MAGIC

I have been interested in magic since my mom gave me a magic set when I

was about twelve. It's been a lifelong passion. I especially like close-up and parlor magic. With my wife, Marcia, I performed a series of shows across the U.S. for National Geographic. I perform regularly in my local area and also when traveling the world. I may be the only magician ever to perform in Antarctica.

I've spoken at the MagiFest convention about creativity as it overlaps in magic, photography and writing. Marcia and I regularly attend magic conventions.

My goal is to give a few moments of astonishment. To rekindle wonder. As in my films and novels, I want to transport you to a world where the impossible can happen and reality can become dream-like.

I do close-up and parlor magic. Close-up is for maybe 6 -10 people sitting around a table. Parlor is for a fairly small group of people — maybe 12 to 24 — in a living room setting. I do effects with a wide range of objects: cards, cups, balls, silks, lights, photographs, and exotic things acquired on my travels. My favorite objects are coins. Some of the coins I use are from the 1880s. They are beautiful and quite evocative when we think of the many lives they may have been a part of. I love to create stories for them in my magic.

Here, you can learn about my show "Mysterium" and see some films I've made about magic.  Learn, too, about my book "Magician's Choice", an historical fiction novel that is about a young man breaking into the real world of professional magic in the 1940s. It is my homage to the wonderful men and women who have made magic the enduring art form that it is.

Mysterium is a magic show that lasts about 1 hour. It can be scaled as an intimate close-up performance for a table of 8-10, or as a larger parlor-style show for 10-30.

Full of storytelling and audience involvement, the show will take my audience to other places, other times, other realities.

In "Mysterium," dreams become real and reality becomes a dream.

Watch "Mysterium" Trailer

This historical fiction novel follows the story of Guy, a young magician coming of age in the 1930s and 1940s. Seeking his destiny, Guy encounters some of the great magicians of the era including Harry Blackstone, Lou Tannen, and Dai Vernon. He joins a carnival where he has adventures with an assortment of colorful characters. From the Garde Theater in New London, CT, to small towns of the South to the theaters of Broadway, from the deserts of Africa in WWII to the night clubs of NY, Guy’s life is informed by the “magician’s choice.” The story is an exploration of youth and age, fame and betrayal, vengeance and compassion. As it transports readers inside the world of performers, the story explores themes of free will and fate. “Magician’s Choice” is a tale full of surprises, secrets, and wonder. A story where things and people are not always what they seem to be.

Available on Amazon as an eBook or Paperback 

MAGIC FILMS

WAITING for the MAGICS

Like most magicians, if I wasn’t buying my tricks at a brick-and-mortar magic shop, I was ordering them by phone, or from catalogues. Nowadays, I buy them on the internet. However I ordered them, what has not changed is the excruciating wait for the box of magics to be delivered.

TIME WILL TELL

A magic prop owned by the great magician Howard Thurston may hold more secrets than we think. A short-story that plays with how the past and the present may inform each other in surprising ways.

The ART of MAGIC

This film celebrates the art of classic magic posters. Set to music, the film presents sorcerers, magicians, wizards, imps and devils, floating ladies, grand gestures and all sorts of mischievous mayhem. These posters are a colorful, crazy look at the art of magic.

 

Reproductions of the posters featured in this show can be found at the Norm Nielsen Gallery, www.NNMagic.com

Some of my close-up & parlor trick magic apparatus
 

Magic catalogues were seductive. They offered astonishing miracles.

Sometimes, though, the trick did not live up to the drawings and descriptions.
 

Dramatic finish to a parlor show
 

Member, International Brotherhood of Magicians

Member, Society of American Magicians

THOUGHTS ON MAGIC

 

Why do I like magic? I like it for its rich history, its colorful characters, its beautiful and clever apparatus and its amazing, zany posters. 

 

To me, a trick is like one of my short films. It’s a story. It’s a chance to transport people, however briefly, to an alternate universe where the laws of nature and assumptions of how the world works are questioned and turned upside down.

 

I like the challenge of magic. It’s not hard to do a magic trick. But it’s quite hard to elevate it beyond a puzzle to a moment of true astonishment. To create strong magic takes study and a lot of thought. It takes hours of practice, which I find meditative.  In performance, I love the interplay with people. Unlike many art forms, magic is an interactive experience where the audience participates in the creation of wonder.

 

I like to see people smile when something truly astonishing has happened right before their eyes and sometimes in their hands. Ultimately, magic is a gift, one I love to give.

© 2020 Todd Gipstein      Todd@Gipstein.com    YouTube Channel "Todd Gipstein"     FaceBook/GipsteinBooks