Blog Archives

Something really good….for free?

It’s not often that something really good comes along for free in magic. Tricks and effects aren’t cheap – and quite right as you’re buying secrets and often many years of development. But here’s something that really is free and invaluable if you love magic. Josh Jay at Vanishing Inc has spent three years putting together an ebook, “Magic In Mind”, with some of the greatest writers in magic:

Tommy Wonder
Charles Reynolds
Simon Aronson
Paul Harris
John Carney
Jamy Ian Swiss
Dariel Fitzke
Peter Samelson
Derren Brown
Michael Close
Pit Hartling
Eugene Burger
S.H. Sharpe
René Lavand
Henning Nelms
Juan Tamariz
Rick Johnsson
Tom Stone
Darwin Ortiz
Milt Kort
Arturo de Ascanio
David Regal
Doug Conn
Ken Weber
David Kaye
Roberto Giobbi
Eberhard Riese
Brian Brushwood
Whit Haydn
Max Maven
Nevil Maskelyne

Trust me when I say you need to get this. It’s free. It’s inspiring. Get it here:

I don’t really like to use this blog to sell stuff on behalf of others but, hey, this is free and Josh is a decent guy and he’s put this together for the right reasons.



Getting ready to Session?

I mentioned this in my last post, but this time The Session really is nearly here – just five days away in fact. For the first time in decades, an international magic convention is taking place in Cheltenham, the birthplace of the legendary victorian magician, JN Maskelyne.

For those of us interested in magic, the line-up is going to be difficult to top. My friend, and fabulous local magician, Andi Gladwin, has worked really hard with co-organiser, New York magician, Joshua Jay, to bring a fantastic line-up to the session. 

Over the past few days I’ve been working on the event that I’m helping out with – interviewing Las Vegas magician, Chris Kenner. Chris is a major influence on magic today and will be here to pick up the Session’s Lifetime Achievement award. Not bad considering he’s not yet 50. He’s made major strides in shaping modern magic – starting as a close up and stand up magic comedian to now working as David Copperfield’s Executive Producer. He’s also supportive of young magicians – again shaping the future of magic. But he’s also blatantly outspoken about what is right and wrong with magic today, so expect a home truths. 

Such is his influence, and the calibre of the other performers (I’m really looking forward to seeing Dani Daortiz from Spain as well as Penn and Teller Fool Us magician’s John Archer and Piff The Magic Dragon) that magicians are flying in from around the world to be in Cheltenham.

Anyway, back to the research…



The Session & David Berglas

Well, the Session is over for another year and what a weekend it was. It was the biggest and the busiest yet. Nearly 150 magicians from all over the world came to see the likes of Darwin Ortiz, Pit Hartling, Denis Behr, Ben Earl and Luke Jermay. Andi Gladwin and Josh Jay put together a fantastic weekend with some great lectures, talks and sessions. There were too many highlights to list but stand out performances from Denis Behr and Pit Hartling bring a sublime smile to my face. Their card handling is wonderful and looks like real magic. It takes years of practicing every day for hours to get that good and it showed. Excellent stuff. In fact, I recommend that you check out Denis Behr’s database here – an incredible resource if you’re in any way interested in magic.

There was, as you’ll have read on Tricktopia, one event at the session that I had a personal involvement in. It was the final event of the weekend on Sunday night – the interview with David Berglas. After many weeks of planning and meeting up with David it was great to finally get to the event. David was on top form – we talked about his start as a psychtherapist, the fact that his first magic convention was in Cheltenham in 1948 at the Cotswold Magical Society, a couple of his big publicity stunts, his theatrical work, his approach to magic and his friendship with Uri Gellar. We could have talked for several more hours – but we also wanted to hear about his card magic as his new book is out in April. David handles cards in a unique way so he talked about that and how he shapes his effects. The big surprise for everyone (only a few of us knew in advance) was that David performed some of his card magic. It was an incredible moment – with five volunteers on stage he found their merely thought of cards in incredible ways. Ever the showman, his patter was second to none and he had the audience in stitches. But the highlight was his performance of his legendary Berglas Effect – Any Card At Any Number. The picture below shows the moment the nervous spectator counted to his card. You could have heard a pin drop in the room – the tension was palpable. When he turned over his card the crowd roared and David received the first of two standing ovations!


After the event Andi and Josh presented David with the first ever Session Lifetime Achievement in Magic Award. Well deserved. All of us there knew that we had witnessed an historical event. At the age of 84, David still had the power to steal the show. An incredible end to an incredible weekend.

How do they top it next year?!