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* Magic New Zealand®
* Proudly sponsored by International Entertainment
* www.magicnewzealand.com
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Issue Number: #1050
Date: Sunday 29th September 2013
Editor: Alan Watson
E-mail: editor@magicnewzealand.com
Hi here is the latest news

1. Editor's Message
2. Report On Some Rough Sledding For Tammy And John Calvert
3. The Great Tomsoni
4. Discovery Networks International Has Recommissioned Breaking Magic
5. Caesars Entertainment Auction
6. Remarkable Magic #320 - Nick Lewin
7. Birthday Party Marketing - #313 - Kyle Peron
8. 2013 October Magic Castle Schedule
9. A Note From Walter Blaney Re June Merlin McComb
10. Updates So Far This Week On VanishLive.com
11. Broken Wand - Jon LeClair
12. New Zealand World Festival Of Magic Tour
13. Cinema Is A Magic Effect," Says Copperfield
14. Emmy Host Neil Patrick Harris Is Magic Ambassador
15. Update - Palmerston North Magic Circle Convention
16. Magic New Zealand App
17. e-zine Archives
18. Privacy Policy and Copyright Notice

1. Editor's Message
Just had a magical phone call from daughter Larissa Watson who lives in Australia announcing her engagement to Chris Gregory-Naum which we are thrilled for them both ... wonderful news!

For those who would like to read Magic New Zealand in a HTML format go to

Remember if you have any magic news drop me a line:

2. Report On Some Rough Sledding For Tammy And John Calvert
Message by John R. Browne III
Martindale-Hubbell 2013 Highest Rating
in Legal Ability & Ethical Standards (AV)
Law Offices of John R. Browne III
A Professional Corporation
50 California Street, Suite 3500
San Francisco, CA 94111

We hit a roadblock in court yesterday in Tammy and John Calvert's California lawsuit against Ohio physician Randy Wolf, who still owes the Calverts $67,000 on his $100,000 purchase of their world famous magic show, Magicarama, which was delivered to Dr. Wolf in Ohio in 2008. According to the parties' contract, title to Magicarama does not pass until the full purchase price is paid, even though Dr. Wolf has physical possession of the show.

Yesterday after a hearing, a San Francisco Law & Motions judge granted Dr. Wolf's Motion to Quash Service of Summons in California, holding that we had not established sufficient "minimum contacts" to subject Dr. Wolf to personal jurisdiction here in California. We had argued that each of Dr. Wolf's 3 trips to California to receive instruction from the Calverts for the performance of stage magic in general and of Magicarama in particular constituted separate "minimum (Dr. Wolf) contacts" with California, as did John Calvert's facilitating Dr. Wolf's membership in the Magic Castle in Hollywood, Dr. Wolf's sending $20,000 of the purchase price to the Calverts in California, and the parties' other contract activities in California.

However, the judge held that the 3 California "training sessions" were part of one California transaction, invoking case law which holds that one California transaction does not satisfy the law's "minimum contacts" requirement. My wife Jan thinks we should appeal yesterday's ruling, which is certainly one option at this point. (Frequently Jan's intuition has proven correct during my 46 years of practicing law here in San Francisco.)

However, an appeal would take a year or longer. A more expedient option would be to sue Dr. Wolf in Ohio. Our celebrated San Francisco magician friend Jade, who knows the Calverts well and who has followed their lawsuit closely, has been in contact with Greg Wilson, whom I understand through his Mason network has located an attorney in Ohio who is also a magician and who may be willing to take Tammy and John's case on a pro bono basis. I am awaiting the contact information for this attorney and will talk to him as soon as possible in the hopes that he will represent the Calverts in Ohio. I hope that also, like California, Ohio has financial elder abuse laws which warrant enhanced remedies such as punitive damages and attorneys fees for unlawfully taking or appropriating the property of elders.

More important than John and Tammy's lawsuit, however, is John's present health and well-being. John has been at the Lancaster Health Care Center in Southern California for the past 98 days, receiving various medical treatments for some very serious health complications. This medical facility is near the Calvert's home in Palmdale. Tammy has been at John's side virtually the entire time. Unfortunately, John can only stay there for 100 days. He will then have to leave or pay $200 per day. So things are critical for John and Tammy right now.

In addition to Jade's help in seeking out Greg Wilson to find an Ohio attorney to take over the Calvert's lawsuit, Jade is also very busy right now preparing a Facebook posting to make folks aware of John and Tammy's dire situation, and possibly setting up some kind of a PayPal arrangement so that people can help. Right now, the Calverts need prayers and support from their friends in the world wide magic fraternity. Tammy's email address is epicproductions@juno.com.

Alan, I regret having to bring such disturbing news to your readers.


Jack Browne

3. The Great Tomsoni
Message by Stan Allen, Editor of MAGIC Magazine

On August 14, the final night of MAGIC Live, John and Pam Thompson performed their iconic dove act one last time. In an interview recorded a few weeks later, I asked Johnny what it was like doing the final performance of the act that night.

"Well, I've been doing Tomsoni since 1969, with Playboy Bunnies, dancers, and finally with Pam. I've never had stage fright or anything like that, but that night I was like a horse wanting to get out of the gate. I wanted to do the act as well as possible, and I wanted to have the best time doing it. And I did."

Johnny also talks about how he tried to retire the act a year ago, what the future holds for him, and what will happen to The Great Tomsoni & Co. bird act.

"A Moment with The Great Tomsoni" and a lot more can be found in the October 2013 issue of MAGIC Magazine. Visit www.MAGICmagazine.com.

4. Discovery Networks International Has Recommissioned Breaking Magic
Article forwarded on by Peter Philips


DNI orders more Breaking Magic from Objective

Discovery Networks International has recommissioned Breaking Magic from Objective after its first season was a hit for the broadcaster.

Another 14-part series will return with its international cast of magicians, Ben Hanlin, Billy Kidd, Wayne Houchin, along with newcomer, Nate Staniforth, for stunts and street magic. Each episode, the cast performs a range of street magic across London, New York and Warsaw.

Season one aired in over 200 countries and was viewed by more than 100 million people around the world. The second series will air on Discovery Channel in 224 countries across Europe, Middle-East, Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America, beginning February 2014.

"Breaking Magic is that rare intersection where fact meets fantasy, and is one of the most successful shows for DNI to date," says Sarah Davies, vice president of Production & Development for Factual programming for DNI. "The series showcases both the art of entertaining visuals and practical theory through impromptu performances filmed internationally, and audiences are captivated by the explosive thrills and science behind the spells. The pure reactions of the audiences speak for themselves."

For the balance of the article go to:

5. Caesars Entertainment Auction
Message by Geno Munari

Veni, Vedi, Emi (I came, I saw, I bought)

Las Vegas- Caesars Entertainment has decided that it is time for its various independent casino hotel legendary properties to dispose of excessive furniture, fixtures and equipment from past special events, acquisitions, construction projects, remodels and surplus purchasing. Over 14,000 items will be sold at public auction. "It is amazing how quickly excessive inventory can build up and be stored with all good intentions for future use, but as the old adage says, 'out of mind, out of sight' said Matt David, Munari Auctions spokesperson.

Caesars Entertainment Corporation (formerly Harrah's Entertainment from 1995 to 2010) is an American public gaming corporation that owns and operates over 50 casinos, hotels, and seven golf courses under several brands. The company, based in Las Vegas, Nevada, is the largest gaming company in the world.

"Being the largest gaming operator in the world makes it pretty easy to accumulate literally thousands of individual items that just can't be utilized in the foreseeable future. The space that the items occupy is suited for a better and higher use. Currently the excessive facility items are just taking up valuable space.

The company's intention is to pass "best use" to their customers, in the way of the finest facilities and guest amenities. You can imagine how many extra pieces of equipment a hotel-casino can accumulate in a few years. There are over 30 warehouses in Las Vegas alone, filled with items that need to find a home for someone to put to good work. This first time ever sale will be a bargain of a lifetime."

There are thousands of items to auction including a company 2007 Mercedes with 34,000 original miles, kitchen equipment, hotel furniture, tools, facility equipment, parts, art work, professional audio equipment, theatrical lighting, carpeting and a multitude of extra accompaniments will be sold. The auction will be held live in Las Vegas, and online through Prox ibid, October11-14, with a preview on October 10.

For information and registration for this chance of a lifetime, please contact: Munari Auctions at (702) 236-4114, or go to www.MunariAuctions.com

6. Remarkable Magic #320 - Nick Lewin
Message by Nick Lewin (US)

Remarkable Magic #320. Great Magic in Northern California.

My recent Californian trip began with a corporate gig in Sacramento. There were only 36 people attending the meeting that I entertained at, to me this is a rather tiny event and it was interesting to adapt my show for the group. With that few members in the audience it is necessary to slow down the show a little and present your magic rather like a favorite uncle doing a family event!

The toughest part of adapting to a mini-audience was in adjusting to the way I had to present the stand-up comedy which is the heart of my show. When you have a small crowd you can find that your comedic timing is thrown off base by what appears to be a truncated response.

A simple technique to avoid the appearance that you are missing response to your jokes is to adapt your delivery so that you appear to be delivering your material as something of an improvised series of asides. It is much better if it sounds like a witty stream of dialogue rather than a comedy monologue that fails to be getting the laughs you expect. Standing in front of an audience looking like you are waiting for laughs is never a good thing!

The next leg of my journey took me to the California Magic Dinner Theatre in Martinez. What a delightful venue this is. Created by Gerry Griffin, the theatre is a perfect example of how to deliver a first rate magical experience to a lay audience. In the 10 plus years that the CMDT has been presenting shows (Over 800 of them) to the paying public, Gerry has mastered the art of blending pre-show close-up, a great meal and a three person stand-up performance. There is also a great deal of fascinating memorabilia adorning the walls of the club that will warm any magician's heart

I was delighted to share the stage with Joseph Bartholomew who performed some very entertaining tricks including Tony Clarke's gypsy balloon effect. He was skilled and very likeable in his presentation and a real crowd favorite. The stage show was hosted by Griffin himself, who proved to be very witty and polished in this role, he has had lots of practice as he has MC'd every single performance in the Theatre. First-rate design made the venue a delight to work and top-notch (but simple) sound and lighting allowed the receptive audience to share the delight.

The magicians who dazzled the crowd with their close-up skills featured a fine assortment of performers including Jack Fowler, Jack Alexander, David Hirata, Timothy Jones, John Gardenier, Hank Morfin, Jeffrey Korst and Steve Goldstein. I will have more to say about them all in the full-length article I am writing about the Theatre. Stay tuned to my blog and a future series about smaller magic venues that I am writing for Vanish Magazine. The camaraderie that existed between the various performers was a delight and spilled out to the paying guests.

I had the honor to attend a special barbecue at the home of Jay Alexander, which was more like a miniature magic convention than anything else. Amongst the attendees were Jack and Jan Brown, Fred and Manya Castro, 'Big Al' Catraz, Jade and Mathew Holtzman, Bruce Koren and Rafael Benatar. The food and company were both great and I enjoyed every minute of the gracious and delightful event that Jay and his wife Meg hosted.

Another highlight of the visit was a luncheon trip to the Apple Campus in Cupertino-AKA Geek Heaven! This was a pure delight to an Apple fan such as myself and I want to thank Jay Alexander and John Signa for making it possible. An additional treat was a meeting with Apple's Kim Silverman who entertained Susan and myself with some incredible magic. Kim recently recorded a Ted Talk about the nature of his role saddling the world of science and magic, it is very well worth checking out on the web. Check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5rwYnj2GZQ

Finally I recorded a 90-minute interview with Jay, which will be the basis of future articles. After 90 minutes I was left in no doubt why he is one of the busiest pros in the business. His grasp of both business and magic is astounding and it was one of those rare interviews that leave you much smarter after you finish conducting it. Jay knocked me out with his grasp of subtleties that many performers don't even know exist!

Thanks to everyone for making this a very special week.

My email address is nicklewin1@mac.com
My blog is at www.remarkablemagic.com
My web site/online store is www.nicklewin.com

7. Birthday Party Marketing - #313 - Kyle Peron
Message by Kyle Peron

I do a LOT of birthday parties but that is because I have been doing this a long time and I work it constantly in regards to my marketing. Let me list some things I do that might spark ideas for you or that you may not be doing at all. I hope this helps.

You first must have a website form on your page and have every page of your website with a link that takes them to that form page. On my site it is called my contact page and I drive folks to it. I get inquiries a lot simply because I make it super simple for them. If they have to pick up a phone or write an email, I may lose their business. This allows them to fill out a form in less than a minute and I get that info to my email instantly. Now I can check it on my phone or anywhere that I am at. This means I am faster at getting back to them. Ultimate customer service made easy.

I have a full series of email templates already written up for every situation in my birthday party booking process. By doing so, I am sending out a branded message consistently every single time. Now this is not just one email. I have a full series of email templates for my birthday party booking process. This makes things so much easier and really works. Customer service one again brought to the forefront.

My site is Search Engine Optimized. It is important for me to have my site come up high ranked in searches. I constantly check my SEO stats and make adjustments frequently.

My site, and all pages on it, are connected to Google Analytics. Google Analytics is amazing and it is 100% free. Very easy to add to your pages. Once you do. YOU have the total power of knowing all information you would ever want to know about folks who come to your site. This is critical in my SEO and marketing efforts.

With Google Analytics, on any given day, I can tell how many folks went to my site, how many were new, where they came from, what town they were from, what pages they went to, how long they stayed on each page, what search term they used and even what browser they used plus a TON more. This is how I track my marketing efforts.

My website is written and structured and geared towards total customer marketing. Every page has a reason and purpose for being there and every page has a call to action. I make sure I have a good balance of features and benefits on each page and I use bullet point concepts as it draws folks in more. I do not list prices on my site because I want them to contact me. I want them to use the form and go through the process with me. The form gives me the information I need upfront to add customer value.

Customer service has to be the key. You must be able to deliver a consistent branded message and get back to someone ASAP. If you wait, you lose. That is why my email template system is in effect and why I have them saved in drop box and ever note. This means I can use and send them no matter where I am in the world.

When at events, I also do a LOT of marketing. My goal is to brand myself at all times. I have a sign on my table that has my logo and my website URL. Every table has this sign on it. I have a vertical retractable banner system 33 by 80 that is set up and used as part of my show and backdrop that brands my image, my name and my URL again.

Every single child gets something THEY want to have. They want it so they keep it. This is my Magicians Assistant Certificates. Of course every one of them has my contact info on it, name, website, email, Facebook fan page etc.

I make sure I have business cards with me at ALL times. I never leave the house without them. I give them out as a business card left in your pocket does you no good.

I utilize a POWERFUL thank you letter and evaluation form system. THIS works well. It is a thank you letter from me to them but also an evaluation form that is easy to fill out but gives me a ton of information AND generates quotes I can use in my marketing. It also talks about my referral rewards system and how this works to benefit them. This thank you kit system really works.

I have a referral rewards system set into place. This makes people WANT to refer their friends, relatives and others to me and to do so not because I force them, but because they want to. It is all in how I have it set up.

I do 2 special tricks with the b-day child and one being a big illusion. Now THEY are the star. The child also gets a magic wand, a magician certificate and a full magic kit. All of this once again cost me next to nothing but adds huge value. Now if the other kids want this, they have to have me at their party. It gets the kids always talking to the parents and gets me handing stuff out to parents after shows. All items once again are branded to me and have my contact information on it.

I have a Facebook Fan Page and I use it and social media a LOT. I am also connected to LinkedIn as well as others. My fan page is an amazing way to get folks knowing about what I am doing, where I will be and a great marketing tool that cost me nothing at all. I get folks to join because I state the fan page and talk about it during the show. I give them also a reason to go there. =)

I make sure I am also using paid services as needed. For example services such as Gigmasters, Gigsalad, Decidio and Thumbtack. Each have to be evaluated by you but each can and have worked if you handle them correctly.

I make sure that my marketing materials are the best I can possible make them. I make my branding so quality comes first. That means everything that goes out is branded the way I want it to be branded.

I also look and search out showcases. These may not be for birthday parties but they could be for libraries or even parks and recreations. I do it to get the name out there and get into their guide books. These guide books DO get seen by parents and that means b-day gigs.

I also end my shows by talking to the adults. I thank them for coming and I thank the client and I state clearly that if anyone is interested in the shows I put on for birthday parties and other events, PLEASE see me after the show and I would be happy to give you some information on it. Simple as that and it works.

I list my public events on as many online community calendars as I can. They even give you places for your URL in most cases. More folks at the gig makes the client happy and more marketing for me.

I also list my website and services on a LOT of free online websites. There are so many that will allow you to place your information on them without any cost to you. The more you have out there, the better chance someone is to see you. Not only that it is a part of SEO called back links. It helps your rankings.

These are just a few of the things I do to land birthday party gigs. There are more, but I will leave it at this as there is a lot of information shared here. Take your time and go over them and read and re-read them. I can and will go over any with anyone who asks it of me. I can always be reached at magic4u02@aol.com. Thank you.

8. 2013 October Magic Castle Schedule
Message by Jack Goldfinger
Director Of Entertainment
Academy of Magical Arts, Inc.

September 30-October 6th

Close-Up Gallery
Earlier: Jon Armstrong
Early: Cameron Francis
Late: Mark Matsumoto

Parlour of Prestidigitation
Early: Robert Dorian
Late: David Gabbay

Palace of Mystery
Bruce Gold
Chris Randall
David & Dania

Peller Theatre
Eric Buss
Woody Pittman

W. C. Fields Bar
Rich Cowley

Friday Luncheon
Cameron Francis

Saturday & Sunday Brunch - Parlour
Tim Mannix

Lecture 6th
Cameron Francis

October 7-13th "Women In Magic Week" - Produced by Dale Hindman

Close-Up Gallery
Earlier: Sophie Evans
Early: Suzanne
Late: Alba

Parlour of Prestidigitation
Early: Lisa Cousins
Late: Joan Dukore

Palace of Mystery
Liberty Larsen
Luna Shimada
Farrah Siegel
Juliana Chen

Peller Theatre
Jeanine Anderson
Kimberly Bornstein

W. C. Fields Bar

Friday Luncheon

Sunday Brunch - Parlour
Nancy Jean Gray

Tina Lenert

October 14-20th

Close-Up Gallery
Earlier: Pop Haydn
Early: John Carney
Late: Luis Magic

Parlour of Prestidigitation
Early: David Regal
Late: Todd Robbins

Palace of Mystery
Chris Mitchell
Tina Lenert
Les Arnold & Dazzle

Dan Trommater
Shawn McMaster

W. C. Fields Bar
Jamy Ian Swiss

Friday Luncheon
Jamy Ian Swiss

Saturday & Sunday Brunch - Parlour
Shawn McMaster

Martin Mercy

October 21-24th
* Acts return to complete their full week. November 1-3rd, 2013

Close-Up Gallery
Earlier: Doug Brewer
Early: Will Houstoun
Late: Daniel Sylvester

Parlour of Prestidigitation
Early: Eric Buss
Late: Jimmy H.

Palace of Mystery
Dave Cox
Steve Owens
David Zirbel

W. C. Fields Bar (24th)
Jon Armstrong

October 25th - 31st, 2013 - "Halloween Week"- Produced by Rob Zabrecky

Close-Up Gallery
Early: Bill Goodwin
Late: Paul Vigil

Parlour of Prestidigitation
Early: Pop Haydn
Late: Steve Valentine

Palace of Mystery
Rob Zabrecky

Peller Theatre / Inner Circle
The Mums
Brett Loudermilk
Scott Land

Friday Luncheon October 25th
Paul Vigil

Saturday & Sunday Brunch - Parlour Oct. 26-27
Frank Thurston

Lecture 27th
Jon Armstrong

Performers are subject to change due to circumstances and availability

9. A Note From Walter Blaney Re June Merlin McComb
Message by Walter Blaney (US)

A note from Walter Blaney

Dear friends in magic,

Most of us knew Bill McComb, an amazing and wonderful character in the magic world. Below is a short version of his charmed life. Some knew he was once married to a beautiful lady magician named June Merlin, "The Bewitching Witch". I happened to run across a TV clip of June doing a few tricks close up. The link is below. I thought you might enjoy seeing her work. If you can take your eyes off June long enough, you will see she really is doing some magic. Billy sure could pick a winner.

Cheers to all. Walter

Billy McComb, who died aged 84, was one of Britain's leading magicians in the 1950s and 60s, and crossed the Atlantic regularly as a cruise-ship entertainer till he took up residence in California in the 1970s.

Born in Belfast, he was the son of a physician father who was knighted for X-ray research. His family had medical ambitions for him, too, and he graduated as a doctor in 1949, but instead he developed the talent he had discovered at school as a magician and comedy entertainer. He began to make a name for himself in Ireland and came to the notice of the wider magical community in Britain, soon making his mark in London, in the flourishing cabaret scene in the West End.

Billy married June Cochrane, a former Miss Ireland, and they became a sought-after duo. He constructed a magical act for her as June Merlin, "The Bewitching Witch". Billy had a number of TV series and was on the bill with Bob Hope at the Prince of Wales Theatre, London. To hold large audiences at the Palladium he needed more than baffling tricks and, billed as "the world's largest leprechaun", made full use of his gift for the blarney.

After his move to Los Angeles, he made over 300 appearances on television and in the movies. And in his 80s, he performed regularly in Las Vegas.

He was happiest chatting with fellow magicians - at the Magic Circle he was always surrounded by a group of eager listeners as he generously dispensed his advice, and he was one of the Circle's elite honorary members.

Billy leaves a library of videos and DVDs, along with his classic book McComb's Magic: 25 Years Wiser. He is survived by June, now resident in Spain, where she became established as a painter. Their son, Sean, died in 2002.

· Billy McComb, magician, born April 12 1922; died April 30 2006
June Merlin, Mrs. Billy McComb


Walter Blaney

10. Updates So Far This Week On VanishLive.com
Message by - Mick Peck
Online Content Editor

Updates so far this week on VanishLive.com include:

- Penn to take a stab at filming
- Business card marketing
- Broken Wand: John LeClair
- Desperate Acts of Magic
- An update on Collins Key
- David Copperfield on why Penn is "a bad guy"

VanishLive features *DAILY* updates of magic news from around the globe as it happens. Plus regular contributions from Jeff McBride, Eugene Burger, Steve Spill, Nick Lewin, Keith Fields, Bizarro, Paul Romhany, Richard Webster and others.

Bookmark us today at:


- Mick Peck
Online Content Editor

11. Broken Wand - Jon LeClair
Message by Mick Peck (New Zealand)

Jon LeClair 47, passed September 10, 2013 peacefully in his wife's arms at home. He was born on November 15th, 1965 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to Jack F. and Sherry LeClair. Jon was a caring, creative, generous, loving individual who enjoyed making others smile and be surprised. At a young age he was inspired by magic and went on to be a professional magician. He is the author of the bestselling magic book and DVD "The Art of Invisible Thread", which was later translated to French.

He married the love of his life, Kuniko Yamamoto May 5, 1992. He is survived by his loving wife Kuniko, his parents Jack F. and Pam LeClair, Sherry and Milford Garness , his brother and his wife Jack K. and Lynn LeClair, nieces Rikki and Jacki LeClair, nephew John Keith LeClair, aunts and uncles George and Kathy Arnold, Jean and Robert Schnider, and cousins.

The memorial service was held September 14, 2013 at Mckee Funeral Home, North Port, Florida.


12. New Zealand World Festival Of Magic Tour
Message by Rose McCarthy (New Zealand)
International Entertainment

Saturday 16th November 2013
Tauranga - Bethlehem College Performing Arts Centre
4.30pm 7pm

Monday 18th November 2013
Gisborne - House of Breakthrough Auditorium

Tuesday 19th November 2013
Napier - Napier Boys High School

Wednesday 20th November 2013
Palmerston North - Speirs Centre Palmerston Nth Boys High
5pm and 7.30pm

Monday 25th of November 2013
Dunedin - Regent Theatre
2.30pm 7pm

Wednesday 27th November
Invercargill - Civic Theatre
4pm 7pm

Thursday 28th November
Timaru - Theatre Royal

Saturday 30th November
Christchurch - Christchurch South Intermediate School Performing Arts Hall
4.30pm 7pm

Saturday 7th December
Wellington - Wellington High School Riley Centre
11am 2pm 5pm

Sunday 8th December
New Plymouth - New Plymouth Girls High School

Monday 9th December
Taupo - Great Lakes Centre

Tuesday 10th December
Rotorua - Civic Theatre
5pm 7.30pm

Wednesday 11th December
Hamilton - Melville High School

Saturday 14th December
Auckland - Logan Campbell Centre
11am 2pm 5pm

Sunday 15th December
Auckland - Logan Campbell Centre
11am 2pm 5pm

Monday 16th December
Whangarei - Forum North
4.30pm 7pm

13. Cinema Is A Magic Effect," Says Copperfield
Message by William Bowers (US)


David Copperfield Has No Illusions About His New Film Prod'n Co. Red Safe

The highest grossing solo entertainer in history previously consulted on 'Paranormal Activity,' 'Now You See Me,' 'Burt Wonderstone'
Steven Gaydos

The source of Las Vegas' Cirque du Soleil "Love" show, the Beatles, were working on "The White Album" and fellow Las Vegas illusionist David Blaine was five years away from making his first appearance on earth when Copperfield became the youngest person ever admitted to the Society of American Magicians.
He was 12.

At 16 he was teaching magic at NYU.

At 21 he began a string of national TV specials that ran for decades and racked up nearly two dozen Emmys.

According to those who've worked with him, even back in those early days, Copperfield's always been focused, calm and the master of his own domain.
Writer-director Norman Gerard remembers working with Copperfield on commercials for Burger King when the magician was still in his early 20s and describes him as "all business all the time and completely in control of every detail of his act and his business."

Today Copperfield essentially four-walls his MGM Grand show. "I control my business. It's my money." Virtually everyone you talk to in Vegas confirms that assessment.

MGM Grand president Scott Sibella seems to have no problem with Copperfield's deal. Obviously happy to have him drawing hotel guests and casino patrons for the past decade, Sibella extolls him as "the preeminent magician in entertainment today" and "part of our extended family."

Still packing in crowds most weeks two shows a night to the tune of an estimated $30 million a year, a less-driven entertainer might figure it's time to retire and rest on his laurels. For Copperfield, his partner Chloe Gosselin and their infant daughter Sky, the option would appear simple: the Bahamian islands Copperfield purchased many years ago.

But look into his eyes: they say, "Ain't gonna happen."

Instead, Copperfield has set his sights on a major career shift and this week announced the formation of his own film production company, Red Safe.
In Copperfield's view, making movies is not a transition but something akin to realizing a childhood dream and a parallel form of magic making. "Cinema is a magic effect," says Copperfield, whose study of the histories of both film and magic led to the creation of his museum. "The movies started as a trick. It was a trip to the moon, a journey to Hades. The illusion of the cinema became the medium. That's why we are here talking."

Just as he might tell an audience he's going to walk through the Great Wall of China (which he's done), Copperfield explains how he plans to make movies that rank with Hollywood's greatest filmmakers.

"My real love as a kid was sitting in a darkened theater and watching films by Victor Fleming, Orson Welles, Frank Capra, Walt Disney," Copperfield says. "So in a way, where I am today is where I have always been. I was good at magic but when I saw those movies I said, 'I want that.' "

"That" in Copperfield's view, is the emotional connection that is at the heart of all great storytelling, on stage or on film. That vintage automobile appearance/disappearance that is a classic showstopper is also a heart-tugger as it serves to tell the story of the former David Kotkin's father and grandfather and its message of "pursue your dreams" resonates long after the stunt is over.

"Emotionally, where the audience is going is what the camera is doing," he says. "On screen, it's always about the story. 'Raging Bull' is not about the punches, it's about the story."

While the magic biz is still booming for Copperfield, he clearly has a desire to achieve more. You can hear it in his voice when he recites his greatest hits.
"I vanished an airplane and the fast food of it worked. So I said, 'Next?' And I vanished the Statue of Liberty. Maybe people will only remember it as a stunt, but I want everything I do to have more depth, to resonate as metaphor. I have always wanted everything I do to have some gravitas. The story should have substance and not just be a stunt."

Like many of Copperfield's famed misdirection ploys, it appears that while such Hollywood hits as Paramount's "Paranormal Activity" and Summit's "Now You See Me" haven't trumpeted his involvement, his consulting work for those films and others has earned respect from the filmmakers, including Paramount film group president Adam Goodman, who calls Copperfield's assistance on "Paranormal" invaluable.

"Paranormal" producer Jason Blum echoes that sentiment, crediting Copperfield with "a unique take on movies and the filmmaking process" and notes their continuing partnership on "a variety of other projects we have been working on together, like our upcoming Halloween live event 'The Purge: Fear the Night.' "
But creativity and passion aside, it is called the movie business and Copperfield has no illusions about the challenges he faces and the lack of autonomy he'll have to confront.

"I've spent years watching others go through the challenges of production and distribution," says Copperfield, observing that he "had to see the whole picture" before making the plunge into the deep financial waters of modern filmmaking. The reported negative cost on "Now You See Me" was $75 million and marketing costs could easily double that number, which isn't bad when measured against the pic's $320 million global B.O. take.

But then there's "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone," another film Copperfield consulted on and in which he appeared in a cameo, which cost $30 million and but only earned $22 million domestic. In other words, there can be a big upside but there's also no faster way to make money vanish into thin air than making movies.

Still, Copperfield has been tackling big projects all his life and seems to especially relish the small details that make up the creative side of filmmaking. "I love to get the call to help on story points," says Copperfield, recalling that on "Now You See Me," "I told Louis (Leterrier, the director), 'Tell me the entire story, scene by scene.' My process on creating magic parallels the process of making movies. Besides, the way I see it, I'm in the movie business when I'm on stage."
Judging by friends and fans in high places, Copperfield's Red Safe will find a small army of eager and willing partners, including Goodman, who calls Copperfield "a born storyteller. My hope is that we can figure out a movie to do together."

- Knighted by the French government
- Declared a Living Legend by the Library of Congress
- Dubbed the King of Magic by the Society of American Magicians
- Named Magician of the Year, Magician of the Century, and Magician of the Millennium

First: Living magician to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Most: Broadway tickets sold in a week (more than "Cats," "The Lion King" and "The Producers")

Most: Awards received by a magician (Magician of the Year, Magician of the Century and Magician of the Millennium)

Highest: Grossing solo entertainer in history (more than Madonna, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley)

By the Numbers
6 Countries that have postage stamps branded with his face
11 Guinness World Records
13 Years performing at MGM Grand
15 Shows per week
20 TV specials
21 Emmy Awards and 38 noms


14. Emmy Host Neil Patrick Harris Is Magic Ambassador
Article forwarded on by Barry Khoo (Malaysia)

New Straits Times, Latest News:

Emmy host Neil Patrick Harris is magic ambassador

Los Angeles: Neil Patrick Harris is magical, and not just because he can sing, dance, act and host the Tony and Emmy awards. He's actually magical, like in the abracadabra way, and has been since he was a kid.

Long before he was "Doogie Howser, M.D.," Harris loved magic. Every trip to his grandparents' house in Albuquerque meant a visit to the local magic shop, where he used his allowance to add a card or coin trick to his collection, mastering the new illusion on the ride home.

These days, the 40-year-old entertainer injects magic into most everything he does. He levitates an Emmy trophy in advertisements for Sunday's big show, which he's hosting for the second time. His "How I Met Your Mother" character, Barney, dabbles in magic. And Harris often does magic tricks on talk shows.

He also makes countless hours of his free time disappear as leader of the Academy of Magical Arts, which is headquartered at the famed Magic Castle on a hill overlooking Hollywood.

"If magicians and magic work well, it really amazes people at a core level, and that level stays with them for a long, long time," Harris said in a recent interview, sitting in one of the Magic Castle's many theaters.

"You can talk to almost anyone and ask them to recount when they saw a magic trick and they get that giddy expression... I like knowing that the end result is that reaction."

Harris knows the historic, Victorian-style Magic Castle like a favorite trick - the winding corridors and staircases as familiar to him as the "How I Met Your Mother" set. He greets staff members by name, fiddles with temperamental switches himself and feels proud of the place's progress under his leadership.

Now in his second term as magic academy president, Harris doesn't just promote the art and appreciation of magic, he basically runs the business of the Magic Castle, attending regular board meetings and handling occasional "angry emails from magic people.

Read more: http://www.nst.com.my/latest/emmy-host-neil-patrick-harris-is-magic-ambassador-1.357747#ixzz2fghVOYXP

15. Update - Palmerston North Magic Circle Convention
Message by Andrew Wilson (New Zealand)

Palmerston North 26th - 28th October 2013

Hosted by the Palmerston North Magic Circle (Inc.) and supported by IBM Ring 160

We (the convention committee and the PNMC) have agreed that numbers are encouraging enough not to invoke the price rise that might have followed the Early Bird invitation. Registration will continue to be the wonderful low price of $90 for adult magicians and $50 for wives, partners, assistants and all students in education.

The Night before Cabaret will now take place in Valentine's Restaurant nearby in Featherston Street. Meet from around 7 p.m. and start buffet eating around 7.30 p.m. Cabaret will follow.

We are recommending The China Town Restaurant for a good and quick meal before the Gala Show.

Our favourite local eatery, the China Town Restaurant on Cuba St (where we tend to taker magic guests giving lectures) has been alerted to a group of magicians coming on Sunday 27th because it is very good value and very efficient.

16. Magic New Zealand App
Magic New Zealand now has its very own app that can be launched on any tablet.

Go to: www.app.cat/magicnewzealand on your tablet to download the FREE Magic New Zealand app.

17. e-zine Archives
Back issues of the Magic New Zealand e-zine go to:
www.magicnewzealand.com click on the red button center right "Archives"

When you enter the archive the e-zines are in issue order in folders for each year and are Coded, e.g. 001 Nov06 1999.txt first three numbers (001) denote issue number, then the date (Nov06) and the last figures the year (1999)

18. Privacy Policy and Copyright Notice
Our subscriber list is NOT made available to any other companies or individuals. We value every subscriber and respect your privacy.

You can subscribe to or unsubscribe from the Magic New Zealand® E-zine at: www.magicnewzealand.com

Magic New Zealand® E-zine is published each Sunday.

The opinions and statements expressed therein are those of the individual contributors and not necessarily those of Magic New Zealand®. Neither Magic New Zealand® nor Alan Watson vouch for the accuracy or reliability of any opinion, message, statement, or other information reported via Magic New Zealand® E-zine.

Subscribers to this publication and authors who contribute to it by doing so agree they will not hold Magic New Zealand® or Alan Watson, jointly or individually liable or responsible in any way for the opinions or statements contained therein.

Magic New Zealand® reserves the right to alter, correct or disregard any articles submitted.

Readers are encouraged to submit timely articles or news items which may be of interest to subscribers. By submitting articles to this e-zine, the authors grant Magic New Zealand® the right to publish such articles and such authors confirm their copyright of the material submitted.

All works published by Magic New Zealand® are protected by international copyright legislation and articles must not be published for profit by anyone other than the individual authors without the written permission of Magic New Zealand®.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, this publication may be freely redistributed, but not sold, to other magicians if copied in its entirety, including the copyright notice below and the above disclaimer.

© Copyright 2013 Alan Watson


Privacy Policy and Copyright Notice

Our subscriber list is not made available to any other companies or individuals. We value every subscriber and respect your privacy. You can subscribe to or unsubscribe from the Magic New Zealand® E-zine at www.magicnewzealand.com Magic New Zealand® E-zine is published each Sunday. The opinions expressed therein are those of the individual contributors and not necessarily those of Magic New Zealand®. Neither Magic New Zealand® nor Alan Watson vouch for the accuracy or reliability of any opinion, message, statement, or other information reported via Magic New Zealand® E-zine. Subscribers to this publication and authors who contribute to it by doing so agree they will not hold Magic New Zealand® or Alan Watson, jointly or individually liable or responsible in any way for the opinions expressed therein.
Magic New Zealand® reserves the right to alter, correct or disregard any articles submitted. Readers are encouraged to submit timely articles or news items which may be of interest to subscribers. By submitting articles to this e-zine, the authors grant Magic New Zealand® the right to publish such articles and such authors confirm their copyright of the material submitted. All works published by Magic New Zealand® are protected by international copyright legislation and articles must not be published for profit by anyone other than the individual authors without the written permission of Magic New Zealand®. Notwithstanding the foregoing, this publication may be freely redistributed, but not sold, to other magicians if copied in its entirety, including the copyright notice below and the above disclaimer.

Copyright © 2013 Alan Watson.

Magic New Zealand® E-zine