October 26, 2013
Re "Engaging N. Korea," Opinion, Oct. 21 Since 2009, during each of my three visits as a guest of the North Korean government, I have seen firsthand the value of the kind of low-key, people-to-people exchanges that British Ambassador to North Korea Mike Gifford is promoting with that country. In 2012 I was allowed to bring with me an American delegation of magicians to Pyongyang. The next step is bringing some of their magicians to the United States. North Korea's leadership has approved the plan, and now I must get the support of the State Department.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 28, 2013 |
John Calvert, a Hollywood illusionist whose magic tricks won him numerous fans as well as several film roles, including three movies during the 1940s in which he played the detective known as the Falcon, has died. He was 102. Calvert died Friday in Lancaster, according to the International Brotherhood of Magicians. No cause was given. Hollywood's Magic Castle said on its Facebook page Friday: "We are very sad to report that Mr. John Calvert, our oldest performing magician, has passed away at the age of 102. " Calvert impressed many of Hollywood's most famous personalities with his sleight-of-hand tricks, and he invited some of them to perform in his stage shows.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 31, 2013 |
SAN DIEGO -- The special mayoral election is shaping up as a serious affair, with lots of high-tone discussion of restoring integrity to city government after the scandalous downfall of Bob Filner. The campaign leading to the Nov. 19 vote will not be leavened with much humor. For one reason, the clown-prince of San Diego politics -- Loch David Crane, author, magician, Buffalo Bill-lookalike, Star Trek fan, admirer of Merlin and Capt. Kirk -- says he will not be a candidate. For half a dozen mayoral elections, Crane has punctuated his rivals' discussion of taxation and infrastructure by displaying his exploding wallet or repeating one of his favorite slogans: “It's time to change the kitty litter in the cat box at City Hall.” Crane, 65, has stoutly refused to grow up but he has inevitably gotten older.
August 3, 2013 |
Bill Okal's opening line is one of the oldest tricks in the close-up magic book: undersell your talent, then dazzle them with your best cards. "I really only do two tricks," the Bakersfield resident says apologetically to the two families standing in front of him on the Santa Monica Pier on a recent Saturday morning. He taps on three brass demi-cups perched upside down on a weathered cabaret table with pom-pom trim. "One is with cups, which I'm sure you've seen before…. The other, if you're ready for this, is the legendary egg trick of Max Malini!"
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 26, 2013 |
The hand is quicker than the eye, according to David Kwong, magic consultant for the upcoming film "Now You See Me" from Summit Entertainment. But that's not the only trick behind how the film's central characters - a gang of four magicians played by Isla Fisher, Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco and Woody Harrelson - pull off multiple bank heists. Kwong, 32, got his introductory abracadabra when he was about 7. He was at a pumpkin patch, where a magician performed a trick involving a disappearing and reappearing red sponge ball.
May 16, 2013 |
Renowned sleight-of-hand magician, actor, author and historian Ricky Jay learned his craft from the best in the field, including Al Fosso, Slydini, Cardini, Dai Vernon and Charlie Miller. These men never made a lot of money during their long careers, and in the case of Cardini, he didn't appear on television for fear of having his act exposed and copied. But to Jay, these master magicians were superstars. "I think the thing about these people who are so good is that they are perpetual students, as well as masters," said Jay, 65, in a recent phone interview.