Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

It’s been fun!

We’ve officially moved – this will be the last post at this address. To get my new posts and content go NOW to my brand new blog home –, or just click here!


How to Practice the Classic Pass

A brand new podcast designed to help you as you set out to practice the classic pass.  Drop me a comment and let me know what you think!

And here are the Winners…

I’m back from Sacramento and I’ve drawn the names from the magic hat. I’ve already emailed the winners…and here they are! Thanks again to all of you for making the both the Search and Destroy DVD and The Secret Weapon such a success!

Search and Destroy Shooting Outline

Winners of a Search and Destroy shooting outline autographed by Wayne Houchin, Dana Hocking and me!

Russell Yee

Carlos Santillan

Franklin Monk

Donald Huggard

Abe Carnow

Bill Sawich

Glen Bledsoe

Sheldon Greer

Kieran Moran

Stephan Danko

Grand Prize Phone Session Winners

The following people will each get a 30 minute phone session/lesson with me next week!

Gary Ireland

Phillip Person

Max Kovins

Chris Fecteau

Mark McPhee

Come see my show this Weekend in Northern California!

If you’re in northern California, why not come to the Calmagic Dinner Theater in Martinez.  I’ll be performing both Friday and Saturday night.  The food is tasty, there will be plenty of close-up magic, and guess who’s headlining on stage?

Go to the website and make dinner reservations soon because seats are going fast.  Make sure to come say hello – it’s always a pleasure to meet readers, and it’s not everyday I get to perform at events open to the public.

Here’s the link:

See you there!

You’re Invited: Magic Castle Close-Up April 25-26

castle to use

For any readers who happen to live in California, I’ll be performing in the Close-Up Room of the Magic Castle for two nights only this weekend. I’d love to have you come and see the show.

I have some space on my guest list Saturday Night. If you’d like to attend, drop me a comment and I’ll put you on the list. If you choose to come Saturday, I may well be able to waive the cover charge for a number of   readers. If you’re thinking of attending, be sure to follow the dress code – the club won’t let you in if you don’t!

If you live out of the area, I completely understand!

Hope to see you there,


Secret Pictures from the Batcave: Make your Magic One of a Kind!

Recently I found myself in a top secret design facility. Actually, I was in the workshop of a serious prop builder in Van Nuys. This is the kind of guy that can, and does, build Klingon spaceships. Not fan model kits either. He builds the real props for the real shows. When he makes the Enterprise, he really makes the Enterprise.

While we were waiting for my new &#*@!? to come out of the oven, he showed me some priceless antiques on loan to him for the purposes of making collector’s replicas. Here they are!

This is a communicator from the original Star Trek series. I learned that the owner of this piece recently turned down 100,000 dollars for it. Got to love the millionaire Trekkers!

Notice the wild blinking lights and gizmos on this special tricorder prop from The Next Generation series (blechhhh!). Again, this one was actually used a bunch in the show.

My builder genius, who we’ll call Q, informed me that virtually all the weird props we see on screen are hollow plastic shells with no lights or insides, like the communicator in the first photo. The prop department makes just one fully rigged model for each type of prop, so they can use it for the occasional close-up. Movie folks call this fully tricked out model The Hero. Unlike the communicator, The Hero was heavy in my hands. I’m sure it was because off all the dilithium inside.

Your Turn

Think carefully – How happy are you with your store bought props? Let me know. I think we may find an area here where many of us have similar experiences. I’ll read all your comments pronto!

Secrets you can’t find on the Internet

There are some secrets you can still only learn in person.

The technological advancements of the last twenty years have made it easier than ever to connect with magicians from around around the globe. Thanks to Internet magic dealers, web communities and, you can begin an  effective apprenticeship in magic without ever stepping foot inside a genuine retail magic store.

And that’s a shame, because even in the information age, you still need access to a real magic store if you want to become a great magician.


denny and me

Denny Haney: Backstage with me last week at The Magic Castle

The first night I walked into the Denny & Lee Magic Studio, I didn’t leave until four am. In that store I met the real pros and heard their real stories about life in  magic. Thanks in large part to Denny and his shop, I found a career in magic. 


If you want to be a great magician – find a real magic shop

There are guys out there who can paint the oral history of magic for you like no book can. They can tell you the real stories behind the names and faces you find in the books on the shelves.

For the most part, the real old timers aren’t with us anymore. But luckily, most of them had students and friends – magicians who’ve heard the tales and love to share them.

Most of these guys don’t blog. And they don’t hang out on  the magic cafe. The only way to find these magicians is to go to the clubhouse – the magic shop. If you go in and hang out long enough, you’ll eventually bump into people who can show you the mysteries you seek.

Find your store! 

But first you have to find a magic store. And not just any magic store will do. To take advantage of the advice in this post, you’ll need a great magic store. And in the age of the Internet, real shops with good stock and a solid sense of community can be hard to find. In fact, most of you will have to travel some distance to find a shop you can count on.  

Below follows a list of my three favorite magic stores in the country. I’ve listed one on each coast and another in the center of the country

Pick any one of these stores and become a genuine, in store customer. In the process, you may find more than a shop – you just might find a community where you belong. 

Each on of these shops has a strong web presence. But remember, for optimum results, you’ll have to walk through the front door. 

Many readers submitted info on their favorite shops – you can read their comments here.

Three Great Shops

Denny & Lee Magic Studio

Midwest Magic

Grand Illusions