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

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

As we approach the 100th anniversary celebration of the mansion that serves as the permanent resident for the Academy of Magical Arts, we continue to explore the rich history of the Magic Castle. My guest on this episode of the podcast is George Seigel. George is the architectural historian for the Castle and the man that knows the complete history of the mansion. How many people have died in the Castle? Are there any reports of paranormal activity? Is there a connection between the family that lived there when it was a private residence and Harry Houdini? An insane asylum!? All this and more will be revealed on the Spirit of Magic Podcast!

Direct download: MNW166-GeorgeSeigel-11-03-2009.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:53am EDT

A long time promise is now fulfilled for MagicNewswire Podcast listeners.  Some time ago, I recorded a fantastic interview with "Magician's Magician" Armando Lucero.  Unfortunately, due to a perfect storm of technical issues, I thought that it had been lost.  In addition, time constrains placed upon me by my nob and family have prevented me from dedicating the time needed to try and recover this gem.  Fortunately, I st aside some time and have managed to resurrect this conversation.  Armando needs little introduction to magicians around the globe.  He is an amazing performer and teacher who is much in demand for his lectures on magic an an art form.  It was a pleasure having him with me on this episode of the "Spirit of Magic" podcast.  I hope that you enjoy it!

Direct download: MNW341-ArmandoLucero.mp3
Category: Podcast -- posted at: 3:13pm EDT

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 sauluteto the Jinx.

Direct download: MNW157-DavidBen2-10-06-2009.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:31am EDT

By now, everyone will be aware of the tragedy that has hit the country of Haiti after a major eathquake rocked the region. The magic community is representing us well in the face of the disaster through the efforts of James L Clark, Daniel Ramirez & David Blaine. Yesterday, David Blaine announced that he would be doing magic in Times Square for the next 72 hours to heighten public awareness of the need in Haiti and the efforts of the Red Cross in the region

Direct download: MNW181a-DavidBlaine-01-15-2010.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:27am EDT

Paul Wilson is much more than an award winning conjuror. He's a scam artist, movie consultant and television presenter. He has studied sleight of hand, cheating and conjuring since the age of eight. He consulted on the 2004 Sylvester Stallone film "Shade"  in which he directed and starred in the highly acclaimed opening titles  which featured his expert sleight of hand with cards. In the filme, he appeared as Mr. Andrews. He also served as a magic consultant on the Joe Carnahan film "Smokin' Aces," has consulted for Criss Angel, produced A&E's television show Mondo Magic, appeared on Modern Marvels casino technology episodes, co-created, produced and starred in Court TV's The Takedown  and is the resident cheating expert on Italian television's Arcana show. Wilson is currently a writer and presenter on the BBC's The Real Hustle. The show is now a hit in the United Kingdom and is in its' eighth season.  His credits within the magic community include  The Royal Road To Card Magic, Hit the Road with Paul Wilson and Lee Asher, Knock 'Em Dead, Twists Of Fate, The Restaurant Act, and The Unreal Work with Paul Wilson and Jason England. Join us for a very thoughtful interview with magician Paul Wilson on this episode of the Magic Newswire's "Spirit of Magic" podcast!

Direct download: MNW95-PaulWilson-03-06-2009.mp3
Category: Podcast -- posted at: 11:14am EDT

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

Who was the stunt double that did the backflips for John Belushi in the movie "The Blues Brothers?" Who grew up in Harry Anderson's garage? Which magician overcame the hardships of dyslexia, ADD, severe speech impediments and other learning disabilities to become a world renowned magic performer? You've probably guessed that I am talking about Jonathan Pendragon by now. (Did the title of this article and the picture to the left give it away? )  Named by Magic Magazine, as one of 10 living magicians whose work shaped magic in the 20th and 21st centuries, Jonathan Pendragon is my guest on this episode of The Magic Newswire's "Spirit of Magic Podcast."

Direct download: MNW116-JonathanPendragon1-06-13-2009.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:14am EDT

When we posted the first part of our interview with Jonathan, we talked about the challenges that he had to overcome in order to become one of the top magicians in the world. It is no secret that the Pendragons are facing a new set of challengesas I post these interviews.  In this episode, Jonathan talks in detail about meeting and romancing Charlotte and how they became one of the most respected couples in magic.  Named by Magic Magazine, as one of 10 living magicians whose work shaped magic in the 20th and 21st centuries, Jonathan Pendragon is my guest on this episode of The Magic Newswire's "Spirit of Magic Podcast."

Direct download: MNW121-JonathanPendragon2-07-10-2009.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:08am EDT

After many years of writing magic books Stephen Minch decided to found his own publishing house which he called Hermetic Press. Today, the Hermetic Press is one of the most prestigeous magic publishers in the world and Stephen is considered one of the best editors and authors of magic books. Also recognized for his encyclopedic knowledge of magic history. Mr. Minch joins me on the Magic Newswire's Spirit of magic to talk about Ted Annemann and the Jinx.

Direct download: MNW158-StephenMinch-10-11-2009.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:47am EDT

My guest on this episode of the Magic Newswire's "Spirit of Magic" podcast is more than just an amazing performer, he's a respected thinker and creator in the art of magic and mentalism. Banachek was also a part of the now famous Project Alpha hoax in which he convinced scientists from Washington University that he was actually demonstrating paranormal abilities. Banachek is now a sought after consultant and performer who has worked with such performers as Criss Angel and Penn & Teller to develop material for their acts. Join us in this episode as we talk about his notorious history in the art and the 75th Anniversary of the Jinx released by Genii Magazine in October.

Direct download: MNW151-Banachek--09-24-2009.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:40am EDT

On Friday, September 11th, 2009, our friend magician Eric DeCamps was invested as a Dean of the Society of American Magicians Parent Assembly #1. Eric has been performing for more than 30 years. Among his many honors, he was voted Magician of the Year by The Society of American Magicians and is only the second person in the 107 year history of the organization to receive the prestigious Gold Medal of Excellence for Close Up Magic. Eric joins me on this episode of the Spirit of Magic Podcast to reflect upon the most recent honor bestowed upon him by the organization and what it means to him as he moves forward in his magical career. Eric will be performing his one man show at the Magic Castle on September 27th.

Direct download: MNW148-EricDeCamps-09-14-2009.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:35am EDT

Nathan Burton returns to the Magic Newswire's Spirit of Magic podcast after his appearance on the current season of America's Got Talent. Nathan was also a contestant on the first season of the show in which he placed 11th. Nathan returns to a show which seems more receptive to magic acts than it has been in the past. In addition to discussing the why and how of his return to the America's Got Talent stage, he offers his opinions on how to succeed as a magician on one of the most popular television shows in the world. In addition, Nathan talks about Michael Jackson and his love of magic as well as a photograph of MJ which has surfaced showing the King of Pop in attendance at Burton's show with his children.

Direct download: MNW123-NathanBurton-07-15-2009.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EDT

Doc Eason is known today as one of the premier bar and close-up magicians in the Magic. Most recently, Doc was honored by the Academy of Magical Arts at their 41st annual awards ceremony where he was named "Close-up Magician of the Year." This was not Doc's first award from the AMA as he was named WC Fields' Bar Magician of the Year in 2005. Know for his long run at John Denver's Tower Restaurant in Snowmass, Colorado, Doc began his career in magic at the age of 30 when he met Bob Sheets. Bob became his longtime friend and mentor helping to shape Doc as the magician that he is today. Doc talks about his time with Bob and JC Wagner as well as talks about working on the television show "Masters of illusion."


Direct download: MNW103-DocEason-03-31-2009.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:24am EDT

We continue to celebrate making it to our 100th episode of the Magic Newswire's "Spirit of Magic" podcast with Part 2 of our chat with  Master Magician Lance Burton. In this segment, Lance talks a bit more about people like Channing Pollock , Johnny Thompson and others that have impacted his career. In addition, we joke about his reaction to the Masked Magician television shows and discuss the impact that the next generation of magicians can have upon our art.  Lance is one of the top performers in Las Vegas with a $27 Million dollar venue built just for him at the Monte Carlo Resort & Casino. In July of 1980, he became  the first magician to win magic's most coveted "Gold Medal Award for Excellence" from the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Two years later, Lance received magic's highest accolade when he won the Grand Prix at the Federation International Society de Magic (F.I.S.M.) in Lausanne, Switzerland making him a "World Champion Magician." 


Direct download: MNW101-LanceBurton2-03-23-2009.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:19am EDT

If you don't know the name of Jon Racherbaumer, you should either walk away from magic or take some time to explore his influence on our art form. Jon is one of those guys that managed to connect to some of the greatests names in the modern history of magic including Ed Marlo, Eddie Fields, Orson Welles, and Senator Crandall. Given the controversies surrounding Blackpool & FISM 2010, it is also interesting to note that he was at one time blackballed by both the IBM & the SAM. Please join us for Part One of our interview with Jon Racherbaumer and learn more about lesbian bowlers, the "Magic Mafia" and how a good magician becomes controversial.

Direct download: MNE141-Racherbaumer2-09-01-2009.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:13am EDT

As discussed in our interview with Robert Wallace regarding the recent release of the manual that John Mulholland producedunder contract for the CIA,  I thought it only appropriate to explore this topic further.  In this episode, we talk to Ben Robinson, the author of the only biography of this individual,MagiCIAn : The Secret Life of John Mulholland. John Mulholland became a consultant to the newly born CIA in 1953. His assignments included working with billionaires and inventors, cracking codes and delving into the clandestine world of ESP research, LSD use and the secret MK-ULTRA world headed by the notorious Dr. Sidney Gottlieb. During this period, CIA Dr. Frank Olson died the day after Thanksgiving, 1953. This book examines Mulholland’s role during this dramatic period in the CIA’s history and goes against the current trend of accusing Mulholland as having a role in Olson’s fatal fall from a hotel window. Enjoy exploring the fasinating topic with the Magic Newswire.

Direct download: MNW176-BenRobinson-11-18-2009.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:09am EDT

Welcome to the launch of a new addition to the podcast lineup. When I first began podcasting on the subject of magic, it was just me and a microphone talking about the news of the week. I quickly grew bored and the interview concept that you now know as the "Spirit of Magic Podcast" was born.  This is a return to the magic news discussion that started it all, but in the form of a roundtable discussion. I've recruited a number of friends from the magic community to participate in a rotating roster of co-hosts and will include a "Mystery Guest" in the show that they are not aware of until we start recording. On this episode, Jim Callahan is the Mystery Guest and Scott Wells joins Cameron Ramsay as my co-hosts. We discuss Jim's recent interview on the "Spirit of Magic,"  marketing magic in today's economy and discuss the exposure of secrets in all its' forms.

Direct download: MNW176b-TWIM1-11-23-2009.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:50am EDT

On the second episode of "This Week in Magic" Scott Wells, Cameron Ramsay and I are joined by special guest, Brian Brushwood. During last weeks show with guest Jim Callahan, one of the topics discussed was exposure and Jim expressed the opinion that Brian was essentially exposing the secrets of magic and mentalist on his Revision 3 podcast "Scam School." This week, Brian joins us to offer his thoughts on this topic and to explore the many ways that a magician can market their act in the college market.

Direct download: MNW177a-TWIM2-200109-11-30-2009.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:32am EDT

One of the most controversial figures in mentalism joins me on this episode of the Magic Newswire "Spirit of Magic" podcast. Why is Jim such a debated personality? Does he actually claim to possess supernatural powers that allow him to speak with the dead or is he simply misunderstood as a performer? Has he actually applied to participate in the James Randi Educational Foundation Million Dollar Challenge or is it all just a scam? We talk about all of these topics and much more in this episode and look forward to your questions and comments to be discussed in a future conversation with Jim.

Direct download: MNW175-JimCallahan-7-11-17-2009.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:08am EDT