MAGIC MENTOR MONDAY: Mark Sicher

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This week we’ll focus on one of my close friends and mentors, Mark Sicher, a brilliant young magician who tragically passed away at the age of 23 after battling cancer. In my eyes he was one of the greats, and he left us far too soon.

I met Mark Sicher at Tannen’s Magic Camp in the summer of 1985. I was 14, he was 15, and we were serious about our magic. Throughout high school, we phoned each other three to four times a week to exchange ideas, challenge each other, and develop our acts.

Long before the age of Facetime and Skype, it was difficult to share the intricacies of sleight of hand over the telephone, but we prevailed. The minutiae had to be described rather than demonstrated, and we became pretty good at breaking down steps to their smallest components in order to teach each other

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MAGIC MENTOR MONDAY: Albert Goshman

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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 Eugène Robert-Houdin. Each of these giants has been featured in previous weeks. You’ll also read about more contemporary figures like Harry Lorayne, 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 discuss lessons I learned from a man known for his avuncular charm: ALBERT GOSHMAN

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MAGIC MENTOR MONDAY: Harry Lorayne

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I once read an article about an imaginary magician’s contest. Exactly one hundred of the world’s most talented close-up magicians would be invited to compete. Each magician must stand at his own table, and a thousand laymen would freely wander the hall, gravitating toward the most gifted performer. The table with the biggest crowds at the end of the night, wins.

By the end of the night, a thousand laymen, plus the other 99 magicians, would all be standing at one table. The magician they’d be watching: HARRY LORAYNE

Harry is and always has been a dynamo – give him a deck of cards and an audience, and it’s off to the races. When he was younger Harry presented lectures to magicians that were legendary for lasting 6, 7, even 8 hours. His audiences got wrapped up in his crisp and punchy voice, his sly humor, and his rat-a-tat machine gun delivery.

If you’ve never heard Harry speak, his voice sounds like a mix between Regis Philbin and physicist Richard Feynman. It has a gravelly, old-New York quality that contrasts handsomely with his overly crisp enunciation. He speaks with a quick authoritative cadence that jumps out and grabs you by the collar. Or as he would say, “by the coll-ah.” You can take the kid out of the Lower East Side, but you can’t take the Lower East Side out of Harry.

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MAGIC MENTOR MONDAY: Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin

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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 Eugène 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 the father of modern conjuring: JEAN EUGÈNE ROBERT-HOUDIN (1805-1871)

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MAGIC MENTOR MONDAY: “Think-a-Drink” Hoffman

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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 is being featured in this series. 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, let’s turn our attention to a forgotten master: CHARLES “THINK-A-DRINK” HOFFMAN (1896-1966)

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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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MAGIC MENTOR MONDAY: Charles Bertram

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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 the Court Conjurer:

CHARLES BERTRAM (1855-1907)

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MAGIC MENTOR MONDAY: Max Malini

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Welcome to MAGIC MENTOR MONDAY. In this weekly series, I will 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 inspired 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 motivate 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 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.

Ready? Let’s begin with my number one greatest inspiration:

MAX MALINI

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