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The Erdnase Scroll from The Miracle Factory

31 Jan

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Good news for our devoted Erdnase fans and magic history enthusiasts — we have added a new gallery to our Everything Erdnase exhibition — an online presentation of the exploration of various editions of the iconic book, The Expert at the Card Table.

The new gallery can be found in  “American Variations” category, under the heading: “The Miracle Factory“. It exhibits some photos of the limited edition scroll (only 50 copies made) of The Erdnase Scroll,  a forty-foot long ivory, parchment paper scroll. It also has hand-tinted frontispiece in watercolor and India ink, adorned with maple-toned wood ornaments, tied with a suede cord, encased in an evergreen embroidered velour pouch with gold cord and tassels. The entire text is in a beautiful handwritten calligraphy font and is remains readable as a learning tool. It is certainly a beautiful piece and is a must have for all Erdnase enthusiasts around. If you are interested in obtaining, contact The Miracle Factory.

Don’t forget to sign our guestbook to let us know what you think!

Magi-Fest Blast!

30 Jan

Congratulations to Joshua Jay and Andi Gladwin for staging and producing a successful 83rd MagicFest! From all accounts, it sounds like there was a full house filled with stellar speakers and performances, heaps of magic dealers and of course, magic day and night. What more could any magic enthusiast wish for?!

We also congratulate our  Tong Eng Youth Fund Bursary Recipients – part of the Magi-Fest Youth Scholarship program. Their verdict of the convention?

“Magi-Fest was a blast!”

According to Braden Pole:

“I am truly thankful to everyone who contributed to my scholarship. This conference has changed the way I look at magic.  I learned many tricks, but more importantly I have gained lifelong friends, mentors and the experience of a lifetime.  Magi-Fest will always be fondly remembered as my first magic convention and the one that challenged, encouraged and enabled me to become the best that I can be.”

And from our other recipient, Zachary Bryant:

“It was fantastic! I learn(ed) a lot from people like: Ralpho, Eric Jones, Bennet, Christian Schenk, Tony Chang and Danny DaOrtiz. I became friends with Tony, Greg Lewis, Ivan Bekcic, Ralpho, and Eric Jones. I also gave (…) a bunch of advice at the beginning of the trip, which made me feel great inside.

Thanks to this trip, I have made so many new friends.”

We are so pleased that our winners had a memorable time and we hope this experience helps you along your  journey into the world of magic, and that we see you in many more conventions to come!

Casting Call

26 Jun

Magicana is looking for experienced entertainers, specializing in magic, dance and music for a variety of community programs to be conducted in the Greater Toronto Area. If interested, please contact us along with your theatre and entertainment experience.

We are looking for somebody who can fulfill any of these categories:

1. Instructors/Assistants for Children’s Programming

We are looking for entertainers to instruct/lead a variety of children’s workshops and multiple week courses at schools, community centres and hospitals. This will involve teaching simple magic tricks and guiding children in performing these tricks for an audience. This can include young children (6-10) or youth (10-16).

2. Entertainers for Senior’s Programming

We also conduct dozens of shows each year at nursing and retirement communities in and around the Greater Toronto Area. We are especially interested in engaging magic geared for an adult audience that’s easy to see, hear and simple to understand, but are open to other types of entertainers as well.

Please note that a screening process is involved in working with vulnerable groups like children and seniors. This includes reference checks and criminal record checks.

Please send your contact info and entertainment experience to:

Ellise Ramos
Program Coordinator
(T): 416 913 9034
(@): ellise@magicana.com

Mind Over Matter

21 Jun

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The calm is now upon us after the thrilling chaos that was Luminato and what are we left with? The satisfying aftertaste of success from  the Mind Over Matter magical series!

Mind Over Matter

For this year’s Luminato, Magicana went with the saying, “Mind Over Matter”, a term originally used to refer to paranormal phenomena, to best describe the magic behind these three performers. While each show was different from the other, they all had a common theme: how magic is essentially delivered and perceived through the power of the mind.

The world’s leading mentalist, Banachek, astounded, intrigued and inspired crowds with his life story through The Alpha Project, while Richard Turner cheated his way into the hearts of Torontonians with his incredible feats in card manipulation. Similarly, Juan Esteban Varela, despite NOT being the blonde with rippling muscles as he claimed to be, resonated strongly with From the Dark, as he made his mark with one of magic’s most experiential, groundbreaking shows to date.

The Alpha Project: Insight into the Life of a Mentalist

The Alpha Project revealed Banachek’s life story. Having gone through a trying childhood – abandoned at age 9 – Banachek embraced these tribulations and used them to support him on his way to becoming a mentalist. At 18, Banachek made headlines when, for a period of four years under close scrutiny, he convinced research scientists at Washington University that he was psychic. Entitled Project Alpha,the purpose of this experiment was to disprove others who claimed to be real psychics and to declare to the world that even scientists, when lacking expertise in the arts of deception, can be easily misled.

With rave reviews from The Toronto Star, Mooney on Theatre and Torontoist, it looks like The Alpha Project fulfilled its purpose in spreading this word!

The Cheat: Why One Should Never Play Cards with Strangers

In between wowing spectators for Luminato, Richard Turner, “The Cheat” also performed for Holland Bloorview and the Parliament Branch Library. Rounds of Texas Hold ‘Em, poker, blackjack and three card monte then ensued between Richard Turner and the audience. The end results, of course, always went according to his liking, despite the inordinate amount of shuffles by audience members and, at some rounds, with limited cards.

Richard Turner, along with boggling the minds of Toronto,  also charmed the hosts of the Morning Show and the CBC’s Eli Glasner. See Richard’s part in this CBC News clip in which Eli Glasner calls today’s age a “Magic Renaissance“.

From the Dark: Magic at Its Purest Form

For the closing weekend of Luminato, we followed Juan Esteban Varela, blindfolded, as he guided us through his new show, From the Dark – the only magic show that happens in absolute darkness. With everyone participating, the show quickly became an experience with a sea of voices in an unknown space. These factors contributed to the show’s overall mystery, which is essentially magic in its base form.  Indeed, Toronto Star and Cadence Canada both agreed that From the Dark was truly unique in its premise and most of all, its effect.

And so, we end Luminato 6 with invigorating vibes and positive feedback from Toronto.

Redefining Magic: Cadence Canada talks to the artists of “From the Dark”

15 Jun

A magic show in the dark?

“It doesn’t start the moment I start speaking. It starts the moment you surrender yourself to the idea, or even before then, when you make the conscious effort to come. Thinking about it, imagining it. And hopefully it doesn’t end when I stop talking. Ideally the magic, the experience, will last long after.” – Juan Esteban Varela

The magician behind the groundbreaking show, From the DarkJuan Esteban Varela and its director, Michael Weber  (also known for his work with The PrestigeThe Illusionist, and Oceans 13) sat down with Asif Hameed, reporter for Cadence Canada.

They breach numerous topics, such as the sister of the Spanish King personally thanking Juan for making her realize what vanishing truly means through his performance, the ten years it took to create an art form that challenges preconceived notions of the magic experience, and the intense love and passion that came with it.

Read the entire interview…

Experience magic at its most intimate form

From the Dark (directed by Michael Weber, starring Juan Esteban Varela), runs June 15–16 @ 8:00 PM and June 17 @ 2:00 PM as part of the Mind Over Matter magic series for Luminato at the Hart House Theatre (7 Hart House Circle).

Ticket information: www.luminato.com

To order tickets by phone, call: 416-368-4TIX/416-368-4849. Tickets also available from Hart House box office (www.uofttix.ca)

Richard Turner, “The Cheat” takes Toronto by storm

12 Jun

Image courtesy of Strut Entertainment

“The Morning Show” watched, astounded and amazed, as Richard Turner picked 38 cards from the deck within a second. One of the hosts then exclaimed, “You did it THAT fast?!”

Yes, he did! For as he mentioned during the interview, Richard’s finger sensitivity has escalated to the point where he is consulted by the United States Playing Card Company to test the flexibility and texture of their decks. But don’t just take our word for it, see it for yourself!  Watch Richard Turner on The Morning Show

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As if that wasn’t enough, Richard Turner then headed over to Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab Hospital and presented a community outreach show, delighting children, staff and other members of the community with his charm, inspirational life story and unbeatable card manipulation techniques. CBC News stopped by to get in on the fun so check out (local) Channel 6 to catch CBC News early evening news tonight!

He is, indeed, pure magic!

Richard Turner will be presenting his show, The Cheat, June 12–14 @ 7:15 PM The RBC Lobby at TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King Street West as part of the Mind Over Matter magic series for the Luminato festival. This is a FREE 45-minute show for all to enjoy!

“Crazy with Curiosity”: Toronto Reacts to Banachek’s “The Alpha Project”

11 Jun

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“If you’re hoping to be driven crazy with curiosity this weekend, this British mentalist has got the show for you.”

-Laura Godfrey, Torontoist, June 9, 2012

The people have spoken: rave reviews of Banachek’s show this weekend, “The Alpha Project” have started pouring in, all singing praise to the man who lived up to his name as the world’s leading mentalist.

From the Torontoist, written by Laura Godfrey:

“You can strain your neck and edge as far off your seat as you want, but there’s no question that Banachek is a master of his craft—there’s a reason he counts Penn & Teller, David Blaine, and Criss Angel among the acts he’s consulted for. Even after he tells you it’s not real, every trick is followed by a single question, rippling through the crowd: “How did he do that?”

It may not be magic, but that’s okay—it’s still mystery, suspense, and high entertainment.”

From Mooney on Theatre, by Dorianne Emmerton:

“A lot of people believe in telepathy, psychokinesis, past life regression and ghosts. These people go to a magic show ready and willing to believe. Others, like me, are skeptics who go simply for entertainment.

Banachek’s The Alpha Project, playing as part of Luminato, is a great show for the latter. For both kinds of people (and those in between) it’s (…) a fun night.”

And how did Banachek do on his predictions of last Saturday’s (June 9) front page headlines?

From The Toronto Star, by Wendy Gillis:

“The surprise retirement of I’ll Have Another was there. The out-of-the-blue bid for the 2024 Olympics was there. The story on gang violence? There. He even had the feature article on Australian Aboriginals.

In a feat of unbelievable (no, really) news forecasting, U.K. mentalist Banachek seems to have accurately predicted the front page of Saturday’s Star 10 days in advance.”

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