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Topic: Doug Henning - still an inspiration
Message: Posted by: jtb (Nov 30, 2008 12:10PM)
Doug Henning got me back into magic.

I was fortunate to be a good friend of Doug and Debbie up until Doug's death. My experience was that his stage persona and his real-life personality were pretty much the same. He was a gentle, upbeat person.

I loved his magic. He always tried to create a sense of wonder. He told me he wanted his costumes to be colorful and different from the standard Magician costumes because he wanted magic to be light, fun, and to create a sense that there was such a thing as "real magic" in our world.
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Dec 2, 2008 11:16AM)
I too miss Doug. Itís a shame that the general public has forgotten him. Back in his day, his name was synonymous with magic. Now, Iím afraid he is forgotten with the likes of Kellar and Thurston. We must keep performers like this alive. Letís keep this post going so we can relive great moments of this remarkable magician.
Message: Posted by: impy (Dec 3, 2008 12:31PM)
I remember seeing Doug in The Magic Show on Broadway back in the 70's. Seeing this and his TV specials left such an impression on me. I stopped performing magic but I never stop associating the feeling of seeing a great effect with him. Both Doug and Mark Wilson were my magic heroes. I wish Jim Steinmeyer would write a bio of Doug. His other books are fantastic and since he worked with Doug he's the best one for this.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Dec 3, 2008 01:02PM)
Doug BELIEVED there WAS a Unicorn in His Garden.
Message: Posted by: Jimeh (Dec 3, 2008 02:22PM)
Yeah it's just a shame he got in way over his head with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
in his quest to find 'real' magic. I always wondered what would have happened if Doug had not left the magic world. It would have been interesting to see him evolve over the years like we have seen with Copperfield.
Message: Posted by: Steve Yarosko (Dec 9, 2008 04:33PM)
I remember his first special. I was in my early teens, and had been into magic a few years by then, but I had not seen a whole lot of magic. Doug was the first person I ever saw perform the Anderson Newspaper Tear. I was amazed, and Doug reached his goal with me as far as instilling a sense of wonder. I try to remember that sense of wonder I felt back then when I am sharing my magic and balloons with others.

Steve
Message: Posted by: silverking (Dec 10, 2008 11:20AM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-03 15:22, agent61 wrote:
Yeah it's just a shame he got in way over his head with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
in his quest to find 'real' magic.
[/quote]
Yeah, it's always a shame when good people like Doug actually live their lives the way they want to live them.

So you're really saying that "shameful Doug" let [i]you[/i] down by actually living his life as [i]he[/i] saw fit to live it?

You really don't know anything at all about Doug....do you?
Message: Posted by: Jimeh (Dec 10, 2008 12:17PM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-10 12:20, silverking wrote:
Yeah, it's always a shame when good people like Doug actually live their lives the way they want to live them.

So you're really saying that "shameful Doug" let [i]you[/i] down by actually living his life as [i]he[/i] saw fit to live it?

You really don't know anything at all about Doug....do you?
[/quote]

And apparently you know even less about the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Must be slim pickings on the Cafť today if you're coming after me. ;)
Message: Posted by: silverking (Dec 10, 2008 01:15PM)
Do a bit of research.....Doug found great personal happiness through TM.

If you feel it's a "shame" for Doug to have found that personal joy, then you know nothing about Doug.

When I said "you know nothing about Doug, it wasn't a slag.
It [i]was[/i] a direct statement, and nobody "coming after" anybody.
Message: Posted by: Jimeh (Dec 10, 2008 02:19PM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-10 14:15, silverking wrote:
Do a bit of research.....Doug found great personal happiness through TM.

If you feel it's a "shame" for Doug to have found that personal joy, then you know nothing about Doug.
[/quote]

Doug made it a life-long choice so the fact that he was happy is pretty obvious.
He also acquired various degrees in the Maharishi's school, helped promote/campaign for the Natural Law party here in Canada, spent large amounts of his time trying to create Maharishi Veda Land in Niagara Falls. I know [i]some[/i] things about Doug (and no, I didn't have to Google anything).

I said "shame" only because I'm not fond of the Maharishi
(who has had an interesting past you must admit) not because I think Doug was shameful in his decision to leave magic.
All I was really trying to articulate was that it would have been [i]interesting[/i] to see what Doug would have accomplished as a magician, that's all.

I apologize for not stating that more clearly...
Message: Posted by: silverking (Dec 10, 2008 02:53PM)
I apologize actually, I've no beef with you and was rude in my initial post.

I often rush to Doug's defense far too quickly, based largely on my belief that most magicians really don't understand much at all about Doug, and understand nothing about the TM part of his life.

I think many feel that TM "stole" Doug away from magic, when in fact Doug quite happily went his own way in life, wherever it took him.

A huge part of Doug's persona was the fact that he had such a deep and accessible spiritual side to his personality, which we saw (in spades) in all of his magic.

I know it's [i]always[/i] open to interpretation, (and there are plenty who disagree) but it's because of Doug that there's enough people interested in magic today to put 38,000 members on the Magic Cafť........Doug's times with TM are nothing more than one part of his amazing legacy.
Message: Posted by: Jimeh (Dec 10, 2008 04:34PM)
It's all good Silverking, I better understand where you are coming from now.

I agree, a large number of magi (and lay-people for that matter) DO see it as TM having stolen Doug away.
But he left willingly and right up until his death appeared to be very content with the path he took. He was deeply grounded in spirituality no question.

It's selfish to think he [i]should[/i] have stayed, although it would have been fascinating to see him evolve through the years
given what he radiated personality-wise. Copperfield's a cool guy and all but he projects something much different than what Doug had.
Alas, it wasn't meant to be and we should be thankful for what he did contribute in the time he was involved in magic.

And as far as Doug [i]"being the reason"[/i], you're 'bang-on' Silverking.
We have more in common than I thought. ;)

Peace
Message: Posted by: silverking (Dec 10, 2008 04:57PM)
Peace indeed my like minded friend :)

An aside:
I used to enjoy an extremely healthy dislike for David Copperfield as little more than a wannabe chasing after Doug's position as Top Dog.

Folks forget that DC was a [i]solid[/i] second banana to Doug Henning, and only acceded to the top [i]after[/i] Doug left magic.

I like DC quite a bit these days......but back then, not so much.
Message: Posted by: Dr. Reneau (Dec 22, 2008 10:26AM)
Does anyone remember the animated series ANIMANIACS? In one episode our heroes go to King Arthur's court. The king calls for Merlin and a beautiful caricature of Doug Henning appears, announcing "It's Magic." What intrigued me was Henning had been pretty much gone from the magic scene for over ten years, but the writers obviously remembered him fondly.

Eric Jamborsky
Message: Posted by: Jimeh (Dec 22, 2008 11:23AM)
Yeah the episode is titled "Sir Yaksalot". Here it is:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=xCj1c3XgLho (Merlin appears at 1:20min)

Cheers!
Message: Posted by: Donal Chayce (Dec 22, 2008 01:17PM)
Lynetta Welch shares a lovely story about Doug and Debby in the January issue of Genii. She shared the story with me personally several months ago, and it was obvious that Doug and her "near miss" experiences with him deeply affected her.