Thursday, August 27, 2009

Vanished: Joseph Finder

Joseph Finder’s plan was to become a spy. Or maybe a professor of Russian history. Instead he became a bestselling thriller writer.

In his new bestselling book, "Vanished", Nick Heller is tough, smart, and stubborn. And in his line of work, it's essential. Trained in the Special Forces, Nick is a high-powered intelligence investigator--exposing secrets that powerful people would rather keep hidden. He's a guy you don't want to mess with. He's also the man you call when you need a problem fixed.

Desperate, with nowhere else to run, Nick's nephew, Gabe makes that call one night. After being attacked in Georgetown, his mother, Lauren, lies in a coma, and his step-dad, Roger, Nick's brother, has vanished without a trace.

Nick and Roger have been on the outs since the arrest, trial, and conviction of their father, the notorious "fugitive financier," Victor Heller. Where Nick strayed from the path, Roger followed their father's footsteps into the corporate world. Now, as Nick searches for his brother, he's on a collision course with one of the most powerful corporations in the world--and they will stop at nothing to protect their secrets.

Tannen's Magic is mentioned in the book:

Born in Chicago, Joe spent his early childhood living around the world, including Afghanistan and the Philippines. In fact, Joe’s first language — even before English — was Farsi, which he spoke as a child in Kabul. Finally, after a stint in Bellingham, WA, his family finally settled outside of Albany, NY.

After taking a high school seminar on the literature and history of Russia, Joe was hooked. He went on to major in Russian studies at Yale and then completed a master’s degree at the Harvard Russian Research Center. He later taught on the Harvard faculty. He was recruited to the Central Intelligence Agency, but after discovering that a career in the bureaucracy of the Agency was less exciting than it seemed to be in the novels of Robert Ludlum, Joe decided to write instead.

Friday, August 21, 2009

XCMeijin: Knuckle Busting

Just hold onto your seats and watch XCMeijin, 20, an Extreme Card Manipulator from New South Wales, Australia as he prepared for the 2009 World XCM Championships.

Competitors are judged based on the following criteria:

Creativity - how creative you are (not just moves but overall)
Routining - how your uncut routine flows
Difficulty - what the difficulty level was
Cool Factor - and overall coolness of the video
Technique - Technique is the difference between good moves and crappy moves, moves that are properly executed and those that aren't.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Zingmaster Alex Ramon Zing Zang Zoom!

World class llusionist Alex Ramon summons over a decade of magic experience to bring an unexpected twist to the American circus as he joins the cast of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® presents ZING ZANG ZOOM Starring as the magical Zingmaster, Alex astounds audiences with his incredible mastery of illusions, all while keeping his nemesis, Mr. Gravity and his gang of Heavies from causing trouble.

A true principal of his craft, Alex earned many top awards and honors for his phenomenal magic, including San Francisco Bay Area's Best Stage Magician, the coveted Lance Burton award, given to the National Teenage Champion Magician by the World Magic Seminar in Las Vegas, and the National Stage Magic Champion award.

But even a master magician can’t learn to make an elephant disappear overnight. So like the tourist who asks directions to Carnegie Hall, Alex says the answer is to practice, practice, practice. But to him, practicing magic is a labor of love.

Raised in Richmond, California, Alex developed a deep connection with magic when he was just 13 years-old. His father’s colleague, a magician, often showed Alex magic tricks, and Alex dedicated hours learning and perfecting his technique. Alex’s father took notice of his son’s growing passion and natural talent for magic and bought him a 370-page magic book for Christmas that allowed Alex to take his talent to the next level.

With performance in his heart, Alex began entertaining friends and family. His first successful magic show at a family gathering impressed and astounded so many, Alex decided he wanted perform in front of more audiences. Soon after, he was hired at a local restaurant to perform close-up magic for guests. Alex continued to refine his skills as an entertainer, gained confidence in his abilities, and entered his first competition at the age of 16. Alex, one of the youngest competitors, won second place and began to make a name for himself as a talented magician in the Bay Area.

Seen as a popular and acclaimed magician, Alex was asked to be the spokesperson for a popular, state-wide library showcase. Alex could not turn this opportunity down as he had a strong connection to books; Alex learned the art of magic by reading. The admired teenage magician traveled across the state of California and performed in more than 250 magic shows a year.

When Alex returned to Las Vegas in 2005, he auditioned for Disney Live! presents Mickey’s Magic Show, and skillfully won a spot as a professional illusionist alongside Master Magician Mickey Mouse. Alex traveled the globe with the world’s most famous mouse for two and a half years, seeing 14 countries, four continents, 656 shows and more than a million people.

“Magic is universal. It transcends language. At a restaurant in China, I made a coin disappear in front of a little boy. The kid’s face just lit up. I taught him how to perform the trick and he gave me a note written in Chinese that I later learned said “I will practice what you have taught me.” When you see a performer who really loves what they do, they’re not doing it. It’s happening.”

Alex’s talent and dedication put him top of mind when producers Kenneth Feld and Nicole Feld imagined a magical circus– one in which an elephant disappears and a man turns into a tiger.

“Here I am in The Greatest Show on Earth. You don’t get any bigger than this. But I’m waiting for the day a kid, maybe 10 years from now, says, you know, ‘I saw you in Ringling Bros. show ZING ZANG ZOOM and now I’m a magician and it’s my passion.’ ”

Ready to showcase his remarkable abilities, Alex can’t wait to enthrall and mesmerize Children Of All Ages across the U.S.

Ringling Brothers Zingmaster, Alex Ramon, gives a very touching account of his supportive mother and does some "close magic" for an audience of children at Los Angeles' Magic Castle.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Doug Edwards: A Passion for the Past

Tannen's Magic would like to congratulate Doug Edwards as he graces the cover of this month's Society of American Magicians M-U-M magazine. We honored Doug with our Louie Award in 2007. He has been a friend, customer, consultant and inspiration to our company for many decades. His Wonder Pen-A-Tration effect is the best selling trick in our eighty-four-year history. His Really Haunted effect in our New Stars of Magic series continues to be a top seller. We are pleased that he mentions his long association with our company and that we were totally instrumental in his growth to becoming a full fledged wand-wielder. The article contains a photo of Doug practicing the Zarrow shuffle at age 12. WOW!