This is the extraordinary John Bushey, one of my best friends from childhood, who lives in Duluth, Minnesota. John is not only a talented magician/escape artist and an inspirational teacher, he is also one of the world's foremost authorities on Bob Dylan. For the past 25 years, John has been broadcasting a weekly radio show about Bob Dylan on KUMD. Recently, the station decided to name one of its studios for him, in recognition of his service. You can read more about the celebration here. John had me and his brother Jim on a special show about Bob Dylan and humor, which will air on August 19th.
John and friends a few months ago in front of the Bob Dylan mural at 5th and Hennepin in downtown Minneapolis.
This 2-part show, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, is coming to Broadway in 2018. I saw it earlier this year in the West End, and met these excited fans in the ticket line.
In 2015 and 2016, I was involved with the film 'Imponderable' by multimedia and installation artist Tony Oursler. An early version of the film was shown at LUMA Arles (France) in the summer of 2015. The final version, containing many new scenes, is running at the Museum of Modern Art from June 2016 until April 2017.
The film explores Tony’s interest in mysticism, psychedelia, popular culture, and media history, and employs macabre humor and theatrical surrealism. It is presented in a "5-D" cinematic environment using a contemporary form of Pepper's Ghost (a 19th-century phantasmagoric device) and a range of sensory effects.
I had a lot of fun working on it, as you can see from the behind-the-scenes video and the photos below.
Tony had me play his grandfather, Fulton Oursler, seen in the bronze relief above.
This curtain belonged to Tony's grandparents and it is filled with signatures which were embroidered over by his grandmother. It is a stunning object.
I was in Cambridge today for meetings and stopped by the Vision Sciences Lab for lunch with Ken Nakayama and Irene Pepperberg. Also did some magic for the students, of course.
Irene, who works on language learning in animals, showed me her beautiful parrots.
At the White House with Mira Bhargava and Fields medalist Manjul Bhargava, celebrating Math and the Movies with a screening of 'The Man Who Knew Infinity'. Mira, Manjul's mother, is a formidable mathematician herself. You can read an article that I wrote about them for India Abroad here.
I have been attending the 'Eleventh International School on Mind, Brain and Education on the topic of Dynamical Coupling: From Brain-to-Brain to Social Interaction', at the Ettore Majorana Centre for Scientific Culture, in Erice (Sicily) Italy. THIS was the view from the conference center! We had an amazing week of lively discussions, amazing food, and also visited ancient Greek ruins of Selinunte and Segesta. Thanks to Uri Hasson (Princeton) and Thalia Wheatley (Dartmouth) for inviting me.
Rehearsing the final dance number for the Circus of Illusions show for the Metamorphosis Festival at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens (Greece). Tony Award-winning clown David Shiner choreographed the number. With the Smirnov Duo, Elayne Kramer, Nina Burri, AJ Silver, Anna Jack and Greek comedian Lambros Fisfis.
Last night, Susanna and I went to see our friend Kevin Chamberlin in Disaster, the musical comedy - a fabulously silly show filled with gags & 70’s music. Kevin and Faith Prince tell a touching love story that made us laugh and cry. After the show, we went out with a gang including Will Swenson (of Hair-fame, and filling in this week for Roger Bart) who was joined by his wife, the fabulous 6-time Tony-award winner Audra McDonald, currently starring in Shuffle Along. Will asked me to do a trick for Audra, as opera singer Richard Troxell looked on. Dan Finnerty caught the moment on his iPhone.
It was such an honor to do tricks for these Broadway stars who bring their own magic to so many people every day. What an amazing night! Thanks, Kevin!!
L to R: Dan Finnerty, a very surprised Audra McDonald, Will Swenson, Richard Troxell.
A video I shot for this year's Tribeca Film Festival with comedian Duval Culpepper is now online. It was a delight to work with the whole production team.