Thoughts on My Recent Magic Theory Lecture 0

On Sunday, August 13, I had the pleasure of presenting a lecture on magic theory for a group of magicians at the Browser’s Den of Magic ( I’d like to thank Jeff Pinsky, owner of the Den, for suggesting I do this lecture. It’s a risky idea; generally speaking, lectures that eschew tricks and focus only on theory are not that popular with magicians. Magicians want tricks. (In the three-and-a-half hours I spoke, I did four tricks, but I didn’t explain them. I only pointed out aspects of their methods that related to the theoretical point I was discussing.)

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the lecture was sold out; it was standing room only in the shop. I was even more pleasantly surprised that almost everyone stayed for the entire talk, that they were absorbed by the subject matter, and that they asked good questions. I send out my heartfelt thanks to all of you who attended.

Michael Close Lecture

For me, the best thing about this lecture was that it forced me to return to some of my earlier essays on magic theory and revise and rethink them. Doing this opened my mind to connections between various aspects of theory that I had not previous discovered. Making these connections gave me a roadmap for imparting the information with clarity. I think it was my best attempt so far at showing how the disparate facets of magic theory are interrelated.

If you weren’t able to make the lecture (and I don’t understand why you wouldn’t want to fly to Toronto for it), many of the topics I discussed will be included in my new ebook. I did mention at the end of the lecture (and I’m happy to pass along to you) that an excellent way to become familiar magic theory texts is to download the PDF, Magic in Mind, from the Vanishing Inc. website ( Its 500+ pages contain essays from the major players in the magic theory world. The best thing is, it’s free.

(By the way, one of the great things about the Browser’s Den is that Jeff stocks an extensive selection of magic books. Magic theory is rarely discussed on videos – or by fifteen-year-old magicians on their YouTube channel, go figure. If want to learn about magic theory, you’re going to have to read a book.)


From Canada's Magic Blog about the lecture:

  • Michael Close

So Mike, what's in it for me? 0

I’d like to take a quick moment to break down what you get with one of our workshop/retreats compared to attending a standard magic convention. Once you understand exactly what you’ll get from our workshop, you’ll find this to be an experience whose value is way beyond the actual cost.

Current Magic Conventions vs Our Workshop/Retreats....

  • Michael Close

Salute to our friend Daryl 0

February of 2017 ended with horrible news – news that sent waves of shock and sorrow through the magic community. Daryl Easton – Daryl “The Magician’s Magician” – had taken his life. On social media expressions of grief were profound and sincere. For almost forty years Daryl had been a vibrant force, with performances and lectures for audiences around the world. He seemed to have an indefatigable enthusiasm for magic and magicians. That he would choose to depart the planet was a situation many (myself included) found hard to accept.
  • Michael Close

Thoughts on Magic Conventions 0

These days, there are many magic conventions vying for your dollars. Many are large-scale affairs, with attendance ranging from five-hundred to sixteen-hundred magicians. You go, you sit and watch a close-up show projected on a big screen, you buy an expensive trick that ends up at the bottom of your magic drawer, and you never have the opportunity to talk to (much less spend time with) the magicians you could learn from.

While I have attended my share of big conventions, my preference now is for smaller gatherings. In Canada, two gatherings have been particularly impactful. The first is a small, invitation-only gathering in Toronto. Thirty-one magicians perform, share information, and socialize over a weekend. There are scheduled events, but there is also time to just talk.

  • Michael Close

Sorcerers Safari Magic Camp Ends 0

On January 11, 2017, the following information was released by Mike and Jen Segal:

“All great things must come to an end!”

To all campers, friends, and family of Sorcerers Safari Magic Camp:

After twenty amazing years of Magic Camp, it is with heavy hearts we announce that our amazing ride has come to an end.

From the bottom of our hearts we want to thank all our staff, artists, sponsors, and special guests who made camp such a success. Please be proud of your contributions; together we fulfilled the dreams of many young magicians worldwide!

We want to give a warm thank you to Camp Tamarack, Camp White Pine, and Camp Northland for being our gracious hosts over the years.

  • Michael Close

Sorcerers Safari Magic Camp 2016 0

magic camp 2015Sorcerers Safari Magic Camp is happening again this year; the camp runs from Sunday, August 7 through Friday, August 12. This is an earlier date than previous years, and I hope that means that a few more young American magicians can join us. We’re at a new camp site: Camp Northland, which has 650 wooded acres located on Moose Lake. The special guest this year is Suzanne, whom many of you may have seen on the second season of Penn & Teller: Fool Us. (She fooled Penn & Teller with her great version of the signed Band-Aid transposition.)

I eagerly look forward to magic camp each summer for several reasons: 1) being out in nature helps clear out the cobwebs and reduces the stress that living in the GTA produces; 2) camp gives me the opportunity to reconnect with old pals like Shawn Farquhar, Lee Asher, Aaron Fisher, Mike Segal, Ben Train, Chris Mayhew, and Eric LeClerc; 3) camp gives me the opportunity to offer a perspective on the art of magic that is not popularly available to young magicians. Through my own performances, the card classes, the electives, and in the informal gatherings, I present an approach to magic that has been influenced by my mentor, Harry Riser, and his mentors, Dai Vernon and Charlie Miller. I want to challenge young magicians to examine the reasons behind what they do and why they do it; in return, I hope they will challenge me to defend my approach.

I’ve never experienced anything like magic camp. It is something I wish I could have attended when I was young. Sorcerers Safari Magic Camp can be a life-changing experience. If you know a young magician who would benefit from this experience, please consider sponsoring him or her.