Archive for July, 2013

Artist Interview: Laura London proves magic is not just a man’s world

Monday, July 29th, 2013

“Desperate Acts of Magic,” “Now You See Me” and “Burt Wonderstone” had a couple of things in common: All those movies were released this year, and all of them featured women as magicians, not assistants. (In “Wonderstone,” an assistant landed her own show). Media entertainment columnists are starting to ask more questions about why there aren’t more women in magic. And NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” featured female magicians prominently in this year’s season.

Laura London thinks all of those are signs of something else: It’s never been better for a woman to pursue a career in magic. Though there are still issues to tackle (“Desperate Acts” director Joe Gold discussed some of those in this interview), there are many more roles available than just assistants or dancers. And while laymen have the perception that magic is a man’s world, she’s discovered that a woman who wants to be a good magician will find the world of magic quite welcoming.

“It’s not that it’s more accepted nowadays. I think it’s just more commonly known that there are female magicians around. But we have always been here … people start to have it in their heads that women do magic too, and it’s great.”

For the last 10 years, London has been busy establishing herself as one of Britain’s best entertainers. She has performed on TV shows such as “Penn and Teller: Fool Us” and has a long list of top-notch corporate clients, including Virgin Atlantic, the BBC, Porsche, the Walt Disney company, Hilton and more. From her first store-bought tricks at Davenport’s to becoming the youngest woman to become a member of the Magic Circle, London has earned a tremendous amount of respect from the magic community. In fact, she even turned down appearances on “P&T: Fool Us.”

She’s no gimmick. She gets booked because she’s an incredible magician.

She talked to us about the brass tacks of women in magic, including the advantages women have, how carefully outfits are chosen (and equipped with pockets), what men can do to be a lot less creepy (spoiler alert: Just stop using a certain spongy prop) and what the real challenges that women face truly are. She also talked about how she got started, her terrible idea for a punk magic routine, her appeareance on “P&T” and one of the sweetest performances she ever got to deliver.


Laura London can be seen in decks of Rounders and Dealers. Already you have seen her in Daniel Madison’s Revelations and work with Red Rounders (and maybe you’ve seen her trash a hotel room?). There is much more coming from this brilliant magician. Stay tuned.

Madison’s dive into gambling’s underworld similar to The Professor

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

If we knew more about S.W. Erdnase, we might see that he had a lot in common with Daniel Madison.

If we believe what Erndase wrote about himself and the sleights he wrote about in “The Expert at the Card Table,” then maybe he and Madison discovered the same sleights in the same way. Erdnase wrote that while he knew about what conjurors SAID can be used at the card table, but did not know of a publication that discussed how those moves survived the skeptical, dangerous eyes that are often found at the kind of card table where sleight of hand may be used, and had a lot of disdain for the performers who said they braved the back room bordello game and came up aces:

“If terrific denunciation of erstwhile associates, and a diatribe on the awful consequences of gambling are a criterion of ability, these purified prodigals must have been very dangerous companions at the card table.”

Those, among other words Erdnase wrote, kinda ticked off Madison when he finally discovered the book, and that the moves he discovered naturally had been detailed and published about 100 years earlier. Madison’s story of how he got caught cheating and woke up in a hospital room is now well known: Magician Jamie D. Grant told Madison’s story brilliantly in the Feb. 2013 issue of Magic magazine.

The injury led to refocusing his priorities. After putting his knowledge into writing such books as “How to Cheat at Cards,” Madison has now poured his discoveries into Mechanic, a 2-DVD set that exposes what he used at the table to cheat, deceive and win.

In doing so, he has taken a path similar to another important figure in magic: Dai Vernon.


SUITABLE FOR FRAMING: Family pics inspired love of black and white

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Meet Benoit Pervier, of Nantes, France. He’s been into flourishing and card cheating for about seven years. And he takes amazing pictures.

A few of his pictures have shown up on our Facebook page over the last year. His Instagram page is absolutely ridiculous, riddled with great pictures of playing cards and Erdnase’s classic, “Expert at the Card Table.” From what those two things are sometimes paired with — brass knuckles, baseball bats, empty bottles of rum — the results are powerful and stark. Most of his pictures are black and white, but the few times he uses color, it’s subtle and restrained.

But where his images really get nuts are the works he does with shadows. A shot of a deck of Madison Rounders features a shadow of a raven. And his recent club-shaped shadow from a Black Artifice deck (pictured above) was madness.  (more…)