Fresh Faces

Who said, “Youth is wasted on the young?”  Well, George Bernard Shaw if you must know.

Fortunately for those of us attending the Magic Collectors Weekend in May, Shaw was off the mark. We have four young men who will demonstrate that their time exploring magic history was not wasted.

You already know, for example, that Will Houstoun will be on the bill presenting his latest research on Professor Hellis. Also, that Jason England, a recognized authority on advantage play and gambling collectibles, will be speaking about gambling collectibles that should be in every magician’s collection. Both are young men of talent and tenacity. They have what it takes to ferret out information and artifacts, and are willing to share what they have uncovered with us in Chicago.

Joining them, however, will be two newcomers.

First, there will be Joe Culpepper. Joe is a PhD student at Massey College in Toronto – the home of the late Robertson Davies, author of “World of Wonders”.  Joe was also the curator of our online exhibition on Stewart James. Well, late last year, Joe not only explored “The Sphinx” illusion, he and a team of artists and actors, staged it in Toronto. When “The Sphinx” opened his eyes, I couldn’t help but think that the gasp I heard in the theatre was an echo of the very same gasp that resonated in the halls of the Egyptian Hall on October 16, 1865 when Colonel Stodare first performed the illusion on that famous stage.  So, I’ve asked Joe to discuss in Chicago his exploration of this famous illusion.

Second, Jim Maloney. Jim has been doing extensive research on the life and magic of Nate Leipzig.  Even though Vernon and Ganson collaborated on a book about Leipzig, and Leipzig’s “autobiography” has been serialized in several publications, that was then and this is now. Thanks to modern technology, Jim has been able to piece together an enormous amount of new information on one of magic’s most beloved performers.

So, fresh faces and fresh knowledge:  sounds good, doesn’t it?

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