MAGIC MENTOR MONDAY: J.N. Hofzinser

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Welcome to MAGIC MENTOR MONDAY. In this weekly series, I introduce you to my magic mentors – people who have inspired me to become a better magician. Each Monday you’ll meet someone who has offered advice, or acted by example, to help steer my career.

Some of these people are alive, others no longer with us. Some are famous, others not so much. The beauty of mentorship is that you don’t necessarily have to meet your mentor face-to-face, nor even live during the same time in history. Many of the people who motivated me were alive a century before I was born! By reading classic books, old newspapers, and magazine articles, I’ve tracked down stories about their lives and work that continue to inspire me to become a better entertainer.

My “big three” mentors are Max Malini, Johann Nepomuk Hofzinser, and Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin. Each of these giants will be featured in coming weeks. You’ll also read about more contemporary figures like Harry Lorayne and Albert Goshman, non-magicians Danny Kaye and Sammy Davis, Jr. and even fictional characters like Willy Wonka.

How do mentors inspire? They set examples, helping us imagine how we too might solve a particular problem. By seeing the world through a mentor’s lens, we can learn more about them, and about ourselves, at the same time.

This week we’ll focus on one of my favorite figures in the world of magic:

JOHANN NEPOMUK HOFZINSER (1806-1875)

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A Visit to Max Malini’s House in Honolulu

One of my heroes is legendary magician Max Malini. This morning I made a pilgrimage to his house in Honolulu, met the current resident, and was invited onto the property to take photos and stand in the Malini garden. It was, quite simply, a sublime experience.

Together with local magician Curtis Kam, I retraced the steps to many of Malini’s old haunting grounds.

Here’s a photo of us in front of Malini’s house […]

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