May 20th, 2012
Origins had me help them with a promotion for their newest GinZing Brightening Mascara last week. For three days, we visited beauty editors at some of the top fashion magazines in the country to demonstrate that GinZing “lifts, lengthens and brightens”. I was able to add a little magic to the presentations. It was a lot of fun, and very interesting to learn more about the beauty business.
Thank you, Origins team, for this great opportunity. It was a pleasure working with you!
May 4th, 2012
Our last seminar at Princeton was a big success. George Bisacca, a Conservator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was the featured guest. He dazzled the group with his stories about restoring priceless works of art, and what he had learned during his years of apprenticeship in Italy.
April 25th, 2012
One result of translating lessons from magic into terms that scientists can understand (on a good day) is that it brings me great joy to organize discussions between scientists and practitioners with shared interests.
On April 23rd, with my friends Greg Calbi and Nils Norén, we organized a scientifically sound evening at Sterling Sound and Red Rooster Harlem. We invited top scientists with an interest or specialty in sound into the studio where Greg Calbi creates his magic. Greg is a legendary sound mastering engineer; his work is the final step in the recording process. He played one example after another of the kinds of choices that he needs to make each day to make a recording “sound right”. Then we all cabbed up to Harlem for an amazing feast at Red Rooster where Nils Norén served us every single thing on the menu. Nils is Vice President, Restaurant Operations of the Marcus Samuelsson Group.
It was a great evening!
Greg Calbi talked about his work at Sterling Sound.
Nils Norén hosted our incredible dinner at Red Rooster.
April 23rd, 2012
We were so lucky with the weather this Earth Day weekend. I performed at a lovely private event at an estate in Rhinebeck during the day, and then drove to Beacon to see my friend Bo Gehring, an inventor/artist who does amazing things with sound waves.
Bo Gehring with self-portrait (L) in his studio (R)
March 9th, 2012
Our second dinner was last night in Princeton. I was the featured speaker.
February 10th, 2012
Thanks to the David A. Gardner ’69 Magic Fund, the Humanities Council at Princeton University is sponsoring a faculty seminar on Magic, Perception, and Decisions that will explore magic and deception as they affect art, science, law, politics and other arenas of human life. Eldar Shafir, the William Stewart Tod Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs, is co-convener of the seminar, along with yours truly. Over four dinner sessions, we are discussing the nature and role of “magic” in human affairs.
Last night, our first invited speaker was Micah Lasher, Mayor Bloomberg’s man in Albany… and a published magician.
February 6th, 2012
It was a pleasure and an honor to perform and stay at the beautiful and historic Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida, last week. The venue was more than spectacular: the party was in the gorgeous Gold Room. This famous hotel is modeled on the Villa Medici in Rome, and the guest register reads like a who’s who of the 20th century. The level of craftsmanship that went into creating this place has to be seen to be believed!
January 29th, 2012
It’s Old Masters Week in New York. That means lots of parties at galleries around town. Otto Naumann, who specializes in European paintings from the 17th to 19th centuries, invited friends and associates to his gallery for a wine and pizza party, featuring some magic for his guests.
Yes, that portrait of a man with a beret is a real Rembrandt. Art dealer Jan Six XI, a direct descendant of Rembrandt’s famous sitter Jan Six I, explained that the thumb jauntily tucked into the man’s sash would have been quite an outrageous posture back in the day. The efficiency of Rembrandt is breath-taking. He could convey so much with a few brush strokes.
Portrait of a Man with Arms Akimbo
Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn (1658)
Art dealer Gerald Stiebel wrote up the party on his blog, and included a photo of U.S. Ambassador and Secretary of the Navy William Middendorf sketching me from the sofa while I performed.
January 5th, 2012
The Calder Foundation has asked me to help them with an upcoming project. In October of 1930, artist Alexander Calder visited Piet Mondrian’s studio in Paris. This was the moment when he embraced the abstract, first in painting and then in motorized and non-motorized moving sculpture. In February we are putting together a special event in the Netherlands commemorating this historic visit. While in Texel, I heard about a recreation of Mondrian’s studio in Amersfoort, so last week I went to check it out and also visited the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague to see the work of Mondrian and Calder.
[click to enlarge]
December 26th, 2011
I am winding down with my in-laws in the Dunes of Texel National Park in the Netherlands, after a very busy holiday season. This magnificent area is called ‘De Slufter’. It is an opening in the dunes that fills up with seawater at high tide. There is no greater pleasure than waking up at the crack of dawn with jet-lag, and hiking in a beautiful place like this as the sun is rising.