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Topic: Who to interview for a newspaper story?
Message: Posted by: Led Heflin (Apr 12, 2007 07:59AM)
I'm not entirely sure where is the most appropriate place for this posting, but as I'm new, perhaps this will do the trick. Anyhow. I'm a journalist by profession, and I work for an alt-weekly (Village Voice-style newspaper). I often get to indulge my interests by writing about them, and magic is no exception. I am therefore looking for an interview subject or two for a story on the state of the conjuring arts in general (augmented by looking at the very small number of performers in my local area, western Massachusetts). This forum seems to be remarkably rich in information and remarkably full of talented and widely respected performers. Who would you recommend as a knowledgeable interview subject whose take on magic would be rich in historical context and appeal to those who've never heard of a Double Lift?

Your help is much appreciated.


PS-- I solemnly swear that this story will contain no puns or wry remarks involving rabbits and hats!
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Apr 12, 2007 03:13PM)
Without dropping names I can think a few.
What type of magic do you feel would be of interest to readers?
Renaissance Fairs,
Historical re-creations,
Bizarre magic,
Restaurant magic,
Stage and platform,
Impromptu type magic,
Message: Posted by: Led Heflin (Apr 12, 2007 03:44PM)
Thanks for the reply, Jaz. I intend to start with what people are likely to know around here-- TV stars, birthday party magic and restaurant magic--and move on to putting that into the broader context of the grand history of magical performance for the last 100 years or so. I hope to give people a sense of the level of skill and very interesting thinking that's really at the heart of magic. One of our sister papers just did a fairly appalling job of covering a magic convention, and it's just that sort of ill-informed approach I hope to counter. So all that to say-- I'm interested not in a particular type of magician, but rather in a good ambassador to give people a sense of magicians as carriers of a great tradition that's far more interesting than, say, cheap finger-chopping props.

I live in a place where one of the things people tout is our old movie palace, which has a trapdoor that was installed for Houdini. But I can think of only a single magic show here in the last decade that was more sizeable than a restaurant-type gig. Therefore I'm just wanting to spark some interest in a very fine art that shouldn't go neglected.

As for my personal interests, well, that's different!-- I'm most interested in mentalism and close-up.
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Apr 12, 2007 07:34PM)
You are in Massachusetts? Try giving the Hank Lee Magic Shop a call- I am sure they can point you in the right direction!
Message: Posted by: Andy the cardician (Apr 27, 2007 02:49AM)
Well, you could post an open invite and let people PM you.
Message: Posted by: mrunge (Apr 27, 2007 08:07AM)
Are you wanting to find people from Massachusetts alone or just a great "ambassador" for the art in general?

Message: Posted by: Led Heflin (Apr 27, 2007 09:53AM)
Thanks, folks for the good suggestions!

An update: I was looking both for someone from Massachusetts and for someone in general (this is gonna be a long story). Through the forum and recommendations from members, I have now gotten in touch with 3 really great people-- one local magician who builds illusions, one elder statesman and one up-and-comer. The story should be out on May 17. The interviewing so far has been a blast. I very much appreciate the points in the right direction.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Apr 27, 2007 10:17AM)

Thank you for getting press attention for the world of magic. It helps us all.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: pradell (Apr 27, 2007 05:53PM)
Herb Downs was my mentor. He lived in Needham, MA. He was a past president/secretary of the SAM. He had a magic club at Weeks Jr. High. His son, David Downs (?) wrote a book about his magic. Perhaps you could google him and locate his son. He could be a good reference for MA magical history.

Posted: Apr 28, 2007 3:45am
And I've just learned that David Regal, regalmagic@earthlink.net was also a student of Herb Downs, also from MA. There's someone well known from your state who may have some insight....
Message: Posted by: Led Heflin (Apr 28, 2007 03:23PM)

Thanks for the info. I'm new enough to this that I'm not aware of Herb Downs, but I'll go see what I can find out about his son. Please feel free to PM me.
Message: Posted by: donrodrigo (Jan 24, 2008 04:56AM)
Seamus I thank you for your inititive. One favor I ask:
Please don't write that magicians do tricks, Do not call them that).Dogs do tricks
were intertainers(in a wide range of magic) we perform magical effects.Underline that please.As a teen and even now now when I hear someone ask me that I turn away. Sorry, and please understand. Thank you.
Message: Posted by: pepka (Jan 24, 2008 05:35AM)
Yes, we're entertainers. I don't know about you, but I have no magic powers. I perform tricks. That's the Jeff McBride school that says the T word is bad. There's nothing wrong with performing tricks. It's all personal preference, just don't speak for all of us, especially to a member of the media trying to do a story about magicians. It makes all of us sound high and mighty. Not all of us are that pompous.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jan 24, 2008 08:27AM)

Don't overlook animals used in magic for a good story. In 2006 SEAM (South Eastern Association of Magicians) in Birmingham, Alabama held a "Broken Wand" (Broken Perch, Actually) for Matilda the Magic Chicken. She is also certified as the world's oldest chicken! She had also appeared on Jay Leno!

Check it out!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander

PS --- My wife (Lucy) uses live unicorns on stage. (OK - they are cremello quarter horses with blue eyes.)
Message: Posted by: donrodrigo (Jan 25, 2008 01:47AM)
Hi Pepka,
You are right, I'm not speking for everyone here and if you read my lines right I gave everyone here a complement as an artist and a gentelman. I hope that's clear. Furthermone dear friend that's my personal feeling for the matter. I was never nor am now an artist with his nose in the air.Of course Mr. Sanders is right to: I have different animals in my act and the're my traveling companions. Warm Regards to all DonRodrigo.