Friday, April 19, 2019

Celebrating 5 Years at the Rustler's Rooste!

Howdy folks, time flies when you're having fun.  Check out  Come on in for some Magic Fun.  I'm usually there on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, unless I'm somewhere else, so it's best to call or text to confirm that I'll be there, 602-403-7309.  If you come in during the week, look for my friend Brother Clyde and be sure to pick a card.  Hope to see ya'll soon!   

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Johann N. Hofzinser & Johnny Thompson

Tonight in Las Vegas, at the Penn & Teller Theater at the Rio Hotel is a Celebration of Life for Johnny Thompson.  I will be there in spirit.

Magic Live, 2016

This is adapted from an excerpt from the book, The Magic of J.N. Hofzinser, compiled by Ottokar Fischer and published by Fredo Marvelli in Berlin in 1942.  The book was translated into English by Richard Hatch, and published by Walter Graham in 1985.  I’ve always enjoyed the phrase “soaring on the wings of applause” to describe how I sometimes feel after a performance.  When I heard about Johnny passing on, I immediately thought of this passage.  Only a few masters of magic are worthy of the following description which Marvelli writes about Hofzinser.  Johnny was certainly one of them.  So I offer this as a tribute (with permission from Richard Hatch) to the magic community, especially for those of us who knew Johnny.  Peace to Pam, his family and all his friends. 

Without Tailcoat or Wand: Johnny Thompson, the Man

The curtain has fallen, the thunderous applause fades away.  With a captivating smile the performer has taken his final bow before the enraptured audience, who remain spellbound by the evening’s illusions, performed for them with consummate artistry by this great master of magic.  

The drawing room has emptied, the lamps have been extinguished.  In the memories of his homeward bound guests, The Great Tomsoni - the brilliant performer, the peerless wizard who is no imitative virtuoso, but a creative genius - lives on.  

Yet what the audience has seen and marveled at is but one facet of his being, the outward manifestation of his ability.  As refined as his performances, Johnny Thompson the actor is a nimble cavalier and brilliant social companion:  gifted, witty, and charming.  But behind this dazzling mask lies hid another man, Thompson himself.  

To get to know him, we must linger a moment in his home and wait till he has put down his wand and taken off his tailcoat.  Standing before us now in his shirtsleeves, the mask like expression on his face having relaxed, Thompson, the man, comes to meet us with his natural, winning candor.  

After the demanding activity of the evening, which was for him nonetheless a true celebration of delight in artistic achievement - still soaring on the wings of the applause that engulfed him - he sits down to engage in an intimate dialogue with the few friends he considers worthy of initiation to the secrets of his creations and abilities, and to reveal to them his wonderful experiments, a knowledge of which he otherwise scrupulously guards from everyone, motivated by the all too justified fear of profaning brilliant creations and degrading true art to a cheap and convenient living for clever virtuosos, greedy imposters, and untalented charlatans.

Only to a chosen few does he permit a glimpse of his soul, unlocking for them the entire wealth of his beautiful, poised inner life.  In his book he found time… to write to his “magical apprentices”, Penn & Teller, Jamy Swiss and David Ben, Thompson shows himself without mask or make-up and reveals the charming, kind-hearted man of that innocent, halcyon time… illuminated with the setting sunlight of a dying world.  

Enjoy Tomsoni & Company on YouTube...

Friday, April 5, 2019

A Personal Note

My dad Glenn passed away in early March.  I had just returned home from Los Angeles.  He had been in the hospital for almost a week.  The updates I received were positive, he was getting better.  But then the mystery and mercy of death..., and now he's moving on.

I'm so grateful I could be with him for a few hours the night he passed, grateful that I was able to see him, to hold his hands, rub his shoulders, look into his eyes, and pray with him.  I'm grateful he is free now, free of the pain, and free to fly.  Thank you dad for everything. I miss you now, I love you always.  See you on the other side.  May you rest in peace in the arms of our Lord.