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.
Jamy Ian Swiss
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...?”
Dai Vernon described Charlie Miller as one of the best card handlers he had ever encountered. Although the two were a generation apart in age, they began a friendship that would last through their lifetimes. Miller would 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.
Spending time with Luis, I quickly became aware of his intelligence, passion, knowledge of magic, and what I can only describe as a deeply artistic spirit. He is very much a product of the influence of Tamariz and the Spanish School, but also, like Juan, he has tremendous experience as both a stage and television performer.
While Vernon’s focus was on sleight-of-hand magic with playing cards and other small objects, his vision was such that it would eventually impact the entirety of performance magic, from its largest stage illusions down the smallest feat performed with a single coin.
"When it comes to card magic at the dawn of the twenty-first century, it’s the Spaniards’ world, and we just live in it. ... Woody Aragón is an innovative thinker about card magic, deeply influenced by his mentor Tamariz, but like a number of these creative acolytes, he has developed a substantial body of original work, and is an accomplished performer in live venues and on television in his native Spain."
Magicana has added a new archive of films of magicians, shot between 1976 and 1981 by Canadian collector Larry Thornton. In this Take Two, I have selected nine newly discovered vintage films, featuring six previous Take Two subjects, with links to the original essays to guide you along the way.