Friday, May 11, 2007

I got mentioned in a Go Magic Go podcast- yay!

The suggestion I made for a product review for the Go Magic Go Podcast (which was also, almost simultaneously, suggested by someone on the forum) has been featured in 'Hype of the Week' on Episode 84.

Here's the original link to the product.

I initially read about this product on the Magic and Conjuring blog.

I won't explain it here- just check out the product, and then hear Keith and Andrew's hilarious review.

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Monday, May 7, 2007

Silly Billy the Clown loses business for Child Molestor Relatives

(Via New York Post)

David Kaye (formerly David Friedman) is the son and brother of Arnold and Jesse Friedman, who were teachers convicted of molesting their students in the 80s. In light of Kaye's occupation as a magician/clown, he changed his name.

But the release of the documentary Capturing the Friedmans in 2003 saw the decline of Silly Billy's business, as his association to his family made his clients uncomfortable. Originally, Silly Billy the clown was locally the most popular child entertainer for birthday parties.

Oddly enough, Kaye has now invented a new persona- "Dr. Blood". A slightly darker character that appeals to an older audience. He claims it has nothing to do with his decline in business.

I personally think it's an odd move on his part, but I can understand how fragile a child entertainer's reputation can be- parents can get easily rattled, and simply don't want to take chances.

At Philip and Henry, we maintain a policy of checking into each and every magician, so that we can assure our clients there's nothing to be worried about.

Nonetheless, here's the trailer for the documentary. Capturing the Friedmans got an academy award nomination.

Let's try that again. This time with a little bit more feeling, and a little bit more clarity:

In our society, accusations of child abuse (sexual or otherwise) carry with them a heavy load of suspicion, paranoia, and outright anger. David Kaye, formerly David Friedman, has had to deal with the fallout of accusations against his father and brother. According to the article I read (which is confusing me) he may have suffered a loss in business when a documentary on the subject was released in 2003.

You see, David Kaye works as a magician/clown named Silly Billy. In fact, for a good long time, he was locally the entertainer of choice for children's birthday parties.

Back in the 80s, Arnold and Jesse Friedman were both convicted of child molestation, stemming from a Pedophile Sting Operation. The documentary (called Capturing the Friedmans), through their personally recorded video journal, casts doubt on the logic and evidence that was brought against them.

More than anything, this shows that the media can have a powerful effect on people. The smallest implication of child abuse can send a community in a fury, putting pressure on authorities and the media to put their own spin on things.

Much like the article I read, for instance, which may have put its own spin on things.

In this case I will admit my own ignorance and tread a lot more carefully next time- writing blandly about a sensitive topic simply doesn't happen, and as a writer I shouldn't let it.

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Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Japanese Magicians sue TV Network for Explaining tricks

(Via Sunday Times)

In Japan, TV Asahi and the Nippon Television Network was sued by 49 Magicians for airing a show that explained how coin tricks were done.

Thing is, this was prompted by a Magician and Pub owner getting arrested for punching holes in coins- much like in Canada, Japan has laws against defacing money.

Call me crazy, but I think it's way more impressive to do amazing tricks with plain old, ordinary coins. Am I alone in this?

However, if this suit is successful, could it set an interesting precedent for Magicians everywhere?

When the twoonie (that's my spelling) first came out, a couple of them fell apart, and then people went around freezing them and trying to bust them apart. The Canadian Mint was not pleased...

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Women and Magic

I've just read a very nice reprinted article over at Quinlan's Inside Magic called "Women and Magic". It's about how media has changed our views of women, and how women are seen/treated in the Magic industry. What's even better, is the article is written by the very talented Sue-Anne Webster, from Magic Unlimited.

It actually answers some important questions that I've had in my mind, ever since I started learning about Magic. David Blaine, Criss Angel, David Copperfield and the like are all the 'celebrities' of magic in the mainstream media, but we do not have a really famous female magician by which to gauge our opinions (or am I totally wrong on that? I could be). But I am looking at this from the perspective of someone new to the magic community.

Of course, there's always this gal here:

However, I think Sue-Anne is definitely a good candidate for a female Magician role-model.

ps- a big thank you to Tim Quinlan for linking to us on Inside Magic!

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