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Derek DelGaudio’s Genre-Bending Magic Show

Derek DelGaudio’s Genre-Bending Magic Show

By Sam Schube
Photo by Matteo Mobilio

Derek DelGaudio is, technically speaking, one of the best magicians in the world. But he’s spent the last few years putting on a mind-blowing stage show that’s equal parts conceptual art and social experiment. Here, with a little help from fan Stephen Colbert, director Frank Oz, and collaborator Glenn Kaino, he explains how the best parts of his work have nothing to do with actual magic.

Derek DelGaudio wanted to meet in New York City’s Washington Square Park, which should have ranked pretty low on any list of anxiety-inducing activities. And yet, when I got there, my heart started pounding. DelGaudio, a magician, had suggested the location, and it didn’t seem an unreasonable request. But as I entered the park ahead of our meeting, I started scrutinizing my fellow park-dwellers in a state of adrenalized attention. One woman seemed to point her phone at me. (She was FaceTiming someone). My own phone buzzed with a notification, and I nearly jumped out of my shoes. I’m generally an easygoing guy, but what I’d seen DelGaudio do a month prior in his one-man show, In & Of Itself, had put me in a distinctly paranoid mood. DelGaudio, widely considered one of the most talented magicians on the planet, had displayed such a casual facility for manipulation—for card tricks but also for knottier, weirder illusions that weren’t necessarily illusions at all—that I was convinced I was walking into some sort of trap. It had seemed so easy for him to tweak reality onstage, as if it were a product of the guy and not his stage show. I was expecting him to pull one over on me, and probably without my noticing it….   Read More..

David Copperfield is the highest paid magician in the world.. See the list..

David Copperfield is the highest paid magician in the world.. See the list..

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…

What Houdini ate: An Austin archive reveals foodie facts about the magician…

What Houdini ate: An Austin archive reveals foodie facts about the magician…

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.

Colleary maintains a blog, The American Table, in which he documents his experiences trying historic recipes for dishes such as Election Cake  and delves into topics such as the story of butchering in America.

“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….