Every day is different. That’s, perhaps, what I enjoy most.
This is particularly true with magic consulting, that is, acting as a structural or technical advisor for other artists working in film, television, on stage or in print on a project-by-project basis. I enjoy hearing their vision and helping them make it happen. I enjoy creating solutions to their problems, on short time lines, and on tight budgets. It gives me the chance to exercise my creativity, and then move on.
Past theatre projects include helping Jackie Maxwell and her team at the Shaw Festival on their hit production of Ragtime, creating magic for David Storch to conjure from his hat – including a real bunny – as James Joyce in the Soulpepper Theatre production of Tom Stoppard’s Travesties, and assisting Teller with, among other things, the development of his “Red Ball” for Penn & Teller: Live at the Rio.
Film projects include creating, choreographing and performing magic for Brian Johnson’s film Yes/No inspired by the poems of Dennis Lee. The film, narrated by Michael Ondaajte and Leonard Cohen, was screened at film festivals in late 2009. I also enjoyed creating, choreographing and teaching magic to Stanley Tucci for Kit Kittredge – An American Girl. Stanley learned from me, among other things, how to levitate Joan Cusack.
I’ve consulted on numerous television programs such as the Houdini “who-dun-it” episode for “The Murdoch Mysteries”, and on a half-dozen television programs created by Donna and Daniel Zuckerbrot including “The Strange Genius of Stewart James” and “Dai Vernon – The Spirit of Magic”. This latter film, in which I also acted as Associate Producer, was awarded the Chris Award from the Columbus Film Festival as the best biographical documentary in the year, a bronze award at Worldfest, Texas and was a finalist at the New York Film Festival. Never released on DVD, it is now perhaps the most pirated film within the magic community.
Other favourite consulting engagements include the national television commercial Cool Trix With Cool Pix for Nikon Canada, assisting the Canadian Walk of Fame with its induction of Doug Henning, and helping Michael Ondaatje hone the content and language associated with card cheating in his award-winning novel, Divisadero.