Card Magic in the Middle East

I spent last thanksgiving in the south of Israel on the banks of the red sea – we had turkey shawarma, no gravy.

Silly Billy, Josh Jay, Thom Peterson and I performed and lectured at Roei Zaltzman’s convention, Magic on the Red Sea (MARS). Our hosts were kind and gracious. The audiences laughed and came to be entertained. The board of tourism even gave us our own tour guide for two days after convention. It was a fantastic experience.

Though I gave my first magic lecture ten years ago, trips like this make me remember that magic can take you to incredible places. Take a look!


Not bad for a working weekend, eh?


Here I am with Josh Jay. He showed me some of the best close-up ideas I’ve seen all year. In the ten years I’ve known Josh, he’s become an incredible magician.


This is Ariel, my scuba instructor. I’d never been under water with a tank before, and it was even crazier than I’d imagined. Eilat is known for it’s diving and now I know why – it was like real magic.


This was taken after a performance for some local teens. Many people don’t know that Israel has compulsory military service – at age 18, everyone joins the army. These kids weren’t allowed to put their rifles down, even to select cards! While I’ve never performed for such a heavily armed audience, I have to say they were a lot of fun…and they love ambitious card.


Josh Jay took this and the next photo. He’s one of those guys that actually aims the camera first. Behind me is the Dome of the Rock. Am I flashing?


As you can tell from the cropping on this photo, I was definitely flashing in this shot.


I’ve known Josh and David Kaye (aka Silly Billy) for a long time now. But the two other guys in this photo were revelations. In the middle stands Thom Peterson. He performed and lectured at the convention. He hasn’t performed at many conventions – he’s too busy working cruise ships and corporate events out there in the big bad world. His magic and charm were both top notch. He’s got two videos out on the market right now, and they’re filled with audience tested, practical material.

The fellow on the left is Menny Lindenfeld. You may already have some of his many original effects on the market. If you don’t, you likely will soon. His clipboard is a wonder to behold.


Here’s a picture of my grandpa Melvin at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Uh..sorry. That’s Thom.


What did you get for Hanukkah this year kids? I got the SCUBA SUIT SILLY BILLY PLAYSET. It’s AWESOME!


That’s Roei Zaltsman on the right. He’s a card man, mentalist, TV personality and the organizer of the convention – He put on one hell of a conference.



6 Responses to “Card Magic in the Middle East”

  1. 1 Matt January 9, 2008 at 12:02 am

    Hey Aaron,

    Sounds like you had quite a good time there buddy! I’m a big swimmer and love water but I’ve never had the chance to go scuba diving, that must have been something amazing to experience. One question though, I heard that a lot of people in the Middle East take religion very seriously, which isn’t a bad thing by any means. But recently a performed for a couple and after just one card effect they were convinced that I was the devil and that I sold my soul to the devil. I tried to explain that it’s just for entertainment and that it’s not evil but they wouldn’t hear me out. Did you ever run into a similar problem? If so, what did you do?

    P.S. My father is from Tunisia and spent a good part of his life in Israel. He tells me it’s a beautiful country.

  2. 2 Rosemary Reid January 9, 2008 at 12:45 am

    Aaron it seems like you had an amazing experience. Seeing the world while doing something you love sounds unbeatable! It’s especially nice that you got to see some of the country in addition to the work you were there for. I’m sure your future travels will be just as exciting!

    P.S My favourites are the last one, and 6th from the top.

  3. 3 Aaron Kowitz January 9, 2008 at 2:20 am

    The food, ohhh, the food! And the hot Israeli girls. I am so jealous.

  4. 4 Jory Vernon January 9, 2008 at 3:04 am

    Great shots! Sounds like a great experience! Thank you for sharing.

  5. 5 thecuso January 9, 2008 at 10:11 am

    You look like Indiana Jones in one pic πŸ˜›

    nice post man πŸ˜‰ im jealous too.

  6. 6 Yoav Attias January 9, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Hey Aaron,
    it was so nice to meet you at MARS in Israel,
    i learned a lot from you and the other magicians, thank you very much for coming to Israel,i hope you had a good time
    i hope you learned something even though you know so much πŸ˜‰

    hope to see you next year to,
    Your little body in Israel,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: