While most people give up on magic tricks when they hit puberty, the fortunate few who persevere can wind up on a lucrative career path.
To put this into context, the highest paid magician, David Copperfield, earned far more in the last year than the highest paid TV actress, Sofia Vergara, and virtually the same amount as the highest-paid actor in the world Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnsonaccording to Forbes.
While Copperfield, a famed American illusionist, made an estimated $64m (£52m) in 2016, Johnson earned $64.5m (£53m) and Modern Family actress Vergara earned $43m (£35m) in the same period.
Copperfield, who has walked through the Great Wall of China, made the Statue of Liberty disappear and levitated over the Grand Canyon, is a near-billionaire. Forbes estimated his net worth at $800m (£654m) in 2013 and estimates him to be the most commercially successful magician in history. Read more…
Eric Colleary, curator of the theater and performing arts collection at the Ransom Center, has a side interest: The history of foodways, how eating habits and culinary practices change through the eras.
“Food hits all the senses,” says Colleary. “Tasting foods made from historic recipes gives you a sense of the labor, the skill, the economy, the geographic and historical influences, and the palate of a person.”
And so when he set out to organize an exhibit in conjunction with the 90th anniversary of Harry Houdini’s death, Colleary culled the Ransom Center’s collection of the magician’s papers and books for any information on what the famous illusionist liked to eat.
Says Colleary: “For a figure like Houdini, (understanding what he ate) cuts through the legend directly to the person, who, like everyone else, has to eat.”
The Houdini exhibit, on view through Nov. 6, dovetails with “Houdini Speaks to the Living,” a new play devised from the Ransom Center’s Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle collections to imagine the two men in a debate about the true nature of magic. Read more….
So… as I mentioned in my last blog post “What’s the Trick to Fooling Penn & Teller? Part One,” I was booked to appear on Penn & Teller: Fool Us on the CW Network to perform my trick Unshuffled. The problem was that Penn and Teller already knew the secret to how the trick works. How was I going to go about fooling Penn and Teller? There was no way I was going to fool them with a trick they already knew… unless I threw in an unexpected twist. That became the plan.
I rehearsed the routine about 50 times and then began to video tape each performance. Once I had a smooth looking performance, I posted it on a private YouTube Channel and sent the video link to about 10 friends. This included some of the top sleight-of-hand magicians in the country. My request to them was that they view the video once and only once then tell me if it fooled them. Read more at: http://gertner.com/whats-trick-fooling-penn-teller-part-two/
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