News — Magic Blog

The loss of some very well respected magicians this November.

The loss of some very well respected magicians this November.

It was a sad month for the world of magic as we lost several terrific magicians. Matt Field was well known to many in the UK and was the past editor of The Magic Circular. David Maas, half of the well known quick change act David and Dania, succumbed to Covid-19. The great Walter 'Zaney' Blaney, entertainer and creator of the Blaney Ladder Levitation passed away at the age of ninety two (92). These gentlemen were passionate about magic and gave so much to so many throughout their careers. They will be missed by all who knew them. Thank you to Nick Lewin and Tim Drake for their tribute to Walter.


Vanish has a dual reputation as both an International and Independent magic magazine. This means we feature artists from around the globe more than any other publication, and we aren't afraid to have articles that are slightly outside the box. This was my goal from day one when I started VANISH eight years ago and it continues more so today. The world around us is constantly changing, having a magazine that reflects these changes will be important for future generations as they research the past. I would like to think many years down the road that when youngsters have to do a school project on "The Great Lock-down of 2020" that those who like magic will be able to find examples within the pages of Vanish, its affect on the entertainment business and what people did to survive.


This edition reflects both of my goals as we feature the incredible artist Malin Nilsson from Sweden. She is a remarkable performer with a unique view of our craft. It is an honor to feature her as the cover story.


I recently received an email from a reader who said they felt VANISH has done more to promote unity and diversity than anything they’d seen from other magazines or organizations. This warmed my heart, and it’s wonderful to see that in the past few months magic groups have embraced what we have been doing for the past eight years and are becoming aware. We continue to provide ground breaking articles covering numerous subjects from a variety of contributors situated across the world. In this issue Eric Walton shares what the SAM is doing with an on-line show called FLAVORS OF MAGIC. Felicity Fields continues her series on Diversity in Magic and gets the view points from two very different people at complete ends of the age spectrum. 


Connie Boyd’s chat with Diana Zimmerman, who paved a path for generations of magicians with her performances and continues to do so with her writing and producing is a must read. Ben Robinson is one of the most profound, ground breaking magician that I know. VANISH got the exclusive story of Ben's new book release and launch. If ever we needed an Outlaw Hero, the time is now and nobody is more qualified for that title than Ben.


Finally, a big thank you to Kevin Bethea. Kevin has helped open all of our eyes with his Black Lives Matter series. These stories are a must read if magic has an opportunity to move forward.


Stay safe and wishing you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and Happy Kwanzaa …


Paul Romhany

Great gig in Hong Kong Thursday night.

What a week it's been. I had a one off corporate gig in Hong Kong - so on Wednesday I flew eleven hours to perform my 12 minute show. The clients were International Investors so there was  A LOT of money in the room that night. It looks like that one gig will be leading to more one off international gigs and something rather big is in the pipeline for later in the year. If it comes off I'll be very happy indeed.

 My flight the next day wasn't until 9pm so I was able to spend a day in Hong Kong again. This time I wanted to make sure I caught up with well known Hong Kong magic superstar Alert Tam. For those of you who frequent magic conventions I am sure you will know Albert. What a really great guy. We spent about 3 hours just talking about his philosophy on Magic as  a Teaching Tool. I will tell you it completely opened my eyes to how magic is a great learning tool for kids. We also talked about magic competitions and his ideas on judging. With FISM coming up this year it is interesting to see the different styles of judging used around the world. Albert shared with me what he does in Hong Kong and I have to say it's probably the best method. You are judged on THE PERFORMANCE - in other words from the moment you enter until after you've gone - even the impression you leave on the judges. There are acts that when they are finished you don't think about - and then there are those that stay in your mind. I am going to try and get Albert to write something about both Teaching and Judging for some projects I'm working on. Thank you Albert for a wonderful few hours and look forward to hanging out again soon.

Here is the view from my hotel room.


Hocus-Pocus has just received some great new items in the Private Estate sale. This is something you should check daily because there are things in there that are truly one off products, as well as very hard to get - all at great prices. Here's a few I would like to highlight for the week.

Paul Gross' Custom Manipulator's Cube Table - Private Estate MT

This is something that is truly unique and a one of a kind. If it doesn't go this week I might just have to get it myself!! For those that may not be aware, Hocus-Pocus owner Paul Gross was a very busy professional magician. One of his key routines was his opening comedy dove production. This table was built to be used as a regular table for any type of act, but had the built in comedy dove routine in it. 

It was built by Ray Lum who makes TOP QUALITY magic. If you have been looking for a fantastic manipulation table this is it - at an affordable price. Anything Ray makes is going to be the best quality product made to last.

From the crafty hands of Ray Lum, right into the stage act of magician Paul Gross comes this workhorse of a cube table.

As you may know, Paul hung up his magician's cape from performing several years ago, but this Cube Table has lingered as a memento of those days. Barely used, it was constructed at the end of Paul's performing days. But now, it can be yours!

DESCRIPTION: This table was custom-made to Paul Gross' exact specifications by master craftsman and magician Ray Lum. Utilized in connection with his opener, one of the bits featured in Paul's act was a dove gag.

To begin his show, Paul would produce a live dove allowing it to flutter its wings in the usual manner. Then he would explain that it was actually ARTIFICIAL, but the audience would protest seeing that the dove was a REAL dove. Lifting its tail, a battery (palmed) would fall to the floor. (Belly laughter would ensue).

As Paul bent down to pick up the battery with his left hand, the right hand would place the dove in the special holding compartment inside the table and grab the latex dove, thus switching doves.

Since the switch was seamless, he would proceed to remake the point that the dove was in fact a FAKE and roll it around his finger, then place it into his breast pocket.

Of course, as you might guess, the audience went bananas! A perfect opener, letting the audience know precisely the kind of act they were in for....great COMEDY and great MAGIC!

The special compartment can be used for switching as in Paul's act or securing a dove before or after its production. Use it as a dump for items that are produced during your show -- it holds quite a lot!

The entire unit measures 40-inches tall and the cube is 16-inches square.

Included are two shelves that can be attached giving additional tabletop space.

Condition: Excellent - Only used a few times by the all-powerful magician, Paul Gross.

PLEASE NOTE: Special packaging is required for this item.

We like to think of it as a little bit of magic history, Paul Gross magic history that is....

As with all of our ESTATE items, we've only got this ONE, so buy it without DELAY and put it into your act right away!

Dove to Rabbit Cylinder by Dazzling Magic - Private Estate MT

Dove to Rabbit TrickI used to own an original and used it in ALL THE KIDS SHOWS! This is such a wonderful effect that the kids really go nuts for. I haven't seen one of these in many years - and there is only one here at the Private Estate sale.

 Remember there is ONLY ONE and available from

The standard dove to rabbit cage is a phenomenal effect, but on repeat dates, the audience knows what to expect. Now we have the solution in the Dove to Rabbit Cylinder.

EFFECT: Place a live dove into the clear cylinder...cover is placed over cylinder. Instantly cover is removed, and the dove has become a live bunny rabbit! Kids and adults go nuts!

The Dove to Rabbit Cylinder stands about 11 inches high. The load tube measures 7 1/4 inches high by 6 1/2 inches in diameter. Decorated with in a durable red jewel-like finish. Comes complete with a heavy vinyl drawstring carry bag.

This remarkable effect was created by Gene Elmo many years ago and still plays beautifully for contemporary audiences. It's really a GIANT Crystal Silk Cylinder for livestock transformation. Simply beautiful and easy to do!

Condition: EXCELLENT - Stored away by the original owner and appears to have NEVER been used. What a find!

There's only ONE, so why not get it NOW and start WOWing your audiences today!

Soirees Fantastiques by Christian Fechner - Private Estate

This has to be my pick of the week. This book is VERY RARE and an English edition. This contains the original floating bar stool levitation as well as the walking skeleton illusion. If you have ever wanted to own this book, either to get the illusion plans or just to invest in then this is a very rare opportunity!

Soirees Fantastiques by Christian Fechner, English 1st edition, 1988. A two volume set in a slipcase.

Condition: Pristine Mint.

Only 300 copies of this English edition were produced. Extremely rare.

Volume 1 is 431 pages that describe the history, working, and inner detail of Fechner's entire act and fine details of his illusions.

Volume 2 is a fake book that opens to reveal 3 flip books, in outstanding color, that can be used to see some of the illusions actually performed. Underneath the flip books is an additional compartment that holds the 12 plans for all the illusions in Volume 1, all in a large size with extremely great detail.

Whether you're a collector or if you are interested in illusion building this is a great asset to your library.

Remember, there's only one and when it's gone, it's gone forever!