All posts in Magic

How to Drink while Hula Hooping

Annabel Carberry addresses the age old problem of the thirsty hula hooper in this video is from the European Juggling Convention (EJC), Munich 2011. Her funny and skillful 7-minute act received a well deserved standing ovation. Check out the video after the break.

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Steve Wozniak Magic Trick

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak performs a magic trick (a Ring and Rope routine) at the Santa Clara CA Apple Store on iPad launch day.

My Vegas Show on Exhibitor Magazine Website

exhibitormag2009When I popped over to the Exhibitor Magazine website this morning searching for some information, I was surprised to find that I was already there! One of the banner photos at the site is a shot from a live show I presented at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2005.

We called the show “The Biggest Little Show in Vegas.” It was a 15-minute music and magic show created as a promotional piece for the CMC Magnetics booth. The show combined live music, magic, audience participation and of course the CMC marketing message.

We drew record crowds to the CMC booth that year and had a blast doing so. I have a promotional video with some show highlights on my company web site. That video promotes the concept of what we call Theatrical Marketing, and is geared more toward selling the service than showing the performance. Sometime soon, I will post some clips here untainted by Tracy Evans Productions promotion message to better show what the show was like. Stay tuned.

Sneaky Siegfried

siegfried_roy_farewell_06_wonworkHere is an interesting tidbit of information on the pre-show habits of Siegfried Fischbacher. This is from an inside source who worked with Siegfried and Roy for years at the Mirage, and on their one-night-only Farewell Performance last week.

A regular feature of the show were characters called Wonder Workers. Six cloaked and masked figures would wander through the audience before each show, greeting audience members and putting small stickers of hearts or white tigers on them. Wonder Workers never spoke. They only communicated through mime and sticker placement.

The audience loved it because it gave them a personal connection to the show. The Mirage management loved it because each night hundreds of people walked around Las Vegas wearing tiny billboards for the show. It was a Wynn-Wynn situation.

The six Wonder Workers were played by dancers from the show. But occasionally a seventh WW would join the group. Yes, it was Siegfried. He would often dress up in the same garb to greet, mine and apply stickers himself.

The Wonder Workers were back for the fund raising event last week (see photo), and Siegfried was up to his old tricks as well. My source says that Siegfried once again dressed up in Wonder gear and walked around the silent auction room of the event silently greeting guests and bidders.

Siegfried and Roy – Exclusive Photos from the Farewell

The legendary Las Vegas entertainment duo Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn returned to the Vegas last week for a farewell performance. Just in case you missed going to the $10,000-a-plate fundraiser, here are some exclusive photos from the event.

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Siegfried and Roy – Hello, I must be going.

sandr2Entertainment icons Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn returned to the Vegas stage tonight to bid a proper goodbye to show business with their Farewell Performance. It was a one-night-only, $10,000-a-plate fundraiser at the Bellagio Hotel benefiting the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute, a planned research facility under construction in Las Vegas.

The duo performed a 10-minute act which had been in secret rehearsals for the past year. It was much shorter than their lavish productions of the past, but it brought the 1,500 attendees to thier feet for a rousing standing ovation.

The event also included a silent auction, and a display of memorabilia and costumes from the long-running show at the Mirage. I am pleased to present these exclusive photos below from the evening. Click on them to see larger versions. I will have more from the event in an upcoming post.

From the opening of the Mirage show, (right) this is the first costume that Siegfried wore when he and Roy magically appear.siegfried_roy_farewell_11_costume

siegfried_roy_farewell_10_costumeThis is Lynette Chappell’s Dragon costume (left). In the show she transformed from an Evil Queen to a Dragon.

Last week calls went out to select members of the stage and tech crews who worked the 13-year run of the S&R show. Siegfried and Roy insisted on bringing back members of their previous crew to work the show. The crew reported for work at 8:00 AM Thursday morning to load in big cats, bigger illusions and even bigger sets. There was a feeling in the air of a class reunion, with much hugging and “remember when” storytelling. The group had not been together since the show closed in 2003 following Roy’s tragic accident.

S & R rehearsed with the crew yesterday. Tonight was the first and only performance. Look for hilights from the show on ABC’s 20/20, Siegfried and Roy: The Magic Returns this Friday.

Magic for Sale. The Sawing a Woman in Half advert

walter_ad_biggerMagic Magazine is a popular trade publication for performing magicians and enthusiasts. Conjurers of all types peruse the pages monthly to learn new technique, find new props, and catchup on industry gossip. My dear old friend Walter “Zaney” Blaney recently asked me to help him with a magazine ad one of his inventions; a new version of the classic Sawing in Half illusion.

Walter is a celebrity among magicians. In 60+ years of show business he has done it all; traveled the world, entertained kings and presidents, invented tricks that fool magicians, opened for Elvis. In the 70’s he did all the talk shows; Carson, Merv, Mike Douglas, and Dinah Shore. His original illusions have been featured in the shows of David Copperfield, Lance Burton and Siegfried & Roy, just to name a few.

Retouching the photos

My co-worker Jeffrey Djayasaputra and I both spent a lot of PhotoShop time retouching the photos. No, it’s not trick photography. The photos of the illusion are exactly what you would see if you were there. It is a very good trick.

walter_retouch_biggerThe photo prints had aged and yellowed over the years. After painting out scratches, dirt and dust, the next step was color correction. We are both skilled at PhotoShop, but neither of us do this type of color correction very often so the results were usable but not great. Late in the project, I ran the scans through the color correction in iPhoto just to see what it would suggest. One click and BAM, the colors came to life. After that it only took a little more color tweaking in PhotoShop to get the images where we wanted them.

Start the presses

The ad runs next month. Magic is a well produced periodical, so I am anxious to see how our two-page spread turns out.