What accounts for the longevity of this classic? A recent survey has been touted that suggests that the public supposedly dislikes the classics of magic. The results of this survey mean—well, absolutely nothing to me, because the survey simply measures participants’ preconceived notions about magic. I, for one, have no interest in creating art based on random surveys or focus groups; I’ll leave that to lousy summer blockbuster movies.
Jamy Ian Swiss
Believe it or not, we are just a couple of copies away from selling out of The Magic of Johnny Thompson!
Louis Tannen, the founder and original proprietor of Tannen’s Magic in Manhattan, was the first person to teach me sleight of hand. He taught me sponge balls when I was about ten or eleven years old, and later dice stacking, and the Chop Cup. By the time I was about 13 I was performing the Chop Cup for my parents’ friends at home cocktail parties, behind our four-stool home bar....
The Magic of Johnny Thompson—the epic 663-page, two-volume slipcased set featuring seventy-eight routines with nearly 1,100 images, drawn from a lifetime of magic—is finally bound and sealed … and now signed.
Why get The Paradigm Shift Vol. 1 & 2? Because they are “filled to the brim with theory, technique, effects, history, perspective, experience, and a distinctive creator’s voice. What more do you want...?”
...when Vernon and Miller would finally meet soon thereafter, Vernon would describe Miller as one of the two best card handlers Vernon had ever encountered. Although the two masters were a generation apart in age—a fact that magicians today often overlook—thus began a friendship and association that would last through Miller and Vernon’s lifetimes. Charlie Miller, albeit less renowned that Vernon, would eventually become a remarkable magical maestro in his own right.
The nature of the variety arts is such that there have always been, and shall always be, unsung heroes. I can tick off a list of performers who had significant impact on me in the course of my life in magic, whose names would mostly be recognized by locals who shared the same geography.
He builds illusions his own particular way, generally with full-scale constructions rather than computer simulations or miniature models. He emphasizes that real-world performance is vastly different than theory on paper or screen, and thus his old world skill set delivers the most modern of solutions for every conceivable variety of need and application. I literally cannot imagine the skills it requires to restore or recreate the automata that fuel Gaughan’s passion, but I am truly wondrous every time I see one of his performances with them.
On the first weekend of January, my partner, Ann Coleman, and I took my twin stepsons, Dexter and Grayson, now 14 years old, to Los Angeles for a three-day adventure, in the concluding days of their winter break before returning to ninth grade. This was the “J-Pa Knows A Guy” road trip (a sort of running family joke about me), that included magic, music, meals and more.