I racked my brain for about a year wanting to do something big at Christmas time as a way to inspire others and give back. I set up a booth in front of a local Walmart performing close up magic while asking for donations for the charity. I do it outside in the cold on the sidewalk, which sounds crazy but if I were inside and warm it wouldn’t be as much of a news story.
I advertise “24 hours of magic” or “72 shows in 24 hours.” I guarantee ten minutes on and ten minutes off for the entire 24 hours but work more than that during busy times and in the middle of the night I try to keep an audience as long as I can because at that point they are entertaining me and keeping me busy. The best part is I always get newspaper coverage and TV news to cover me as well.
NJ.com brings us a lengthy, in-depth interview with the multi-talented Ricky Jay…
“What first attracts you, as a kid, is the idea of ‘I know something you don’t know,'” he says. “Magic is a secret that you have, and your friends don’t. And I’ll incur the wrath of many here, but what can happen is that the practitioner never grows out of that… And so instead of presenting something effective and entertaining he’s led into something much more competitive and much less aesthetically appealing. It’s not about throwing down a challenge. It’s about something much more profound. It’s about creating a sense of wonder.”
“Mark Setteducati is a magician and artist who uses principles of mathematics and illusions in the toys and puzzles he invents. He’s also a founder of the Gathering For Gardner, a biennial celebration of the life of mathematician and writer Martin Gardner. Here he talks about how math and magic influence him as an inventor.”
This is one of the few known recordings of Houdini’s voice. He made this in 1914 on an Edison wax cylinder machine.
“Ladies and gentlemen. Introducing my original invention, the Water Torture Cell. Although there is nothing supernatural about this, I am willing to forfeit the sum of 1,000 dollars to anyone who can prove that it is possible to obtain air inside of this torture cell, when I am locked up in it in the regulation manner after it has been filled with water. Should anything go wrong when I’m locked up, one of my assistants walks through the curtain, ready to rush in, demolishing the glass, allowing the water to flow out in order to save my life. I, Houdini, October the 29th, Nineteen Hundred and Fourteen, Flatbush, New York.”
UPDATE: The Houdini Museum has posted a version of this recording that has been cleaned up to remove some of the background static. The video has some additional information on the recording.
"The real secret of magic lies in the performance." -- David Copperfield
Welcome to International Brotherhood of Magicians Ring 71! We are a band of devotees of the magical arts: prestidigitation, illusion, wizardry, and conjuring. We are the heirs of Houdin, Kellar, Thurston, Houdini, and Blackstone. Join us, and learn what makes magic such a great hobby and a fascinating profession.