Writing video reviews for Genii magazines is fun, but it's important, I
think, for all magicians to get out and watch magic performed live for
just plain folks and one of my favorite places for doing that is New York's
Monday Night Magic, which has a different show each week at the Sullivan Street Playhouse in Greenwich Village. On the show last night were Simon
Lovell, David Oliver and Just Alan, with MC Jamy Ian Swiss (my fellow Genii
I confess that the reason for my visit was Just Alan, the Society of
American Magicians-award winning performer and proprietor of a magic café in
Woodstock, New York. The last time I saw Just Alan, he was seated in a
lotus position before a large bowl of water, somber and meditative. So
imagine my surprise when the sound of disco music filled the theater, multicolored lights blinked, and in swept (that's the only word) Just Alan in a star-studded cape. "Don't you love it! Feel that material! I love my
cape - isn't it beautiful?" Just Alan glided through the audience as he
handed out bottles of bubbles for people to blow. I almost passed out.
When things calmed down, he talked to the audience about imagination,
one of several "themes" for the evening, and then performed Max Maven's "Giant B'Wave" and, with a reference to energy, Jeff McBride's rising card
effect, "Kundalini Rising." And here I'll say that Just Alan has the ability to take standard fare and turn the tricks into more than simply interesting
stories, but into experiences for the audience, experiences which can deeply
touch their psyches and emotions and reach into those areas seldom touched by any but the most brave and adventurous, the areas of existential truth and self-definition. Pretty heavy stuff, huh? And Just Alan makes it not
just palatable, but highly entertaining. ...
It is absolutely astonishing to me that Just Alan is able to explain to
a group of randomly selected people the fundamentals of Buddhism in an
entertaining way. Nothing is pushed down anyone's throat, nothing is
overtly challenged in anyone. But the seeds of enlightenment are being planted in the gentlest possible way by this gentle man and I give Just Alan my highest accolades. ...
The Conjurer's Magazine
Review by Mathew Field
Just Alan Close-Up at Monday Night Magic
Just Alan proved that he was able to take close-up tricks and turn them into dramatic and memorable miracles, as he performed Dad's Trumpet
, a trick in which a chosen colored brass disc releases from a stack of the discs which are enclosed in a brass box and threaded on a cord. The discs were described as "trumpet valves" which belonged to Just Alan's father, and he produced a picture of his father and one of Harry Houdini, for whom his father ostensibly worked as a musician. The story involved the father fooling Houdini with an escape trick!
In another effect, Aunt Doris
, Just Alan introduced a small wallet which contained a picture of his mother and her twin sister. The sister was described as a stamp collector and, indeed,the wallet contained several of these, along with an old letter. The letter, from the aunt to Alan, contained a birthday gift - a two dollar bill, signed by the aunt. Just Alan changed these into two one-dollar bills (each containing half the inscription) then into a fiver. The picture in the wallet of the two young girls had changed into a picture of them at their joint 80th birthday celebration, and the stamps had transformed into contemporary versions.
See you next month in Genii.
Just Alan will customize his Magic for:
Sales Meetings, Motivational Speaking, Work Shops, Weddings, or any Special Event.