The Magic Newswire

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST


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 EST

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 EST

Jim Steinmeyer & Mike Caveney rejoin me on the Magic Newswire's "Spirit of Magic" podcast to talk about several topics including magic snobbery, the 20th anniversary of the LA Magic History Conference which just wrapped in Los Angeles, their new release from Taschen Books, "Magic: 1400 - 1950",  and their current projects including Steinmeyer's biography of Howard Thurston and Caveney's long anticipated "Magic of Mike Caveney." 


Direct download: MNW174-CaveneyANDSteinmeyer-11-13-2009.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:45pm EST

In the conclusion of my interview with magic creator, consultant, historian and author Jim Steinmeyer we cover a wide range of topics. What makes the Masked Magician Specials possible? Can the secrets of magic really be protected from exposure? What challenges are faced by Cirque when developing a new presentation of magic for the public? What's missing from modern magic as it is presented on television today? In addition we discuss the release of his upcoming book on Howard Thurston and his collaboration on an oversized book on the history of magic with Mike Caveney 

Direct download: MNW79-JimSteinmeyer2-01-11-2009.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:10pm EST

Magic creator, consultant, historian and author Jim Steinmeyer is our guest on this episode of the Magic Newswire podcast. In addition to talking about his magical youth, Jim shares his experiences working with some of the biggest names in magic. Doug Henning, David Copperfield, Lance Burton and Siegfried & Roy are just a few of the professional performers who have all turned to Jim for assistance over the years. In addition to writing a new work on Thurston and completing an oversized book on the history of magic with Mike Caveney, Jim is acting as the magic consultant for the new Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus tour "Zing Zang Zoom." This is the first of a two part interview. 

Direct download: MNW78-JimSteinmeyer-01-09-2009.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:56pm EST

Here is a repost of the two part interview with David Ben which was originally published in October of 2009.  It has been remastered to remove the ads and consolidate both parts into one continuous interview. David talks about Marlo, Vernon and many other notable figures from the history of magic. From the original post: The public, the press and his peers have recognized David as one of the world’s foremost sleight-of-hand artists.  In Dai Vernon: A Biography (2006), David penned the first half (part two being in production) of the definitive portrait of Dai Vernon, the most influential magician of the twentieth century. He is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Magicana, a performing arts organization and registered charity which serves to educate and increase the public’s understanding and appreciation of the art of magic. David joins me on the podcast to talk about his love of magic and his contribution to Genii's 75th Anniversary salute to the Jinx.

Direct download: MNW157-DavidBen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:14pm EST

On this episode of the Magic Newswire's "Spirit of Magic" podcast we have a chat with Australia's honest conman and one of the hosts of the latest incarnation of The Real Hustle, Nicholas Johnson. The concept for the Real Hustle as a television program originated in the UK and has gone through several incarnations in various countries. Nicholas is a con artist, magician, speaker & comedian who uses sleight of hand, card cheating, pickpocketing & psychology to recreate the world of the professional con man.

Direct download: MNW182-NicholasJohnson-01-23-2010.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:18am EST