Connecting up with friends from out of town is always fun. A week ago Geoff was in town from Austin and we met up in Prospect Park. Here is the interview I conducted with this young energetic magician/sideshow performer and internet ‘twitch’ show host.
Dominque Rabideau performed a lovely skilled hat juggling act.
From the wilds of the UK Jon Udry performed a wonderful ‘juggling/striptease’ routine and then a charming teacup and teabag juggling routine.
Ermiyas Muluken performed a feat of balance and then juggled clubs while being 4 levels up on a rolla-bolla.
The performers in this show would usually be on stage getting a nice salary for their act but due to the ‘shut down’ they are here for your entertainment. Please consider donating at the options listed above!
Drew Nugent played a song on the piano and performed with the cute little teacup and mouthpiece. (A unique instrument for sure!)
Brian and Tyler play some ‘technical wizardry’ in their act!
They proceeded to take the ‘blockhead’ once step further using an electric drill!
Keith attempts the ‘exquisite failure’ routine with the apple and knife. Watch next week because he ‘failed’ this time again. (this time he had his shoes on!)
Stephanie Monseu talks to the audience about ‘giving a hand’ in making the show better!
Kelsey Strauch performs her delightfully funny ‘long arms’ dance routine.
David Darwin requested a volunteer (virtually) and had her projected on his wooden wall pretending to be ‘walking dead’ and threw his knives at the wooden wall. Wild!
Salih Mahammed performed a very skilled juggling act with some props.
Stephanie Morphett-Tepp (Flying Brain) performs a traditional hair hanging act.
The performers take the ‘virtual’ curtain call.
Watch the show next Monday at 7:30pm – Different Acts Every Week!
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A few years ago I went to Frankfurt to visit magician Jeff Sheridan. He was working on some art collages and new magic illusions which were very amazing. Recently I spoke to him on the phone and he mentioned the Youtube video that he made in 2005. I have attached it below. Also, I created this slide show from photographs I have taken of Jeff Sheridan performing in Central Park and images taken from book covers and magazines where he was featured.
It was projected during Jeff’s performance at Monday Night Magic in 2005 which was hosted by Todd Robbins.
During the past several decades, Jeff has made Frankfurt his home and during this time he has performed at the legendary variety club Tiger Palast as well as many private engagements (Mercedes, Deutsch bank, etc). He has created many pieces of art/collages during his time in Frankfurt as well as invent many new magic illusions for Milton Bradley Magic Works, Japanese company Tenyo, and Viking Magic.
He authored the 1977 book, Street Magic, An Illustrated History of Wandering Magicians and Their Conjuring Arts. The book was co-authored by Edward Claflin.
Jeff Sheridan also authored in 1982 ‘Nothings Impossible, Stunts to Entertain and Amaze’ published by Lothrop Lee and Shepard. The book was illustrated with photographs by me.
His film “Jeff Sheridan – Hand to Mind” has been seen by over 24 thousand viewers on You Tube.
Posted here for your convenience!
Other posts about Jeff Sheridan can be found HERE!
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Host Keith Nelson opens the show with an introduction of the acts.
The Bindlestiff Open Stage introduced a ‘new’ camera angle.
Steve Langley performed a wonderful ‘bubble’ production act.
Steve created a ‘bubble’ merry-go-round with his equipment.
Pinkie Special performed a wild ‘hula-hoop’ act.
Bruke had his hands full with a delightfully agile hat juggling act.
Professor DR Schreober took us back in time with some fun period magic.
Larry Vee did the rolla-bolla, hula-hoop, spinning a ball and juggling another.
Stephanie Monseu encouraged the viewers to take the survey.
Chase Culp performed with musical cow bells and played them well.
Hovey Burgess talked about the ‘shot from canon’ act that was in the circus for so many years.
Marcus Monroe juggled illuminated and regular clubs and told some ‘one-liners.
Kyla performed a beautiful aerial act.
The Coronel Sisters from Peru had the most amazing balancing skills on the balls.
Tune in Next Monday for another Bindlestiff Open Stage show!
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Host Keith Nelson introduces the acts of tonight’s show.
Magic man Torkova performs two different amazing feats. One with multiplying candles and the second producing two bowls of oranges.
Erin Stephens performs a very skilled juggling set in a beautiful studio setting.
Patrick Garner performs a ‘tribute’ to Senior Wences ‘one-handed’ ventriloquism act
Presenting a show has many costs. To help defray these please see the above methods for donating to this cause. Bindlestiff Family Cirkus is a ‘not-for-profit’ 501(c)3 organization.
Fernanda Sumano performed a high energy hula-hoop act that allowed us to follow her through the house she was performing into the street and then the roof!
Wilfredo sang a lovely song for the viewers which included the ever-present “I”.
Keith Nelson introduces the ‘Ask Hovey’ segment of the show.
Justin Weber performs his amazingly wonderful Yoyo act with colored light projections.
Keith Nelson catches all six spoons and keeps all 6 plates spinning!
Alisa Mae performs a ‘satirical’ aerial act with rolls of toilet paper.
Host Keith introduces the last act. The Kalvan Family!
The Kalvan Family had all the right moves and everyone had great skills!
The online Virtual curtain call for all the performers from the show. (and tech crew!)
Come back next Monday for another great Bindlestiff Open Stage Quarantine Edition Variety Show!
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Another great night of LIVE entertainment online!
Host Keith Nelson introduces the show and the lineup of talent.
Curtis Carlyle juggled tin cups and was charming and fun.
Nicole Taylor performed a wonderful and classy hula-hoop act.
Shreeyash Palshikar and Princess Zara performed a wonderful magic act together.
Parallel Exit‘s Joel Jeske and Danny Gardner performed a wonderful comedic verbal duo.
Hovey Burgess talked about the early circus amusement elephant and the Elephant Hotel.
Sabrina Chap played two instruments and sang a lovely ‘original’ circus song.
Thom Wall juggles with the most unusual objects and does it with class!
Richard Maguire hand balances and eventually removes his pants while upside down.
Pio Carrada performs a beautiful aerial act with multicolored lighting.
The cast takes their online Curtain Call!
Please consider making a donation so the performers can get paid for their work in this show!
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The Slipper Room is a New York institution. A House of Variety!
The Slipper Room is facing serious financial difficulties.
I did a wonderful interview with producer James Habacker in 2016. I am posting it here for your viewing. In the meantime, I have put a link below the video to the GoFundMe campaign that is currently set up to help them make it back in one piece! Please Help!
The Slipper Room – No Place Like it!
In the meantime, you can watch some of the ‘exile’ shows here!
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Before the ‘pandemic’ hit NY I had the pleasure of attending a performance of “Nothing Here is Real” with Gary Ferrar. The show is held in a cellar at The Oxbow Tavern in the Upper West Side’. It is like a ‘speakeasy‘. Intimate and well-furnished. Gary’s performance persona is upbeat, charming and a little nerdy but he delivers a wonderful evening of mind-blowing magic and mentalism.
For more information about Gary’s upcoming shows visit his website!
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The second week of The Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show – Quarantine Edition was so much fun. Now we get to see all this great talent every Monday instead of waiting for a whole month. Of course, I miss the LIVE performance at Dixon Place but in the meantime, this is so special! Screengrabs are certainly not a good replacement for good quality camera files but we have to live with what we have at the moment. Here goes week #2!
Book Kennison juggled with a ceiling secured camera so the viewers had a curious angle to view his juggling routine. Original music and unique viewing angle.
Filling in for another act Michael Rosman performs a rather complicated stunt. Lighting a gasoline-soaked marshmallow that’s sitting on his shoe with his flaming ukelele and then kicking the marshmallow up to be caught by the Nutella spread on a graham cracker he is holding in his mouth. It all worked out well! Thanks for that Michael!
Tyler West is one of my favorite performers. He always gives his show 100% no matter what. Tonight he performed a ‘pantomime’ with an Eric Satie soundtrack. It was surreal and lovely. Great skills mixed with emotion and joy.
Keith Nelson never stops amazing me with all of his skills. Always learning new routines and doing them so wonderfully. Here he balances 4 delicate glasses on a 3 layer pyramid.
Pinch and Squeal (Jason and Danielle Tilk) performed a lovely duet singing and playing the banjolele (cross between a ukulele and banjo) and accordion.
Coney Island Chris (Chris Alison) stunned the viewers with his strange ‘eating glass’ stunt. Chewing on a GE light bulb and swallowing the glass particles was both strange and funny. He claims to have learned his skills in a ‘How-to internet Sideshow course’.
The entire production of The Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show – Quarantine Edition depends on donations from the fans viewing the show. Here are the methods you can use to help make this wonderful tradition continue weekly during this quarantined time!
If YOU want to participate as a PERFORMER in this show contact Keith at the email address above. Always open to new acts from all over the world!
Elizabeth Munn performed a hysterical romp singing and dancing in her narrow hallway. Performing upside down on a chinning bar and all the time keeping up her song.
Here is Elizabeth in the last moments of her song!
Thanks to all of the folks that made this wonderful show possible!
Next Monday at 7:30pm! The show must go on no matter what!
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I met Luca online as he was perusing the internet for historical information on the art of Quick Change. I had begun writing a book in 1989 title “Quick Change in American Vaudeville” which I researched for over 3 years and had accumulated many volumes of xerox copies (Pre-Internet days).
Having posted a few items on this blog Luca was interested in finding out more about the American history of Quick Change. He is from Naples and only knew the artist from his country and Europe. I emailed him and we set up a time/date for an interview. I thought using Zoom would be great. He agreed but then we realized his English wasn’t up to par (and my Italian was terrible!) to do a thorough interview. I then emailed him the questions I wanted to ask him and he answered them in text. Here is the interview and a video clip of our attempt at a Zoom interview. Along with some videos of his performances.
Interview with Luca Lombardo
Q: You are a magician, quick-change artist, magician, and clown. Can you give us a little history about these skills and where you acquired them? What schools you attended or what teachers you studied with?
Luca: When I discovered the art of magic I was 15 years old and it really moved me. I studied every kind of magic for many years attending workshops and conferences of worldwide fame magicians. I decided it was my path when I watched Arturo Brachetti’s theatrical show. So I studied clownery both in Italy and abroad while I was practicing my magic tricks. I came up with the idea of a quick-change act with magic tricks. At first, I started only as a magician I then evolved in time as a clown developing a much deeper understanding of the audience.
Q: Can you tell us about your thoughts regarding the mixing of all these wonderful disciplines?
Luca: You can use as many tools and disciplines as you acknowledge to tell a story. The message is important. I love being and playing the clown because it is the closest to the truth, you can’t lie to your audience. However, my character is not a pure clown and I like to use my character to create my story.
Q: In a few articles I have read they refer to you as “The Crazy Performer”. Can you tell me why you got that title from the press?
Luca: I got this nickname because I always tried to overthrow all theatrical rules still existing in the conservative Italian theatre scene.
Q: I read a quote that mentioned ‘Fregolian Transformation”. Can you tell us what that is?
Luca: The Fregolian Transformation is a transformation not only in the clothes but also in the character, the moves, the attitude. In my act, there is a story and I have to change character not only a costume. In the Russian quick-change instead, the artist changes the only costume and the effort is more in the choreography of it, the story is less important.
Q: While you were in Rome a few years ago you met with Augusto Fornari who helped you write your current show: “Poubelle – Magic Beyond Imagination”. He also directed you in this new show. Can you tell us about the work you did with him?
Luca: Augusto Fornari is also a film director and he is a very much acclaimed artist in Italy. I owe him everything as he believed in my talent and my creativity since the beginning. We are friends and I am very happy to be his friend.
Q: One of the things I heard about your show was the importance of empathy. Can you tell us how important this emotion is for you in your work?
Luca: Empathy is what makes an artist happy. I think an artist needs emotions and if you are able to pass these emotions on to your audience, those will come back to you and it probably means you did a good job! I like to gift my audience an emotional and maybe surreal performance. I feel more grateful when someone says you really moved me instead of appreciating how quickly I was with the changes.
Q: Why do you think “Poubelle” has been so successful?
Luca: The nice thing about ‘Poubelle’ is that despite the fact that the character never speaks, he still manages to reach everyone. Empathy with the public is certainly the key to the success of this character. It is not a traditional show but a story of my childhood, the story of my life. With my dress changes – from Peter Pan to Mary Poppins to Super Mario Bros – I am able to tell my world. And this world then becomes that of the spectator who identifies with Poubelle. The great success of this character makes it clear that we all need magic and to play again.
Q: What does magic represent for you?
Luca: Magic is the ability to bring others into your dream, into your world. Changing the world is becoming increasingly difficult, but each of us can create one of our own in which to transport people. The magician does this by profession
Q: What are you working on now? Any new shows?
Luca: It is very hard to think about future projects right now with the ongoing virus outbreak. I am supposed to be on stage in France at the ‘Avignon Off Festival’ next July. If everything goes further I will preview a new interactive quick-change act where a member of the audience chooses the character I change into.
Poubelle is a multitalented show ( Without words) : magic, poetry, comedy, and solo quick change. In this video the quick change it’s in real-time NO EDITING
Photographs of Characters from Luca Lombardo’s show
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