Author Archives: jculpepper

A Magic Lantern Show — Before Cinema at McGill’s Moyse Hall Theatre

I’d been waiting for ten years to see a real magic lantern performance. Last night, thanks to the organizers of Montreal’s Cinema in the Eye of the Collector conference, I got my wish. Here is Deborah Borton with the British, double-projecting magic lantern from the 1890s that they used to entertain us for 90-minutes: The two lenses […]

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With Magic Historian Dr. Edwin Dawes at the 44th Annual MCW

I’ve learned and continue to learn from Dr. Edwin Dawes. Today in the McCord Museum, he gave an inspiring talk on the three Cs of magic history: Collect, Collate and Communicate. Also, cite and share your source information widely. I was honoured to have my name mentioned among others who have written doctoral dissertations on conjuring: […]

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CFP: The Golden Age of Stage Conjuring, 1880-1930 — Early Popular Visual Culture

This is a call for papers for special issue 16.3 (August 2018) of Early Popular Visual Culture that I’ll be editing with Matthew Solomon (University of Michigan). Please circulate it widely: The Golden Age of Stage Conjuring, 1880-1930 The Golden Age of Stage Conjuring (1880-1930) in North America and Western Europe encompasses a period of […]

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Doctoring Magic at the 44th Annual Magic Collector’s Weekend — Montreal

It’s strange, but there are actually people out there who collect dissertations on magic. I’m excited to present a talk tomorrow afternoon called “Doctoring Magic” for the attendees of the 44th annual Magic Collectors Weekend (MCW). As you can see above, I’ll have 52 signed and numbered copies for purchase by those who want them […]

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A good, foggy day for writing

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Magic in Santa Cruz — Apricity Gallery Residency

We’re driving to beautiful Santa Cruz, California. This photo of its Del Mar theater captures some of the deep magic that I feel there. I took it while wandering downtown in the early 2000s, another wide-eyed UCSC college kid dreaming about the future. Fifteen years and many countries later, it fills me with joy to […]

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Performance at the Edwardian Ball, San Francisco — January 20-21st

I’ll be performing an illusion as Mr. Dark at the World Famous Edwardian Ball in San Francisco this weekend. Check out the promo codes for friends below: The Edwardian Ball is an elegant and whimsical celebration of art, music, theatre, fashion, technology, circus, and the beloved creations of the late, great author and illustrator Edward Gorey. […]

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An American in Châlons-en-Champagne

What a thrill to be here for the Illusions festival in Châlons-en-Champagne where the CNAC is celebrating 10-years of magie nouvelle. I would like to thank Gérard Fasoli, Cyril Thomas, Barbara Appert-Raulin, Jeanne Vasseur and the entire CNAC team for making my participation at this international event possible. Pascal Jacob, Christian William and the CNAC resource centre curated […]

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George Carl and the Magic of Pantomime

George Carl and the Magic of Pantomime

George Carl (1916 — 2000) performs one of my favorite physical comedy acts of all time. In this clip from 1969, he delights spectators at California’s Hollywood Palace with a mixture of clown, object manipulation and pantomime. The act is a comedy of errors in which Carl rapidly attempts to perform rope magic, hand-to-hand, and cigar box […]

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Hadji Ali and David Blaine’s “Beyond Magic”

Hadji Ali and David Blaine’s “Beyond Magic”

I spent this morning of the US Thanksgiving weekend eating leftovers, watching David Blaine’s “Beyond Magic” TV special, reading Jarrett and learning about Hadji Ali. First, I’d like to congratulate Mr. Blaine, Enrico de la Vega, Danny Garcia, Asi Wind, Brett Loudermilk and so many involved in this project for their superb work. The shamanistic, superhuman, yet […]

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