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Greetings, friends! Again it's time/To weave magicians into rhyme.

What was the URL for Claudia Schiffer again?

"Hockman's World of Magic and Vaudeville is simply unbelievable!"
-- Milt Larsen

"I try to amaze the audience, really shock them, ... to bring them to a point of profound anguish."
-- Rene Lavand

MICKEY MAGIC -- Mickey Mouse, by Pierre Lambert, published recently by Hyperion in honor of Mickey's 70th birthday, is the most sumptuous book I've ever beheld. At $150 it should be. Magicians will enjoy the lavish spread of art related to The Sorcerer's Apprentice (48 pages) as well as scenes from Mickey shorts such as Magician Mickey and Lonesome Ghosts (both from 1937).

ALOHA -- It's sad to report that Hal Hale, the Magic Castle's longstanding librarian, passed away this month from an extended illness. The wonderful repository of books and arcana remains in excellent hands. Gordon Bean has assumed the responsibilities of Castle librarian.

VERY VERY CHEAP -- In the September issue of this sheet, we applauded the new four-volume (so far) video series from Mike Close, Very Very Close. Rave reviews have followed from all quarters. Through the end of March, Mike is offering the set for the incredible low price of $80. Check his web site at for ordering details.

GAZING INTO THE LOOKING GLASS -- The Winter 1998 issue, the final issue, of The Looking Glass is in our hands, and it's wonderful. The Jack Birnman effect that opens the issue is an impromptu miracle, worth the price of the entire subscription.

January 1999

The century is winding down, and all is right in magicland. I had the pleasure of visiting San Diego and Hollywood early in the month, with visits to the Magic Castle, Hollywood Magic, and Brad Burt's Magic Shop. The Magic Castle is stronger than ever, still the finest dining and entertainment experience on the planet. It was a delight to visit with Joe and Mark Stevens, Pete and Linda Biro, Bill Wells, Pat and Doris Hennessy, Irene Larsen, Ron Wilson, Billy McComb, Steve Silverman, Aldo Colombini, John Carney, Gordon Bean, John Lovick, Tone Picasso, and many others. Billy killed in the Palace, as did Steve Silverman and Tom Ogden in the Closeup Gallery. Back home in Indiana, a fine issue of MAGIC (launching a year-long tribute to the finest magicians of the century) and a beautiful Richard Kaufman issue of Genii awaited in the mailbox. A nice start to the year! (And the trend continues! The final issue of The Looking Glass arrived just as these notes are being typed.)

MORE SECRETS REVEALED -- When will it end? In a year marked by dastardly revelations from the likes of the Masked Magician and Linda Tripp, Hockman, the Great reveals all his secrets in a new tell-all, Hockman, the Great Exposes Himself! And Other Phony Magicians and Vaudevillians. Wackily written by Milt Larsen and wackily illustrated by Paul Butler, this is a highly amusing collection of tricks, acts, and theaters that never were, or were they? The photos of Rancho Hockman look legit. $14.50 plus $3 postage from Brookledge Corporation, Magic Castles, Inc., 7001 Franklin Avenue, Hollywood CA 90028.

OUELLET TV -- Champions III appeared on ABC on Monday, January 18. Highlights and surprises for me included Amazing Jonathan's irreverent humor, Juliana Chen's rope escape, Sylvester's hole through body, Greg Frewin's floating and penetrating girl, Nicholas Night and Kinga's lightning costume changes, and Stephanie's solar system blouse. Upcoming from Gary Ouellet are Lance Burton, Master Magician TOP SECRET (NBC, February) and World's Most Dangerous Magic II (NBC, spring). WGM VI will shoot this summer, and Gary is currently accepting videos. Check his site on our Favorite Links.

DON'T CRY FOR ME, ARGENTINA -- The latest and one of the best recent volumes from Richard Kaufman is The Mysteries of My Life, by Richard and by the book' s legendary subject, Rene Lavand. The book contains two sections, "My Mysteries: The Act," Richard's description of a completely routined and tightly integrated act by Mr. Lavand (12 items); and "My Life: Shuffling Memories," a remarkable series of essays on memories, philosophy, travelogue, and patter and presentation. Despite Richard's excellent technical descriptions, I predict no one will perform these effects as written, as Mr. Lavand's skills and constraints are so unique. Rather, the reader will learn devastating presentations for "Triumph," "Oil and Water," "Follow the Leader," "Card to Pocket," and the rest. The section by Mr. Lavand (translated by Tina Lenert) is riveting, especially his visits to the Cali drug cartel, Japan, and the Magic Castle. $40 pp from Richard Kaufman, 4200 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Suite 106-292, Washington DC 20016.

Little Egypt Magic is the erratically updated web site of Steve Bryant, spawned (the site, not Steve) by a former internet magazine known as The Little Egypt Gazette/for magicians only.

Steve Bryant is an obscure magician and writer who generates this site from a computer in Bloomington, Indiana. He frequently journeys to and performs magic in Little Egypt, the local name for extreme southern Illinois, where the towns bear such names as Cairo, Thebes, and Karnak.

Past issues of this web site: December 98 | November 98 | October 98 | September 98 | August 98 | June 98 | May 98 | April 98 | February 98 | December 97

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Copyright© 1999 by Steve Bryant