The Magic Newswire

Bob Wallace, retired CIA Director of the Department of Technical Services is one of the co-authors of the new book,The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception. In 1953, against the backdrop of the Cold War, the CIA initiated a top-secret program, code-named MKULTRA, to counter Soviet mind-control and interrogation techniques. Realizing that clandestine officers might need to covertly deploy newly developed pills, potions, and powders against the adversary, the CIA hired America's most famous magician, John Mulholland, to write two manuals on sleight of hand and undercover communication techniques. In 1973, virtually all documents related to MKULTRA were destroyed. Mulholland's manuals were thought to be among themuntil a single surviving copy of each, complete with illustrations, was recently discovered in the agency's archives. The manuals reprinted in this work represent the only known complete copy of Mulholland's instructions for CIA officers on the magician's art of deception and secret communication. Bob joins me on the podcast to talk about the book that Lance Burton describes as, "A legendary lost piece of magic history. It's James Bond meets Harry Houdini!"

Direct download: MNW168-RobertWallace-11-07-2009.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:59am EDT

Just before heading off to the 2009 MindVention in Las Vegas Alain Nu joins me on the Spirit of Magic podcast. Alain is “the man who knows, ” a mentalist and mystery performer who explores the hidden potential of our minds. Join Alain and me as we discuss modern mentalism and the ways in which he entertains even the most skeptical audiences with the awesome powers of the mind. Alain will be presenting a special metal bending seminar on Saturday and lecturing during the main convention.

Direct download: MNW167-AlainNu-11-06-2009.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:47am EDT

My guest for this episode of the Magic Newswire's "Spirit of Magic" podcast is the comedy magician Levent. As a fan of Mac computers, I have to include the fact that he is one of only a handful of entertainers to be invited to Apple Computer Company headquarters in Cupertino where he performed for the Apple staff.  Levent is a noted magic lecturer as well as a vaudeville historian.  He was a regular contributor to the “Vaudeville Times“ Magazine, and has penned articles for various other publications, including “MAGIC” magazine.   Most recently, you can see Levant on several episodes of the television series, Masters of Illusion

Direct download: MNW104-Levent-04-09-2009.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:37am EDT

Shawn Farquhar returns to the Magic Newswire's "Spirit of Magic" podcast to share his FISM experience with our listeners. As you will know, Shawn was awarded First Place in Cards and went on to with the Grand Prix in close-up at the event in Beijing.  We talk about both the good and the bad of this year's FISM. Shawn also discusses the controversy that his victory stirred up within magic circles and about how this impacted him on a personal level. He also shares the story of how his "Shape of My Heart" routine was created.

Direct download: MNW138-ShawnFarquhar-08-24-2009.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:25am EDT

Jeff Hobson is one of the most in-demand comedy magicians working today. His refreshing and clever mix of comedy and magic has brought him back for repeat performances all over the world. Hobson has won numerous awards for his skills. Among the most recent is his Best Comedy Magic award given by the International Magic Awards Association as well as an award of Best Magic Review by the World Magic Awards for his role as star and producer of the critically acclaimed Carnival of Wonders with Kalin & Jinger.

Direct download: MNW119-JeffHobson-07-05-2009.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:11am EDT

The founder of the Magic Castle and the producer of the annual "It's Magic" show is my guest on this special edition of the Magic Newswire's Spirit of Magic Podcast as we explore the history of the Castle which celebrates it's 100th anniversary next week. In the podcast, Milt shares his experiences as the founder of one of the most magical places on Earth, talks about what the future holds for the Magic Castle and promotes the 100th Anniversary celebration "It's Magic Show" which takes place next week. 

Direct download: MNW165-MiltLarsen-10-30-2009.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:56am EDT

The Misfit of Magic is a fitting title for magician, comedian and actor Ed Alonzo. Ed was named "Best Comedy Illusionist" on the 2008 World Magic Awards and is a featured performer on Episode 3 of Masters of Illusion. Ed began his career in magic as a member of both the Long Beach Mystics and the Junior program of the Magic Castle. Ed Alonzo won the coveted "Stage Magician of the Year" for two consecutive years, and "Comedy Magician of the Year" for another two consecutive years from the internationally recognized Academy of Magical Arts. Ed's unique blend of vaudvilian comedy and such bizarrely staged illusions as "Great Rack" and the "Invisible Baby Elephant" make Ed a truly unique character.

Direct download: MNW81-EdAlonzo-01-19-2009.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:31am EDT

In Part Two of my interview with the legendary Jon Racherbaumer, we explore the many influences on Jon and his passion for magic. Marlo, Vernon, Cardini, Slydini, Chan Canasta, Channing Pollock, Tommy Wonder, John Scarne and more all enter into the conversation. In addition, we discuss 75th anniversary edition of the Jinx that he and Harry Anderson have put together for the October issue of Genii Magazine.

Direct download: MNW_141____JON_RACHERBAUMER.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:36pm EDT

Barrie Richardson may be one of magic's most soft spoken thinkers, but he has contributed a great deal to the art of magic an mentalism. With the 1990 release of "Theater of the Mind," Barrie became instantly synonymous with great mentalism. The release of his second book "Act II" continued his legacy. Barrie joins me on the Magic Newswire "Spirit of Magic" podcast to talk about his influences in magic including Ted Annemann whose JINX magazine will be celebrated in the October issue of Genii Magazine.

Direct download: MNW_143____BARRIE_RICHARDSON.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:06pm EDT

Joining me from Budapest, Hungary is the newly dubbed World Champion of Stage Magic, Soma! Soma has become widely recognized in magic circles over the last several years after winning the such awards as the Golden Lion and the Magic Rings Grand Prix. After being named the Champion in the General Magic category at this year's FISM in Beijing, China Soma went on to win one of the most prestigious awards in the world of magic, the FISM Grand Prix for stage magic. His original phone-act, has been recognized for its originality and has been featured at conventions and gala shows around the world. In this Magic Conversation, Soma discusses the evolution of his magic and shares his FISM experience with our listeners.

Direct download: MNW127-Soma-08-06-2009.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:19am EDT