Max Maven, Robert E. Neale, Rene Lavand, Juan Tamariz and many, many more since the program began in 1999. This year, Dr. Hass brought a group of students and alumni to Las Vegas, the capital of magic here in the U.S., where, besides Jeff and Eugene, they met with Mac King, saw shows, and enjoyed their magical week in Las Vegas. A high point for me was having lunch with a half dozen theatre majors between our tech rehearsal and the show last week. I felt right back at home from my own days as a theater major, back in the early ‘70’s.
Once Jeff and Eugene get back next week from the shows in Canada, we’ll be immediately busy with a couple of corporate engagements here in Las Vegas, and preparing for our first extended master class of this year, from April 23-29th. When we began the 7-day extended classes two summers ago, we wondered if it would be possible to sustain the intensity of the 3 day classes over the longer period. After having done the first 4 or 5 such classes, we’re actually finding it difficult to get everything in! Besides the visits to Mac King and Lance Burton’s shows, and visits with them, we’ve been able to go much deeper in in working with individuals in each class to improve their particular pieces, and to spend more time creating break-out sessions particularly tailored to the wants and needs of the particular students in each class. Beyond that, we’ve found that it’s really a lot of fun to have the additional time to get to know one another and share our magics. For this class, we do still have 2 slots left open. If you want to be one of the 15 people to share this amazing experience, I’d highly recommend you go to www.magicalwisdom.com right now and register.
For those of you in Canada, we highly recommend that you tune in for this week’s edition of “Enigma” on VisionTV. The show will feature our friend Max Maven, and promises to be fascinating. Max is, besides being perhaps the best known mentalist in the world today, one of our deepest thinkers and most prolific writers on magic and mentalism – you’re pretty much guaranteed to learn a lot any time you encounter him.
Next week on “Enigma,” Jeff will be featured again, in the “Mysteries of the Tarot Cards.” The hour-long documentaries commissioned for Enigma take an entertaining, contemporary view of historical subjects, investigating everything from Eastern mysticism and secret societies to psychic communication and belief in the afterlife. You can learn more from the Vison TV website at http://www.visiontv.ca/Enigma/.
VisionTV is available as a “basic” service on cable and satellite in approximately 8.4 million households across Canada. One in four Canadians tune in to VisionTV at least once a month. Approximately two million people watch each week; 6.3 million watch every 13 weeks. The producers have assured us that once they have the first 6 episodes completed, they intend to begin the process of finding an outlet here in the U.S. for the show. We’ll let you know when you may be able to see it here.