Thursday, March 20, 2008

Harry Keller

born July 11, 1849, Erie, Pa., U.S.
died March 10, 1922, Los Angeles

The first great magician native to the United States. Called the “dean of magic” and “the most beloved magician in history,” he was the most popular magician from 1896 until 1908. From age 12 to 18 Kellar learned magic while travelling as an assistant to I.H. Hughes. Kellar opened his full evening show in the United States in 1884. Known as a perfectionist, he carefully planned every word and movement of his act. He soon rivalled the popularity of Alexander Herrmann, whose position as the leading magician in the United States he assumed when Herrmann died in 1896. In 1908 Kellar publicly turned his show over to his successor, Howard Thurston.

Video du Jour • Click Here

Click in the link above and be entertained by Lee Zimmerman, a talented marionette artist. This clip shows him doing his thing at Venice Beach in 1991. Shot on S-VHS. Let me know what you think of this cat! Never seen anything like him before. Enjoy.

Nice Box

There's gold in them thar hills!

I read a lot of blogs and listen to a lot of podcasts. There’s so much going on out there, there’s no way to make sense of it all. Some of it interesting, funny and useful, some of it boring and some really need to come off the rss feed reader.

Many of the blogs and podcasts are magic related, a smaller percentage deal with business as with the David Allen & Zig Ziglar Podcasts. Other podcasts I listen to regularly are Creative Screen Writing, Grateful Dead and a few other odds and ends thrown in for good measure like Garrison Kielor “News from Lake Woebegone” from the Prairie Home Companion.

For the last two weeks I’ve been hiking with Aaron Fisher in the mornings. We meet up in Bronson Canyon around 10AM, then proceed to heavily geek out on magic as we get a decent workout for and hour and half to two hours.

I’ve said this many times before, but it’s worth repeating; I’m a lucky and blessed man. There have been countless opportunities in my life in magic to get to really know magicians whose work I respect and get to call these guys my friends.

With Polly back to work on, “Ugly Betty”, I’ve got a lot more time on my hands. I’m feeling good and motivated to get working on something besides my tan.

Not sure what I want to accomplish, but I can think of a few projects like putting together a DVD for Max Maven (the new Entertainment Director for the Magic Castle). I haven’t worked the Castle since the early 90’s and I think the time is right for another booking. Also I’m working on a DVD to sell at work half performance footage, half teach a trick. Simple beginner stuff. I’ve been outlining the project but I surprise myself with my own apathy. I’ll get it going and soon. What’s the next action? Bong hit!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Busker du Jour

Magician, originally uploaded by JFloriani.