Thursday, July 30, 2009

Conned Into a Life of Magic

In this episode of Interviews 50 Cents on Slate V, Ryan Oakes a professional magician tells Alex Chadwick how he was once played by a couple of con artists in New York City.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

MTV's "Bar Pigs: The Celebrity Edition"

The "Bar Pigs: The Celebrity Edition" reality show premieres in Chicago featuring magicians Alex Lourido and Tomas Medina tomorrow. This unique event will kick-off Friday, July 24th at 10 PM at The Playground Theater in Chicago.

Alex will be screening his MTV pilot "Bar Pigs: The Celebrity Edition"- an original documentary about the bar scene. It's fun to watch and full of laughs. It features many celebrities from the Howard Stern show (Beetlejuice and Kennigh Keith Kallenbach's final performance on camera ). There will be scantly clad men and women and off color humor. Therefore parental discretion is advised! Again, it's about bar life.

After Alex's screening of the documentary there will be a question and answer session co-hosted by Alex and Chicago's very own Tomas Medina.

Alex is a consultant for David Blaine and a very creative magic inventor. He will also be lecturing at Midwest Magic the following day. Tomas is a local Chicago performer who has released several magic products around the country.

Darren Romeo: The Man Behind the Magic

Darren Romeo, Tannen's Magic Camp alum, is featured in an article on He discusses his career and his show "The Voice of Magic".

Here is an excerpt...

Tannen's Magic Camp

Over the next couple of years Darren's devotion and interest grew even more intense. He started to make connections and build relationships with other magicians who lived near him. It was those friends who helped push him to the next level.

“Once I got past all of those magic sets and met some magicians - it was kind of like, what's the next step? A local magician said, ‘I think you should go to this magic camp,’” Darren said.

At the time, there weren't many camps that focused solely on the art of magic. In fact, there was only one in the entire country that catered to child-magicians - Tannen's Magic Camp.

“Coincidentally it was the only camp in the world and it was in Long Island,” said Darren. “But it wasn’t all Long Island kids. There were 100 to 125 kids from all over the world.”

This experience proved to be a vital part of Darren’s early career. Not only did the camp help him fine tune his techniques, it also taught him some important life lessons.

“It was this hodgepodge of nine year olds and 18 year olds and all of the sudden you’re in between wanting to show off and wanting to say, I’m nothing,” said Darren. “Everyone around has all this talent. We all have egos but within 24 hours your ego would be nothing because it was all about camaraderie and learning and sharing.”

Go here to read the entire article.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Building a Mystery Box

This is an article from MAKE Magazinebrings the do-it-yourself mindset to all the technology in your life:

I love a good mystery. So does Wired Geekdad blogger and friend of MAKE, John Baichtal. In his words:

"A couple of months ago, I happened to catch the TED Talk given by Star Trek director J. J. Abrams concerning his love of mystery. The centerpiece of the talk was a simple cardboard box secured with packing tape and decorated with a giant question mark on one side. This box contains an assortment of magic tricks Abrams purchased from the Lou Tannen Magic Store as a kid, but for some reason, he's never opened it. For Abrams, the love of the mysterious unknown exceeds any value the magic tricks could provide."

Read more here.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Think-A-Drink: Ryan Oakes New iTunes App

There's a great new magic app in the iTunes App Store now... Predicty.

It is created by New York magician and Tannen's Magic Camp Alum, Ryan Oakes. The effect is a simple mentalism feat designed for anyone to be able to perform. The well-designed app has two versions of the effect included... one called

"Think-a-Drink" that involves alcoholic beverages and another called"Predict-a-Pet" that involves household pets (for when you want toperform the trick for kids!). As the performer you show a spectatorfour images on your phone and ask them to think of one. You make aprediction then place the phone face down so it can't be changed. The
spectator reveals their choice and the phone is turned over to reveala correct prediction! It's easy to do and immediately repeatable. 

You can purchase the app at the iTunes App Store. For $0.99 this trick is a lot of fun... and especially useful if you
want to break the ice in a bar.

Postcard From London: Magic Act

Derren Brown is a unique force in the world of illusion - he can seemingly predict and control human behaviour.

He doesn't claim to be a mind-reader, instead he describes his craft as a mixture of magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection and showmanship. 

Whatever you choose to call it, his unparalleled performances amaze and unsettle all those who watch him. This is a powerful and provocative form of entertainment, unlikely to be imitated for a long while.

Read yesterday's New York Times review of Mentalist Derren Brown's London show:


"I did not expect to be moved by “Enigma,” the wildly popular show at the Adelphi Theater. Amused, yes, and possibly even amazed. But emotionally stirred? By a magic act, performed by a fast talker in tails?

Yet moved I was by the end of “Enigma,” a showcase for the mind-bending talents of Derren Brown, directed by Andy Nyman. Before I proceed, you have to understand that this was my 33rd or 34th production of the past several weeks, and that my head is bursting with disparate images from London’s stages. So no doubt I was bizarrely ripe for seeing Mr. Brown’s brand of voodoo as a comment on – and even a benediction of – theater itself..." click here to continue reading.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Top Chef Masters: Magic Chefs

Top Chef Masters is an American reality competition show currently broadcast on the cable television network Bravo. It is a spinoff of Bravo's hit show Top Chef. In the series, 24 world-renowned chefs compete against each other in weekly challenges.

This show is a contrast from Top Chef, which typically features younger professional cooks who are still rising in the food service industry. The first season began airing June 10, 2009. The program takes place in Los Angeles.

Last night in week four, Top Chef Masters brought together distinguished chefs Anita Lo (Annisa), Douglas Rodriguez (Alma de Cuba), John Besh (Restaurant August) and Mark Peel (Campanile). The Masters find their hands tied in the Quickfire Challenge as they must cook an egg with one hand tied behind their back. Magician and Mentalist Max Maven explained the evenings challenge.

In the Elimination Challenge: The chefs were challenged to create a meal for Neil Patrick Harris and a few of his friends at The Magic Castle. The chefs had to use one of the following magic words as the inspiration for their dish: Mystery, Suprise, Spectacle, and Illusion.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Lance Burton: 6 More Years in Las Vegas

The grand illusions of legendary Master Magician Lance Burton will continue to captivate and enchant audiences at Monte Carlo through 2015. The signing of the new agreement comes at the completion of an already legendary 13-year run, which began the day the resort opened on June 21, 1996. The addition of six more years celebrates one of the longest partnerships in the history of Las Vegas entertainment and promises Monte Carlo guests almost two decades of astounding performances and mesmerizing sleight-of-hand

"We are thrilled to sign Lance Burton for another run," said Monte Carlo President & COO Anton Nikodemus. "We have spent the last two years introducing new energy into Monte Carlo, with exciting offerings such as BRAND Steakhouse, Diablo's Cantina and a newly remodeled casino floor. Even more enhancements are planned over the next few months leading up to the opening of City Center late this year. The thousands of visitors soon to grace our doors, some maybe for the first time, will introduce a whole new audience to Lance's magical entertainment." 

Lance Burton broke his foot during a performance on Thursday, May 7 and has been confined by a doctor to bed rest since, stating, "I wish I could magically make the bones in my foot heal faster, but that is against union rules. Magic should only be used for entertainment purposes and that is what I am looking forward to doing once I start walking again." 

Magic returns to The Lance Burton Theatre on Tuesday, July 7 with a new performance schedule at 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. 

Lance Burton has been chosen as Las Vegas' "Best Magician" for the past 11 years in a row in the R-J's "Best of Las Vegas" poll. 

His TV specials will begin airing on WGN -- America (80 million subscribers) on July 6 with "Lance Burton Master Magician: Top Secret," on July 13 with "Lance Burton Master Magician: On the Road," on July 20 with "Lance Burton's Young Magician’s Showcase" and on July 27 with "Hocus Pocus It's Fielding West." Show times are 9 p.m. ET and 6 p.m. PT. Check your local listings.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Jay Mattioli Wows Judges on America's Got Talent

We first saw Jay Mattioli, 27, at Tannen's 40th Anniversary Magic Jubilee back in 2002. Last night he wowed the country on "America's Got Talent," NBC's hit summer series.

The show returns this summer with the hottest performers from across the country ready to compete in the blockbuster reality show's fourth season.

With the talent search open to acts of all ages, "America's Got Talent" has brought the variety format back to the forefront of American culture by showcasing performers from across the country. The series is a true celebration of the American spirit featuring a colorful array of hopeful stars, including singers, dancers, comedians, contortionists, impressionists, jugglers, magicians and ventriloquists, all vying for their chance to strut and perform on stage hoping to win America's hearts -- and the $1 million prize.

Watch the performance that left the audience and judges stunned.