The Magic Newswire

It goes without saying that the magic community is still reeling from the loss of one of our mentors, the amazing Johnny Thompson. It was because of him that I put together this interview with him and some of Charlie Miller's students and friends. The original description of this interview follows: "Seconds, bottoms, the pass, Malini, Vernon and so much more. Charlie Miller is one of those names that is often mentioned in the context of modern card magic. In that same context, he is one of those technicians that I think that many of us know too little about. I hope that this conversation with some of his closest friends does something to rectify that. In this episode of the Magic Newswire's "Spirit of Magic" podcast, our good friend Johnny Thompson is joined by two other legends in magic, Harry Riser and Bob White. I am only there to guide the conversation, but what an amazing conversation it was! Enjoy and learn!"  We miss you sorely Johnny!

Direct download: MNW36_Redux_Charlie_Miller.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:32pm EDT

Here is another redo of a prior episode of the podcast. This one highlights a non magician, Gary Vaynerchuk.  Gary has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, GQ, and Time, has appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and Ellen. He also makes regular appearances on Fox News, MSNBC, CNN and the major network news outlets. Vaynerchuk has been described as "the first wine guru of the YouTube era", "the wine world's new superstar", and by Rob Newsom, a Washington State wine maker, "outside of Robert Parker, probably the most influential wine critic in the United States".  Gary is also a best selling author of three books focused on the concept of personal branding and the power of social media and the internet in doing so.  He joins us on the Magic Newswire to discuss his latest book "The Thank You Economy." Gary says, "I feel that we're living through the biggest culture shift of our time. The internet, itself, is 17-years-old. It's just hitting the social part of its life. It's just like growing up. As you get to 13, 14 and 15, you want to go out and go to parties. That's what's happening right now! The internet is growing up." Find out why this should matter to you!

Direct download: VaynerchuckReDoMarc112011.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 11:04pm EDT

"Some demented magician would take over a movie theater at midnight on Saturday. He'd choose creepy tricks and return-of-the-dead patter and the show would climax with him producing a monster, like a mummy, who would stagger into the audience as the lights went out. All the teenagers would clutch their dates and scream and giggle," he adds, "and take advantage of the darkness to have a great time."

This is the Teller's description of the Midnight Spook Shows that served to inspire he, Todd Robbins and Johnny Thompson as they collaborated to deliver the off-Broadway production, "Play Dead."

Somehow, magic and mystery are combined to bring joy to the audience by scaring them to death and we talk about how that's possible!

Direct download: TomsoniTellerTodd.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:23am EDT

Both Johnny & Pam Thompson Joined us for a rip roaring chat on an episode of This Week in Magic and it is a great one to listen to while thinking of him. Rest Easy my friend!

Direct download: Tomsonico.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:52am EDT

I am so very sad to report on the passing of yet another of the greats in our art. Johnny "The Great Tomsoni" Thompson was my guest on several episodes of the Magic Newswire's Spirit of Magic Podcast. This is one of my favorites and the earliest. Please listen and remember in his honor!

Johnny was much more than an extremely well respected performer and one of the funniest magicians out there. He was also a much sought after magic consultant and worked with such performers as Lance Burton, Penn & Teller and Criss Angel. In the first interview below, Johnny talked about his career as well as his experiences with other performers including Herb Zarrow, Jay Marshall, Marshal Brodein, Francis Carlyle, Paul le Paul, Paul Rosini, Joe Bergen, Cardini, Channing Pollock, Carl Balentine, Al Koran, Dai Vernon and Charlie Miller.

Direct download: BrokenWandJohnnyThompson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:44am EDT

On April 1st, 2009, Magician John Rotellini Jr. will spend the day sightless- having silver dollars duct taped over his eyes topped with custom-made stainless steel blindfold placed over his face. Throughout the course of the day, John will visit area businesses and schools performing mentalism. Why is he doing this? To raise money for Kidd's Kids, a charitable organization that fills a Boeing 737 jetliner with terminally ill and handicapped youth and their families and takes them to Disney World for five magical days. John will end the day with a Blind drive in everyday traffic. John is also opening a new show on April 4th at the Wyo Theater, with a portion of the proceeds also benefiting Kidd's Kids. To support John in his fundraising, call 307.752.2754

Direct download: MNW112b-SE1-Rotelini-03-26-2009.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:40pm EDT

Paul Diamond may not be a household name in the world of magic today, but everyone that I speak to from Johnny Thompson, to Mac King & Lance Burton, etc... all knew "Mr. Humble." I was very sad to learn today that he had passed away. As a boy discovering the art of magic while living in South Florida, making the trip to Paul's shop in the Lauderdale by the Sea area was a must! I was lucky enough to get my first exposure to magic through a teacher associated with Paul's shop when I was in elementary school. As it turns out, Paul was also a favorite performer of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack. Over the years, he's been a featured entertainer for celebrity events hosted by Celine Dion, Elton John, Milton Berle and many others. In addition, Paul had such close association with such magic legends as Slydini and Charlie Miller live with him in his Florida home. Rediscover "Mr. Humble," Mr. Paul Diamond on this republished episode of the Magic Newswire's "Spirit of Magic Podcast." Rest in peace Paul!

Direct download: PaulDiamond-04-13-2009.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:29pm EDT

It has been a rough week for magic.  This afternoon I learned that we had lost yet another member of magic's royality, "Princess" Irene Larsen.  From Erika:

It is with the greatest sorrow imaginable, that we announce the passing of my beautiful, beloved mother, Irene Larsen. She left us suddenly, but not before touching many, many lives deeply and permanently. She was grace personified. Her love is all around us. She will be missed forever. The family is grieving, and we appreciate your kind words and we know you are hurting too. We will never stop celebrating Princess Irene.

I was incredibly lucky to have a few moments with Irene very early on in the production of this podcast. Enjoy remembering her with me. She will be truly missed by us all!

Direct download: MNW37IRENELARSEN.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:56pm EDT


As a native Atlantan, I have very fond memories of seeing Tom Mullica perform at his magic bar on Peachtree Street, The Tom Foolery. I am sad to report that today, we lost one of magic's great performers and a genuinely nice guy. When we recorded this, Tom had been battling leukemia, but it was in remission and Tom was preparing to renew his Red Skelton tribute show in Branson. There was recent talk about the opening of a new Tom Foolery on Las Vegas as well. I am so happy to have had the chance to share this moment with Tom and can only say that I am so sorry to not have had more time with him.

Direct download: MullicaRIP.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:27pm EDT

Chris Ramsay is a magician. He's a photographer. He's a guy that can't be easily categorized, which is probably exactly how he likes it. Chris discovered magic as a child and honed his skills as a traditional magician while working in a restaurant, but it wasn't until he discovered cardistry and flourishing that he really came into his own.  These days, he has become one of the most popular performers posting material to social media. Listen in to learn what it is about magic that inspires him and how he thinks that new performers should begin and progress in the craft.

Direct download: MNW342-ChrisRamsay.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:50am EDT