Archive for April, 2008

David Blaine finally breaks World Record…

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

He’s nothing if not persistent!

After falling somewhat short of breaking the world record for the longest time spent holding breath underwater, during his Drowned Alive special last year, Blaine finally cracked it – this time live on the Oprah show.






David Blaine in his glass bubble from the Drowned Alive special.

The record was previously set at 16 minutes and 32 seconds by Switzerland’s Peter Colat, now stands at a frankly astonishing 17 minutes and 4 seconds.

In the record attempt, Blaine was permitted to inhale pure oxygen for up to 30 minutes – though he apparently only required 23 minutes of that time.

After realising his lifelong dream, he surfaced and after a few short gulps of air, proclaimed that he felt great.

Next up for Blaine is another record attempt – staying awake for 13 days, to break the current record of 11 and a half. Guiness no longer officially recognise this record, due to it’s inherent danger.

Celebracadabra, Episode 1 & Max Maven’s new “do”

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Now that the dust has well and truly settled from the first episode, let’s take a look back and see what we can actually take away from Episode 1 of the VH1 reality show.

Sometimes – whether you’re a beginner or a professional – things go wrong. Sometimes they go a little bit wrong, but sometimes…they go A LOT wrong. There’s not much that one can do about it, as it’s simply going to happen at some point. But what we do to get over it when they *do* go wrong, now *That’s* the mark of distinction.

One of the celebrities recovered from the faliure by coming back and knocking the same effect out of the house the next time he performed it… The other came back a different way and performed it in a very much more introspective way.

Which is right? Both.

Which is right for you? Only you can say.

As for the rest, I personally found it very interesting to see the sorts of presentations (both basic and more involved) that the celebrities performed, from the simple reformation of a bill that turned out to be mis-made… To the edgy presentation of the floating dollar bill – that could *really* have ended up poorly – Kudos to C. Thomas Howell for having the nerve to put himself and his skills out there like that.










Kim Wyatt’s Card to Broken Bottle was another highlight for me, as the apprentice magician made it seem so smooth and flowing.

The judges were fair, and, for my money, right on the mark with their assesments of each celebrity.

Speaking of the judges… Although Max Maven wasn’t in the first episode, there was an extremely short clip of him, prior to the opening titles.










If anyone can name a magician who could carry off that hairstyle as well as Max, I’ll buy them a beer (Courtesy of the Kim Wyatt school of beer bottle management)

And some magician’s wax.




More information on Celebra cadabra

Friday, April 25th, 2008

This is taken from an official release about the show, for those who may not know the celebrities, or indeed magicians involved…

Celebracadabra - 2008

In the premiere episode of VH1’s new celeb-reality series, Celebracadabra, we’ll meet our seven wanna-be celebrity magicians — 80s film icon C. Thomas Howell, Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt, comedian Hal Sparks, singer Carnie Wilson, Celebrity Fit Club host ANT, rapper Chris “Kid” Reid, and actress Lisa Ann Walter.

The celebs will get teamed up with professional magicians who’ll coach them for their first challenge – Street Magic. Can these magic newbies perfect their tricks before hitting the streets to perform close-up wonders for unsuspecting crowds?

Six of the seven celebs will move on to the next challenge. Which one will have to disappear? Tune in and find out!

Meet the cast:

Rocco Silano
Legendary magician Harry Blackstone Jr. described Rocco Silano as “The epitome of real magic”. With movie star good looks, Rocco carries with him all of the elements so crucial for “extraordinary magic”. Poise, wit, charisma, and a European style of charm that is totally disarming, along with impeccable sleight of hand. This Paterson, NJ native says his magic career really began when he won the Golden Lion Award for stage and close-up magic from Siegfried & Roy at the Las Vegas Desert Seminar in 1986. Rocco is a two-time winner of the coveted Manhattan Association of Cabarets Award, and has been nominated nine times as “Magician of the Year” by the Academy of Magical Arts (the governing body of the Magic Castle) in four different categories. Rocco is the only American to win awards at two FISM (Federacion Internacional Societes de Magique) World Tournaments, the most prestigious Magic Organization in the World: 1994 in Yokohama, Japan, and “Most Original Act” in 2006 in Stockholm, Sweden. Rocco has literally performed his way around the world for such luminaries as Michael Jackson, Muhammed Ali and Howard Stern. Rocco is also the co-creator of D’lite, the number one selling magic trick in the history of magic.

Murray SawChuck
Murray has exploded onto the entertainment scene with the charisma, personality, and talent of a natural born star! You can’t miss this World Champion Magician with over 24 awards, with his signature electric blonde hair, black framed Armani glasses, and his contagious smile. He is the only one in the world that invented magic with Compact Discs. It was his signature for years before he got into television, comedy and hosting shows. He has done 4 world tours and has made 100’s of Television appearances worldwide… As one of the youngest headliners on the Las Vegas strip playing the Frontier, Flamingo, Planet Hollywood, and MGM Grand Hotels… along with being voted Playgirl’s Hot Guy of the Month… He is a host on the Vegas Entertainment Network and you have seen him on CBS’s Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon, Blinde Date, and Comedy Central’s ‘Reno 911’… “He’s the Denise the Menace of Magic!”

Jeff McBride
You’ve seen him on A&E’s MindFreak, on Star Trek – Deep Space 9 and as a featured performer in magic specials on every major TV network – now “Judge Jeff” is back on VH1’s Celebracadabra! Known as a foremost innovator in the world of magic, McBride’s unique combination of masks, mime and high-skill dramatic magic has won awards around the world, including being named Magician of the Year by Hollywood’s famed Magic Castle. He is the founder of the McBride Magic & Mystery School, based in Las Vegas, and is a regular headliner in casino showrooms, theaters, arts festivals and special events worldwide. His teaching videos have introduced a whole generation of magicians to the joys of skill-based magic, and are consistent best-sellers.

Simon Lovell
Simon Lovell started learning card effects at the age of four and it became a lifelong passion. After a time as a card cheat and con man he parlayed his skills into that of a highly successful entertainer using both his skills and comedy to enthrall audiences worldwide. He has created many efects, written books, and produced DVDs for other magicians including the popular book “How to Cheat at Everything”. He currently resides in NYC performing his long running one-man Off-Broadway show “Strange and Unusual Hobbies.”

Derek Hughes
The New York Times called Derek Hughes “Thoroughly Entertaining!” and Time Out New York honored him with “Critic’s Pick” for the off Broadway production of his original one man show Necromance: a Night of Conjuration, at Dixon Place Theater.
HBO invited Derek to perform his unique brand of comedy and magic at the US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen Colorado and his stand up comedy has been featured on the NBC series, Late Friday. Derek worked as a head writer and cast member on MTV’s Room 401, produced by Ashton Kutcher’s production company Katalyst Films.

David Regal
David Regal is a writer, performer and magician. Originally from New England, he moved to New York where he joined the main company of Chicago City Limits for over 2000 performances. After moving to Los Angeles, he began writing for television, eventually becoming the showrunner for the classic animated show Rugrats, then segued to writing for the living, where he wrote for numerous sitcoms, including the famous “Canister” episode of Everybody Loves Raymond. An author of books for the magic fraternity, David is a frequent and award-winning performer at Hollywood’s Magic Castle, where he was elected to the board of trustees. As of this writing he is nominated for both Close-up Magician of the year and Parlour Magician of the year.

Silly Billy
Silly Billy (David Kaye) is considered by many in the magic community to be the best in the country at entertaining children with magic. He has been named Best Children’s Entertainer in New York by five different New York magazines. In addition, he was profiled in the New Yorker and has appeared on Late Show with David Letterman. His client list includes parents Bruce Springsteen, Susan Sarandon, Madonna, and Eddie Murphy.

Jonathan Levit
It all started with a magic trick at the age of 8 — Jonathan Levit has been amazing people and making them laugh ever since. Originally from New York, and having lived all over the world, with his roots firmly established in magic, he made the move to Los Angeles in 1997. He had his first shot at acting when he landed a starring role on “The X-Files.” From there he co-starred in films such as “Tortilla Heaven,” “Unspeakable,” “Val Val” and “War of the Worlds II” and hosted tv series Green Wheels, Wired Next Fest and Miracle Hunters. In addition to bringing his first love of magic as host and judge of Celebracadabra, Jonathan can also be seen hosting Green With Envy on the Fine Living network and Paranormal U.S.A. on A&E Biography Channel in 2008.

Hal Sparks
Actor/comedian Hal Sparks began his professional career as a teenager in Chicago. As a member of the famed Second City Troupe, his quick wit and affable personality quickly gained him recognition and acclaim. In 1987 he was named the “Funniest Teenager In Chicago” by the Chicago Sun Times. After a successful run with Second City, Sparks moved to Los Angeles and, from 1999 — 2000, was the host of the Emmy Award-winning “Talk Soup” on E! Entertainment Television, winning rave reviews from fans and critics alike. For five seasons, he starred on the hit Showtime series “Queer As Folk” and his keen knowledge of pop culture landed him a leading role as a commentator on the hit VH1 “I Love the 80’s” series. His numerous television appearances include “The Tonight Show,” “Larry King Live,” “Charlie Rose,” “Good Morning America,” and “The View.” Sparks has appeared on the big screen in the box office smash “Spiderman 2″ and “Dude, Where’s My Car?” He is also the lead singer for the band “Zero 1″ who released their debut album in 2007.

Chris Reid
Christopher Reid, formerly the rapper known as Kid, is best known as one half of late-1980s/early-1990s hip hop musical act Kid ‘n Play. Reid has appeared on a number of television programs, including Martin and Sister, Sister, and has also served as the host of amateur contest shows such as Your Big Break and It’s Showtime at the Apollo. Reid tours as a stand-up comedian.

Lisa Ann Walter
Best known for her fan-favorite performances of Chessy in “The Parent Trap” and Bobbie (The Bobbinator) in the Richard Gere/Jennifer Lopez starrer, “Shall We Dance” – LISA ANN WALTER was trained in classical theater at The Catholic University of America which led to Regional/Dinner/Children’s/Off-Broadway theater, internship at the prestigious Arena Stage and ultimately – of course! …stand-up comedy.
Hollywood pursued Lisa Ann and her brand of brash, sexy “Momedy”, which resulted in her creating, producing and starring in several sit-coms including ABC’s ode to the working Mother, “Life’s Work”. She immensely enjoyed her starring role as news-producer, Rachel Glass in the critically acclaimed, “Breaking News” and working with Jim Carrey and Jen Aniston in “Bruce Almighty” as well as the great Steven Spielberg-directed “War of the Worlds” and is currently cornering the market on playing Milf-y, bitter divorcees in “Nip/Tuck” and “Drillbit Taylor” starring Owen Wilson.
Miss Walter – as she insists on being called when producing/directing is proud of the success of her web-sensation, “Gonzo Girlz”, her all-girl comedy DVD, “The Naughty Show” and her new production – the reality series “Dance Your Ass Off”.
She is most proud, however, of her 6-ft. tall, handsome son, her gorgeous daughter and her 7 year old identical twin, maniac boys…And the fact that her stomach is still reasonably flat after being the clown car they all came out of.

Carnie Wilson
Carnie Wilson, daughter of legendary Beach Boy founder, Brian Wilson, has a varied career as a singer, songwriter, actress and TV talk show host. As a member of Wilson Phillips, Carnie achieved unparalleled first album success, selling ten million albums with three #1 hit singles, including the song entitled “Hold On.” In 1996, Carnie hosted her own nationally syndicated TV talk show entitled “Carnie.” She has continued her career in acting, television, talk shows, pictures, voiceovers and songwriting. Most recently Carnie starred in the 2008 CMT TV series “GONE COUNTRY” and will be featured in a spin off series that will air later this year on CMT.

C. Thomas Howell
C.Thomas Howell, also known as “Tommy”, has an impressive list of credits to his name. As an established Actor, Writer, Director, Producer, TV Host and Radio Personality, Howell is recognized as a Hollywood favorite. At a young age, he graced the silver screen in Steven Spielberg’s “E.T. The Extraterrestrial”, Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Outsiders”, “The Hitcher”, “Red Dawn”, “Soul Man” and many others. More recently, his film credits include roles in “Hidalgo” & H.G. Wells “War of the Worlds”. Howell also directed and stars in “War of the Worlds ll” which is out now.

His TV credits include a recurring role as Barry Landes on the hit show “24” as well as a guest starring role on “ER”. He is hosting and executive producing “Hillbilly Deluxe” which premieres on CMT this summer. C.Thomas Howell is currently living in Los Angeles, CA with his wife Sylvie and their 3 children – daughter Isabelle and sons Dashiell and Liam.

Celebracadabra - 2008

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Celebra Cadabra: Sneak Peek

Friday, April 25th, 2008

With Celebracadabra due to hit your TV screens April 27 (this Sunday at 9pm EDT), many of you are probably wondering what the show will be like and how it will compare to previous “TV Magic Shows.” We really think that after you see just how awesome the magic really is, it will surpass expectations. If you are really curious to know what the show has to offer, then you can check out a five-episode mini sneak peak series on the VH1 Celebra Cadabra website.

Go here to check out the others and get pumped!

Hal performing street magic

Celebracadabra Video clips

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

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