In 2012 PNP Dal Sanders and Jason Van Sickle began working on on a video project to explain why the world needs magic. The original plan was to interview the top magicians in the world and have them discuss their place in magic's history and why the art of magic is important. Their goal was to assimilate enough footage to create an epic documentary. As time passed (and an online entertainment paradigm emerged, Dal and Jason realized that their efforts might be better served in short segments that are featured on the web. This is the first of many webisodes that will explore the history, the importance and the future of the art of magic. This web series will celebrate The Art of Magic and how The Society of American Magicians has helped to advance and elevate that art. This is, WHY THE WORLD NEEDS MAGIC.
Shawn Farquhar has been entertaining audiences around the globe for over two decades. His magic has been seen on Television shows like the X-Files and Highlander, in Motion Pictures like Spooky House and the Fly II, for corporate clients like IBM and Konica, and on the most luxurious cruise vessels such as Norwegian Star and Radiance of the Seas.
Shawn is a Life Member of The Society of American Magicians and the Dean of the largest Assembly in Canada and is the 2014-2015 International President of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and immediate Past President of the Canadian Association of Magicians.
The Canadian Association of Magicians awarded Shawn the MAGICIAN OF THE YEAR in 2003 and 2010, the Pacific Coast Association of Magicians awarded him the GRAND PRIX D’HONNEUR, the International Brotherhood of Magicians awarded him both STAGE MAGICIAN and SLEIGHT OF HAND MAGICIAN OF THE YEAR, making him the ONLY magician in history to win BOTH world championships and the Olympics of Magic in Beijing, China awarded him the highest award in magic, the GRAND PRIX WORLD CHAMPION OF MAGIC in 2009.
Farquhar appeared on the January 13, 2010 episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where she referred to him as "the best sleight-of-hand magician in the world". He presented several effects, including his creation of a signed card in a sealed deck in Ellen Degeneres' hands, and a torn and restored signed photograph.
In 2011, Farquhar was a contestant on the UK show Penn and Teller: Fool Us, in which the aim is to perform a trick in front of Penn and Teller and hope they are unable to work out how it is done. Farquhar successfully fooled them by creating the illusion of a signed card appearing reversed inside a brand new (and shrink-wrapped) deck. Although Penn and Teller saw a deck switch which would have prevented Shawn from winning the prize of going to Las Vegas, they could not explain the essence of how the trick was done. Thus, Farquhar won the opportunity to be in their show in Vegas. The video of him doing this trick reached 6 million views on Youtube before being removed for copyright purposes.
Direct from Broadway , the world’s best-selling magic show is touring the United States! This amazing spectacular showcases the jaw dropping talents of seven of the most incredible Illusionists on earth. The Illusionists has shattered box office records across the globe and dazzles audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever to be seen on stage. This non-stop show is packed with thrilling and sophisticated magic of unprecedented proportions. In this video the cast discusses their influences and what they are contributing to the art of magic.
Jeff Hobson is The Trickster. He's the host of Las Vegas and is the epitome of glamour and showmanship. He leaves audiences laughing long after the curtain goes down.
The Inventor is portrayed by Kevin James. Kevin is one of today's most ground breaking and innovative illusionists. His illusions and magic acts are also performed by other stars from David Copperfield to Nicholas Cage in the Hollywood film Adaptation. He is an inventor, comedian and collector of the strange and unusual... He believes he has a responsibility to remind people of that state of awe and wonder they felt as a child. Whether he's holding a rose or swinging a chain saw, anything is possible with Kevin James, The Inventor.
Yu Ho-Lin is also known as The Manipulator. Through elegant manipulation and mystery, the artistic Yu Ho-Jin has the ability to turn anyone into a loyal fan, whether children and parents or his colleagues -- the world’s finest magicians. At age 19, he took first prize in the manipulation category and was the Grand Prix Winner in stage magic at Federation Internationale des Societes Magiques (FISM) World Championships of Magic (2012), a competition that is considered the Olympic games for magicians. Yu was recently named Magician of the Year (2014) by the Academy of Magical Arts (AMA).
Andrew Basso is Italy's star escape artist and is fast becoming one of the world's favorite illusionists. Known as The Escapologist, his hero is Harry Houdini and his thrilling escapes take place under water, 150 feet in the air and everywhere in between. Explosives, water boxes, handcuffs, chains, padlocks, straight jackets, cars bursting into flames... his escapes place him within seconds of life and death and have audiences all over the world frozen in suspense and disbelief.
Adam Trent is The Futurist. He's a star for a new generation of magic fans, fusing classic techniques, dancing, comedy and technology in a show that shatters stereotypes for those who think they've seen it all. His edgy, fun style has been described as 'Justin Timberlake meets David Copperfield' and has put him on a fast-track to global fame. He performs over 300 solo headline shows each year, and with regular national and international TV appearances on The Disney Channel, Travel Channel, the Joan Rivers show, and SyFy Network, his star is still rising.
The Warrior, Aaron Crow, a strong and silent type specializing in weapon magic, has mastered some of the most dangerous acts ever performed on stage. He thrills and captivates audiences without saying a single word. Born in Belgium, the international magic sensation was a first place finisher at the World Championships of Magic, and uses swords, paintball guns and powerful crossbows to keep fans on the edge of their seat. Crow fuses magic, suspense, dangerous stunts and his winning charm with the positive theme of facing our fears and overcoming them.
finally we have Dan Sperry, the Anti-Conjuror. Going beyond the typical extravagant style and use of flashy costumes, Dan Sperry combines the art of magic with the macabre to leave audiences in a state of shock and amazement. As a result of his many jaw-dropping performances on America's Got Talent, Germany's hit series Das SuperTalent, FOX's World Magic Awards, and TLC's Cake Boss, Sperry is one of the top 10 most Googled people and is hailed as one of the most in-demand illusionists in the world.
In this video The Illusionists discuss why the world needs magic and why the art is still important.
Episode #2 - Gay Blackstone is a television and stage producer, director, consultant, lecturer and author. She was president of the Academy of Magical Arts and was named one of "2007 Hollywood's Women of Distinction" by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. She is also the executive producer for the television show Masters of Illusion and producer of Masters Of Illusion Live, one of the most successful touring magic shows of all time..
At any given time, Gay may be producing award-wining shows for television, providing technical management for stage spectaculars, or carefully overseeing quality control for her latest venture…the production of exquisite, top-of-the line jewelry. She is truly a renaissance woman. For more information go to magicsam.com.
What began as a one-time gig assisting Harry Blackstone Jr. on a magic show turned into a lifelong love affair, not only with the world-renowned illusionist, but with the world of magic and the entertainment industry as a whole. Arla Gay Blevins became Mrs. Harry Blackstone Jr. on October 14, 1974. Married 23 years, Gay was an integral part of the Blackstone show producer as she served as chief choreographer, costumer and co-producer of the show.
Gay was an integral part of the Blackstone show producer as she served as chief choreographer, costumer and co-producer of the show. In this video Gay discusses why the world needs magic and why the art is still important. Executive Producer: Dal Sanders Producer/Director/Editor: Jason Van Sickel DP/Camera: Kyle Montgomery Grip/PA/Asst Producer: Kacie Helms Graphics: Marc Rouse & Chris Marrs Jason Van Sickel and Dal Sanders have been working on a documentary about WHY THE WORLD NEEDS MAGIC. this documentary will celebrate The Art of Magic and how The Society of American Magicians has helped to advance and elevate that art."
In this video Gay discusses why the world needs magic and why the art is still important.
Episode #1 - Kenrick Ice McDonald is the first African-American President of the Society of American Magicians talks about the precedence made by his position and some early black magicians and their struggles to make the art form a profession.
Executive Producer: Dal Sanders
Producer/Director/Editor: Jason Van Sickel
DP/Camera: Kyle Montgomery
Grip/PA/Asst Producer: Kacie Helms
Graphics: Marc Rouse & Chris Marrs
Special thanks to The S.A.M. Magic Endowment Fund for helping get this project started.