Blog – Stevens Magic Emporium Stevens Magic Emporium - A full service Magic Dealer and Shop with Professional Magic, Stage Magic, Close-up Magic, and Illusions. Mon, 23 Jan 2017 19:29:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Bob Cassidy – Recipeint 2017 Annemann Award Sun, 15 Jan 2017 22:31:21 +0000

We are very excited and proud to announce Bob Cassidy as the 2017 Annemann winner, in our annual award presentations at Stevens Magic Emporium. Joe Stevens started these awards in attempt to show recognition to those in the industry of both magic an mentalism, that continue to represent the art with dignity and respect. These luminaries continue to shape and mold the art to the benefit of both layman and fellow artist such as us.

Bob Cassidy is an enigma, a man of mystery who is himself a mystery. He’s a self-styled irreverent who claims to be more comfortable in motorcycle bars than hoity-toity venues. He’s one of those rare people who are often simply referred to by last name only – Cassidy. He is an entertainer, author, and lecturer and is one of the more influential creators of modern mentalism.

Cassidy is known and acclaimed throughout the world for his support of the mentalism community. In 1978 he was one of five who founded the renowned Psychic Entertainers Association (P.E.A), an exclusive small circle of psychic entertainers from around the world, and which consists of mentalists, bizarrists, hypnotists, readers, and allied artists, including full-time, part-time, and retired entertainers.

Cassidy is colorful and widely known and accomplished in psychic entertainment; he has strong opinions about the art and he generates strong opinions from those who have known him. He has been a long-time prolific contributor to the art, following in the footsteps of Ted Annemann and “The Jinx” on this art. He has performed internationally, has been widely published in the industry, is well known at the Magic Castle and MindVention.

Since publishing The Art of Mentalism in 1982 (Collectors Workshop, Washington, D.C.), the book and its updated sequels (including Art of Mentalism 2 and The Art of Mentalism 3) have become hornbooks to the mentalism world, required reading for anyone who wants to move beyond mental magic and remain entertaining while presenting mentalism with minimum props. The 1982 book, in hard cover, followed his paperback Pseudomentally Yours, published in 1977 (Invocation Supplement #2, Bob Lynn, Waldwick, New Jersey). Cassidy’ original book, generated updated versions 2 and 3, and it engendered subsequent Cassidy contributions to the craft, including The Artful Mentalism of Bob Cassidy (H&R Magic Books, Humble, Texas, 2002); Bob Cassidy’s Mentalism, a DVD he produced in 2002; and The Black Box Cinema, a DVD produced by Meir Yedid, Fair Lawn, New Jersey, in 2007.

In addition to the seminal work of The Art of Mentalism, Cassidy has published 53 eBooks and one MP3 audio, available from Chris Wasshuber’s The subject matter of these eBooks has ranged from concentrating on using specific tools, such as billet handling and nail writers, to complete routines, often with a focus on a person of historic interest, such as Erik Jan Hanussen. Many times Cassidy has employed a writer’s gimmick by using a fictional character, Dr. Crow, enabling Bob to poke fun at himself and others, while still driving home a teaching point. This listing of current offerings fails to be all inclusive, and does not, for example, include such noteworthy pieces as The Principia Mentalia in 1993, later contained in The Artful Mentalism of Bob Cassidy.

Bob was born June 23, 1949 in Kearny, New Jersey. By 12 years old he had appeared on television’s Original Amateur Hour as a magician. Later, when he was in the United States Navy as a communications specialist, he developed an act of photographic memory and intuition. Some have reported this marked the time of a real shift toward mentalism and away from general magic.

Bob graduated from Montclair State College in Montclair, New Jersey in 1975 with a Bachelor of Arts and proceeded to Seton Hall University School of Law in Neward, New Jersey, where he obtained his Juris Doctorate in 1978. Although a lawyer by education, Bob had the “itch” for entertaining and did so on the cruise ships MS Rotterdam and MS Statendam (both part of the Holland America cruise ship group) between 1972 and 1976. According to Bob, he first began performing semi-professionally as a stage mind reader and hypnotist in 1972, and it was on those cruise ships where he was able to hone is entertainment skills. Nevertheless, after earning the law degree, he practiced from 1978 through 1988 as a partner of Shapiro and Cassidy, where he became experienced in criminal defense trials and personal injury litigation.

With this background and legal expertise, Cassidy was a natural among the founders to use for developing the P.E.A. as an entity to come up with the right “legal language” for birthing the organization. Also Cassidy was the first editor of what has become Vibrations. Under his leadership he entitled the newsletter Psychic Entertainers News and Information Service.

Referring to his 10-year tenure as a lawyer in The Artful Mentalism of Bob Cassidy, Bob wrote, “…everything in my life was slowly becoming respectful and mainstream. Given my nature, this was a frightening course. What many would view as growth and developing maturity, I saw as stagnation and decay.” Making the decision in 1988 to become a full-time performer, Cassidy left New Jersey and moved to Washington State, which he says he chose “…because it was the farthest distant from the life I sought to leave behind.” It also allowed Bob to learn other skills, such as waiting tables, cooking, and bartending. “The latter quickly became my forte as it offered me a constant audience upon which to practice my art,” he later wrote.

Although Cassidy is known for being a maverick in many ways, he was strongly joined and dependent on his wife Peggy. Unfortunately, she passed in late November 2005 As an independent, he also learned tough lessons over the years of the fast growing internet about piracy of material, and the importance of close working relationships, with comradeship from Michael Weber, Jheff Poncher, Chris Wasshuber, and others.

In addition to serving as Vibrations’ editor for four years, Bob also served as P.E.A. president from 1982 to 83. He was elected to honorary life-membership in 1988 and was the first mentalist to be awarded its “Award for Creativity in Psychic Entertainment” in 1996.

Nick Lewin 2017 Robert-Houdin Award Sun, 15 Jan 2017 22:22:59 +0000

Congratulations to Nick Lewin, winner of the Robert-Houdin 2017 award. We can think of no higher designation of respect than Robert-Houdin, and as such candidates for consideration must have contributed greatly to the art of magic we hold so dear. At the same times, such performers must have tremendous respect for those who have come before us, and thus have absolute respect for magic history. No one car dispute Nick has all the above and more.

The Los Angeles Times Says, “Anyone who thinks you can’t do two things well, should see Lewin seamlessly blend reality and fantasy, magic and comedy. Reality suddenly becomes one helluva concept!” Hailing from London, England – Lewin now makes his home in Austin, Texas. Nick has been featured on numerous television shows and also entertained British Royalty, American Presidents, Saudi Princes, Business Legends and Hollywood Icons. Lewin’s award-winning show is very funny non-stop entertainment, with Nick’s dry English sense of humor perfectly honed for American audiences. Lewin was recently awarded the prestigious “2016 Robert-Houdin Award” for his performing skills.

A unique and fresh performer who delights every kind of audience with his personalized comedy and magic show. Clients and audiences alike are delighted with Lewin’s highly individual blend of stand-up comedy sleight of hand and mind magic. Nick has opened concerts for Tony Bennett, Reba McEntire, Charlie Daniels, Paul Anka and a host of other stars. His corporate client list is a who’s who of Fortune 500 companies and he has performed at private functions for David Bowie, Steve Forbes, Jimmy Stewart, Lee Iacocca, Tony Curtis, Orson Welles, Steve Wozniak and many others. For five years Lewin starred in “Comedy Magic” his own award-winning one-man show in Las Vegas, where he also hosted his own nationally broadcast radio and television series, “The Entertainment Files.” Now he is available to work his magic for you and help make your event the success you are working towards.

Nick is a sure fire-hit and perfect solution to any corporate or private entertainment situation. As a corporate performer Nick has functioned as an after dinner speaker, host, spokesman and keynote speaker; his ability to personalize and customize his show has made him a favorite in this highly specialized field. Working with each individual client Lewin skillfully constructs the perfect show for their specific needs. From a packed showroom to a small business gathering Nick blends his comedy and magic into a unique entertainment that will make your event a smash hit. His fast, funny and clever performance gets huge reaction from his audiences, receiving standing ovations on a consistent basis. Audiences gasp at his astounding magic, while laughing at comedy that is often as fresh as the morning’s newspaper.

Randall Schostag – 2017 SME Business Consultancy Award Thu, 12 Jan 2017 23:17:07 +0000

Randall Schostag Magic

A Young Randall Schostag

This year we included a special recognition award. Compared to artistic recognition, its paying homage from us at Stevens Magic to a very special person. We decided to make it public because we wanted to illustrate that contributions to the industry are not always entertainment oriented. There are many of us, who are in magic but also have incredible skill sets in other area’s such as business and marketing. They contribute to the art of magic in their own unique and  essential manner. This Business Consultancy Award shows that example by paying homage to Randall Schostag for his business consultancy to us in 2016.  It’s not often you can find reliable, credible and honest council… With over 40 years in the magic business – we have witnesses and adapted to a lot of change. But the past 10 years have been exponential in regards to the shifts in the marketplace, not just for our little industry but for all business, regardless of product and even services.  Just one of Randall’s key suggestions made a considerable difference to us, but his constant accessibility has been a tremendous asset.

Randall provided us with an insight into trends within the magic industry, as well as looking outside to find the challenges and “solutions” from similar specialty businesses or our size and genre.

While no doubt the economy has improved, Randall helped us steer through the previous storm and in doing so we have managed to have (both 2015 and 2016)  healthy consecutive increases in total aggregate sales. And for the past three years we have seen the number of first time,customers (ages 22-45), quadruple, with very high percentages of retention and repeat orders over a 24 month period.

Randall has been in business all of his professional life, and while he specialized in business valuation, his has passion for the global market place and maintaining customer satisfaction with an emphasis on obtaining new customers.

Like a good mentalist, his predictions were right on, and we want to take this opportunity to thank him for his guidance and continued advocacy.

Randall Schostag Magic

Looking Good Randall!

Randall Schostag - Business Consultancy Award

2017 SME Business Consultancy Award

Why he was such a good fit is easy, his business acumen along with this love for the art of magic. Anyone knows that finding people that are passionate about what they do is a winning recipe; in Randall we were able to find someone passionate about both business and magic!

Randall has magic in his blood, in fact long before going into the professional world of business.

Born 1945.
Started magic and ventriloquism 1952 at 7 years old
started active performing in 1953
First with ventriloquism with Jerry Mahoney dummy doll

From there Randall started doing a lot of shows so his parents took him to Chicago where he met Jay Marshall and Frances Ireland Marshall.  They purchased a small vent figure Jay had used one time with Queen of England.  I mean, you know, nothing special right?  Anyway they named him Richard (Ricky) Sherwood (as in Sure Wood).

During high school Randall was able to consistency average more than one show (most were paying by end of junior high school) per week for most of the year. In many cases, he managed to book several shows per week.  Needless to say Randall became comfortable, in a place more people would abhor – the stage!

After high school, like any conservative mid-western family ethic,  Randall started college but left to join Army (as many did during this tumultuous time), where he worked in Army Intelligence after joining in 1965 in 1968 after tour of Vietnam in the middle of Tet Offensive.

Upon his return Randall became a newspaper reporter for Mankato Free Press, daily newspaper. It had the largest circulation in southern Minnesota.  He morphed into both a Political and financial writer.  Eventually he became the Legislative reporter for the Minnesota State Capital.

Randall eventually left Mankato and moved to Minneapolis (the big city).  There he began the difficult job of selling insurance and mastered the art of cold calling and his second job was working in the backroom of an investment bank.  From there Randall became licensed as registered rep (stock broker) and moved to sales.  Next he studied and became Licensed for NASD, NYSE, Boston, and  Midwest exchanges.  Randall specialized (as many people starting out in this field) by focusing on small companies which traded (OTC), “over-the-counter.” As time marched with ardent consistency and discipline eventually Randall was in a position where he could Consult with local public companies. This was his “passion.”  As such he ended up leaving investment banking when he was hired by local commercial bank.  Following the same tenacity as before, he was promoted to vice president, and then opened up the second detached facility in Minnesota.  Randall’s focus and inspiration in the banking office was to work with small businesses. He prefers smaller businesses compared to working in the public market for one reason – “relationships!”

Randall Schostag

Randall’s Publicity For His Mentalism Act


But as one often does in a lifetime, other opportunities often entice us like the Greek sirens and Randall left the bank to start a children’s clothing company. He raised $1 million start up capital. Within his first season he achieved orders of $3.5 million.  One of the major lines he was importing was manufactured in Mexico. Randall learned about volatility in external markets, as his business was crushed by the Mafia (literally).  Devastated but not beat, he went back into the financial services industry joining John Hawthorn Company where he specialized in business appraisal and client consulting. Not content to just being an employee, Randall purchased John Hawhtnorn Company with two others. They changed the name to Hawthorn Financial and broadened it to include litigation support for contested valuations.  After 3 years Randall started his next business, titled Minnesota Business Valuation Group.  Then, like clockwork, 3 years later – sold that business to Olsen Thielen CPA firm, a regional certified public accounting firm.  Randall was retained (a smart move by the new owners) as president of the firm for 7 years when he stepped down to join an investment bank as director of corporate finance – where he remained for two years.

Randall is now retired from securities work – but by no means did he (nor will he) – retire.  He moved on to work with SCORE (Service Corps Of Retired Executives) for two years; helping small businesses.  Randall now spends his professional time with Minnesota Corporate Finance, where he does small projects for small businesses, including buying and selling small businesses, appraisals, and consulting (as he has done so well for us at Stevens Magic in 2016).   Randall is also working for the Marriott with I’m sure additional hopes to incorporate his Mentalism show… But that is covert – he didn’t even tell me this – I just know what he’s up too!  Thanks Randall for all your advice, guidance, support and solid friendship from all of us at Stevens Magic Emporium.

Rick Gerber – Man of Influence – By Deana Murray Thu, 15 Dec 2016 22:07:12 +0000

Rick Gerber - Deana Murray

By definition, influence is that unseen energy created by a memory that affects your future choices. It’s situational – leading to an alternate approach providing unexpected and surprising outcomes.

So, if you’ve ever had a Budweiser, been to a Magic Live Convention or worked on a non-magic project… then RICK GERBER’s influence might be one of the invisible threads that connect us all. I first met Rick at a Hispanic Scholarship Fundraiser – THE ALLIANCE Golf Tournament in Angel Fire, New Mexico. It wasn’t the first time he’d traveled far from his home in Laguna Niguel, California to an Anhauser-Busch sponsored event. He is, after all, their “Corporate Magician”. ‘The Bud Man’ of choice. He is also Stan Allen’s man of choice to initially direct the Stage Shows, and now, the General Sessions at Magic Live. Likewise, RICK is a man of influence and inspiration for his wife, Raleigh and their three sons, Greg, Chad and Jason.

Initially, when Rick began creating and performing large illusions for Budweiser events, his magic was overtly and overly branded with an obvious “pitch” factor. Vanishing beer bottles, production of assistants from a large, suspended 6-pack. “That style of magic has changed… and the corporate environment has changed, too.” He says, “On the one hand, audiences are now turned off by the blatant advertising pitch. {Rick sparingly uses much smaller gestures, now with bottle caps and labels.} On the other hand, when decisions are made, the cost of entertainment is more often driven by sales objectives.” Although ‘Added Value’ is hard to define, it’s not so hard to defend when Rick arrives.

Because event experiences build relationships and Rick’s magic is so personable and interactive, he does impact sales directly. His audiences of customers, retailers, and business executives are even more bonded to the brand they buy.

RICK’S ADVICE for magicians at adult events or sponsored by a product made for adults…

Rick Gerber

Play to the adults. Children are welcome to watch, but he never has a kid “pick a card.”

Entertainment is the objective. Let the crowd have their fun. If they mess with you, it’s generally not harmful in nature. He responds in kind, by playing along or into the ‘sidetracking’. Action, guided by interaction.

There are many sub-groups or divisions within a company. Each will have their own goals and BUDGETS. If you’ve proven yourself, you’re part of the family. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the different departments with a variety of uses for your skills. Rick’s list includes “In-Store Promotions, Trade Shows, Sales Meetings, Hospitality Suites, Golf Tournaments, Dinners and Banquets, and Experimental Marketing.”

STAN ALLEN, Publisher of MAGIC MAGAZINE reached out to RICK to influence the first MAGIC LIVE {un-conventional} Convention in Las Vegas. It was partially because of his production background in both live events and TV. But mostly it was because of his untainted knowledge of how magic conventions usually work, having never been to one. Rick accepted Stan’s reasoning and they set about creating “a corporate event for an audience of professionals.” Rick has worked on every version of Magic Live, save one. It was the year he just wanted to attend. Later he told Stan that he “should attend one of his own conventions someday, because they are absolutely wonderful.” One of Rick’s ideas was to produce a short video at the end of each day; 20- minute capsules of ‘behind the scenes’ clips of shows, break-out sessions and hallway interactions called “Late Night LIVE.”

Stan and Rick have been life-long friends developed from previous (AD)ventures. One of their many projects together was called “Treasure Quest.” With the help of Rory Johnston, they produced “team building and entertainment experiences” in the form of themed ‘Treasure Hunts’ at various resort locations for corporate clients. Rick laughs as he tells the stories… They went as far as hiding clues in helium balloons, under seats in a tennis stadium and submerged in water with a scuba diver. And further by over-dubbing a cartoon’s dialogue played on a bar television.

Rick’s family life has been pretty normal. At home, magic was never the mainstay of attention over other events in the day. When the kids were growing up, Rick chose to practice while they were asleep or at school. It did filter in, however, in a combination of ways. As children of a magician, Rick’s oldest sons tried their hands at one School Show and one Bar Mitzvah – but declined a future in magic because it was “too stressful.” The third son has learned to make balloon animals. It’s not exactly magic, but it’s a fun icebreaker.

The subliminal message over the years of watching Rick’s projects grow from an idea drawn on a napkin to a fully produced show has strengthened their problem solving skills. It’s funny how our belief systems get changed because of magic. Magic goes beyond and outside. According to Rick, “Anything’s possible. Ideas BEGIN without limitations, boundaries or obstacles. Look forward, towards the effect you want to present – then work backwards, to figure out how to achieve it.”

P.S. Rick’s son created a ‘real world gaming’ iphone app. The premise was that the device you play your game on should interact with the environment around you. Years ahead of its time, the first version of that idea was the invention of a game named “I SPY” with business partner Ian McDougald. Now, how’s that for influence?

Inexhaustible Nomenclature by Jim Kleefeld Sat, 03 Dec 2016 20:01:30 +0000

Jim Kleefeld

“What a treat it is for us at Stevens Magic to have one of the brightest minds in the art of magic – Jim Kleefeld contribute to our content.”  Joe Stevens

Intro: The Jap Box ( or Japanese Box or Silk Production Box ) is a magic prop of Japanese origin, which showed up in the west in the 1870s. It is a square container with no top or bottom that fits on a small tray (with a finger hole to hold the box in place) in which items, usually silks, are produced or vanished. The term “Jap Box” can be seen in an ad in the very first issue of the Sphinx (March 1902, page 8) although no description of the box was provided. Donald Bevan, a retired editor of Abracadabra magazine and Eddie Dawes, a magical historian, research concluded that the box was originally made in metal and came from Germany. The models that were produced in those early days were finished in ‘Japanned Lacquer’, an artificial imitation of Oriental Lacquer. Glenn Gravatt, in his book “Jap Box Tricks” was of the opinion that the box was designed to simulate traditional Japanese rice boxes. Ton Onosaka said that it based upon stackable boxes for steaming rice. Hence the reason for the interchangeable top or bottom. Originally the lid was ‘lipped’ on both sides so that several boxes could be stacked. Professor Hoffmann describes a “Japanese Inexhaustible Box” in his book Modern Magic, but that box was tip-over type, which was not what is generally call the “Jap Box” today. – Credit: Genii Magic Magazine – MagicPedia

Jap Box

Inexhaustible Nomenclature by Jim Kleefeld:
Japan is more than the name of a country. It is also a noun which describes a hard black varnish used to coat wood and metal, and a verb which pertains to the process of applying that varnish to a surface. The core properties of japan include being durable and having strong adhesion to a variety of surfaces. It has been used for centuries for both protection and decoration. The name is likely derived from its Asian origin, although both the product and the process were originally used in China and India as well as Japan.

Japanning was often a highly decorative process where gloss lacquers with an asphalt base were combined with other colors, notably gold, to produce an oil-painting-like effect. Tin and papier mache were common bases for japanning, though it was also applied to wood surfaces. The process was so durable that teapots made of japanned papier mache were used to hold hot water.

Although no date of origin has been established, product descriptions of japanned items are mentioned in Great Britain in 1718. Japanning made its way across the ocean and was a standard process in the making of household goods in early America. In The History of Wallingford, Connecticut written by Charles Henry Stanley Davis in 1870, he cites a dozen established businesses in the 1780s that sold japanned tin ware. In 1881, the Yachting Gazette magazine advertised lamps and lanterns that were made of japanned tin. Japanning was common in the 18th century, but continued even into the early 20th century. By then, it had been relegated to common utilitarian products such as tin cash boxes. The introduction of electroplating hastened it’s extinction, which was fortified by the introduction of plastics in the industrial revolution.

In regards to magic, as early as 1900, items were advertised in Stanyon’s Magic as being “japanned.” In Hoffman’s Later Magic, he describes a box with a folding bottom that is “metal, japanned.” When explaining a handkerchief vanish he describes two gimmicks, a thimble which is “enamelled, flesh colour” and a tin box which is “japanned black.” Both are meant to be unseen by the audience. The thimble gets hidden in the hand and the tin box hides under the jacket, or as he puts it “the performer may hook the vanisher to some part of his clothing.” Hence the flat black color.


The key factor in almost all of the available japanned magic products was something easily shaped from tin and then turned flat black in color. A japanned pull vanisher would not be seen tucked away next to your belt underneath a black jacket. For most materials, getting a durable flat black finish was difficult or impossible with paint. In 1900, paint simply did not stick to metal, particularly if that metal needed to be handled often. Tin was frequently used to shape many of magic’s odd gaffs and gizmos because it was readily available, cheap, and easily cut, folded and soldered. However, it was a difficult surface on which to apply a finish. The interior of a Flash Pan could be left untreated as it was never seen.

But a vest-pocket cigarette pull that shot under the coat could not be left a shiny silver color. Items such as these were japanned. Which brings us to the Handkerchief Vanishing Box. The wooden box with no top and either no bottom or a removable bottom is meant to be seen as a simple four-sided tube. The magical appearance and disappearance of the silks happens because the box appears to be a solid wood box with no place to contain items internally. The two ends of the rectangular box are actually solid wood, while the two sides of the box are actually containers which appear to be a single thick piece of wood. In fact, they are hollow, made by using very thin wood over an empty core. The outside of the box is wood, but the inside is a tin flap which can be opened and closed. When closed, it appears to be simply the other side of the piece of wood, painted black. This hollow side of the box can be made larger if the “door” section which has to open and close is made of tin rather than wood.

Jap Box - Thayer

Tin could not be painted when these boxes were first being sold, and deception dictates that leaving it shiny so that it appears to be metal was out of the question. So the tin was japanned. Thus, the Handkerchief Vanishing Box had a rich wood exterior and was black inside.
These were often marketed with the name Japanned Box. Japanning, in every product, was a fairly expensive and time-consuming process, but left a good final result. The reason that the word was used in the name of the product was that sellers wanted buyers to know that the box was made well and would be deceptive. Buyers would recognize that a “japanned” product had a durable and flat black finish.

The long title of “Japanned Box” soon became shortened to Japan Box and later to Jap Box. It was so widely recognized as a proper product name that in 1937 Glenn Gravatt wrote a book about the prop and titled it simply Jap Box Tricks. In the introduction he refers to it as The Japanese Handkerchief Box, but he seems comfortable referring to it by its shorter name throughout the text.

Today, the name Jap Box sound vaguely racist and derogatory, and many magicians avoid referring to it. In fact, perhaps it is the politically incorrect nomenclature that has led to its decline in usage in modern times. My personal copy of Gravatt’s Jap Box Tricks was bought used through a magic auction and the previous owner had used a permanent marker to carefully blacken out the word Jap on the cover of the book so that the title appeared to read simply “Box Tricks.”

The Jap Box seems to show up first in March 1910 in Stanyon’s Magic as The New Inexhaustible Box. It is clearly described as a rectangular open-ended tube with one hollow side and a secret hinged flap. Although it is clearly described, it appears that the intention of Stanyon here is to entice the reader to purchase the prop through his business.

In Will Goldston’s Tricks You Should Know, published in 1930, The New Inexhaustible Box is advertised, but not described. By 1962 the box was so common that Rice’s Encyclopedia of Silk Magic had an entire chapter devoted to its use.

It should be noted that the term “Jap” was not always a negative or derogatory term. In the United States, people of Japanese ancestry were referred to as Japs from the 1900s on. It was an innocuous nickname, much the same as Brits for people from Great Britain or Ozzies referring to Australians. The term became offensive after the beginning of World War II when Japan became an enemy to the US, and anyone from Japan was seen by some as a threat to the nation. The word began to show up in newspapers and bulletins coupled with condescending and incendiary language. It soon became widely accepted as offensive and remains so to this day.

So modern day magicians may prefer to call it The Inexhaustible Box, but you would not truly be a bigot if you historically referred to it by it’s original common name, The Jap Box.

Jim Kleefeld is a performer, historian, mentalist, and fabricator and creator of some amazing effects many of which are available here at Stevens Magic Emporium.

Annemann Award Winners for 2016 Fri, 12 Aug 2016 19:26:33 +0000

We are very excited to announce this years Annemann Award goes to Christian and Katalina!  Our senior partner, Joe is issuing the request to seek them out and congratulate them! Their commitment to the art is 100% and all of us at Stevens Magic Emporium are big fans of their work – though Joe is adamant abut making sure he tells us he is their number one fan!

Annemann Awards 2016

Annemann Award for Mentalism 2016

Elias Arbuckle – A Passion For Magic! Tue, 26 Jul 2016 21:10:34 +0000


Stevens Magic Emporium is always excited and proud to be associated with the cultivation, energy and attention focused on young magicians.  Going back to our Desert Magic Seminar’s and later the World Magic Seminar’s. Thankfully these efforts continue largely due to Jeff McBride and his fabulous crew!  They do so remaining steadfast to the crucial mission of inspiring young minds to not only continue the art – but mold it in new directions. For these reasons we must all be enthusiastic when we locate young magicians who posses a strong motivation.  We discovered one a few years ago a named Elias Arbuckle.  We have watched him continue to grow and we are excited to introduce you to him.  We wouldn’t feature him if he didn’t have the chops – I assure you. The below article is was written by Shanon Arbuckle, (who herself has vested thousands of hours) helping Elias cultivate the art…

You can follow Elias on Instragram at:  @elias.magic

Elias Arbuckle

As a nine year old boy, being in awe of magic is not a surprising or exceedingly unique quality. Certainly many young children receive magic kits under the tree, but what sets Elias Arbuckle apart is his dedication, his utter passion to learn all he can about the craft he studies. For the past three years Elias has embraced every opportunity available to him participating in magic conventions from Columbus, OH to Las Vegas, NV, working with numerous mentors in the Des Moines, IA metro area, attending and participating in the local IBM ring meetings, performing weekly at a local farmers’ market, engulfing any learning opportunity, and practicing endless hours in his bedroom turned magical studio. Elias looks up to magicians old and new, past and present, enjoying the latest effects and inventions as well as the many secrets buried in the books of the greats. Creative minds like David Stone and Shin Lim inspire him to question and discover while teachers like Michael Ammar push his practice and the diversity of his repertoire. As a card fanatic, Elias is intrigued and driven by Jeff McBride’s sleights and manipulations in his quest to become an entertainer comparable to those he idolizes. As a local working magician and IBM ring president, Jonathan May describes Elias, “To be a successful magician you need skill, passion, charm and personality. Elias hit the jackpot on all four. He is a great magician!” Elias is a self-described natural entertainer with an old-soul who has always enjoyed interacting with adults and finds great fulfillment seeing someone 70 years his elder with bugged eyes or a genuine grin after his performance. His interactions with others who hold the same passion and his opportunities to perform his craft feed the ambition and dedication to the art he loves. A spark that was lit with a neighbor pulling quarters from his ears at age 3 has grown into something that can’t be found in any box of tricks.

Look for great things to come from this big act, featuring a boy of small stature, who has performed magic as far back as his memory will take him.

Neal Scryer’s Psychic Entertainment Bootcamp – June 24-26th Mon, 28 Mar 2016 21:40:03 +0000


Note: Stevens Magic will NOT be offering the Lecture Notes from this event!  These are only for the workshop attendee’s! 


“When I was informed that Neal Scryer will be conducting his final workshop in Berlin, without second thoughts I quickly registered so I can one day say that I have learned from a person who is regarded as the Modern Day Anneaman..even though I’m flying from the other side of the globe, I know this workshop will be worth more then gold. Who wouldn’t want to make a small investment and gain thousands perhaps millions in potential income? If you have read Scryer’s book, you know what you are in for. I can’t wait!” Kabir Kahn

I’ll be #@%&ed! The last Scryer workshop…. I must leave my lair and harem and attend the legend’s final brilliant workshop! I gladly pay full price to experience the amazing and wild once in a lifetime event. I can tell you from experience from the last workshop, this will be unlike anything you have ever done. Those that went before can attest the power and mysteries that you will be given by attending and learning from this master. You will regret not going, as one day this event will be remembered. Get the Jaegermeister ready Neal, I’m on my way. – T.Z. Underground Legend

Neal Scryer Psychic Entertainers Bootcamp

This summer, Neal Scryer will open his vault one more time. For 3 full days. This is not a seminar or workshop. This is a bootcamp!
Neal will go deep into his method and style of psychic readings. He will do readings with participants and will explain his thinking behind what he’s doing and saying. Participants will then practice in role-plays with feedback from Neal.


Neal will also demonstrate some of his most guarded effects and routines the way he performs them for laypeople, before explaining the secret workings and finer details.

The effects you will learn are great for psychic entertainment, psychic parties and ladies’ nights. But Neal will also show how to apply them to more “standard” mentalism. Neal has permission to share and discuss material by Alexander Nelson, among others. People who attended the 2015 workshop know, how freely he shares what he knows.

Day 1: Readings Intensive
Day 2: Psychic Home Parties and Ladies Nights
Day 3: Séance and Stranger Things
Each day, you will get:
• 5-6 hours of intense workshop
• special interlude sessions with more mainstream mentalism material
• open discussions after the workshop hours on topics of chosen by the group
• joined lunch and dinner/drinks
• snacks and drinks during workshop hours
• open-ended socializing with the group and Neal Scryer

Neal Scryer Bootcamp

The bootcamp is limited to 12 people. Many participants from Neal’s first Berlin workshop in 2015 signed up again. Only a few more seats are available.

Don’t hesitate, if you want to join. Registration closes April 15, 2016.

Bonuses include books by Neal Scryer (PDF), $45 store credit at Stevens Magic Emporium, The Seer’s Gift by Andreas Sibring (a fantastic metal writing kit), Bill Montana’s Inner Psychic Fair Volume 1+2 and Bill’s Inside The Séance Mind (mp3), and great works by other well-known and well-respected masters of the craft.

New attendees will receive last year’s bonuses plus the new bonuses for 2016!

Irene Larsen – The Princess – Feb. 25th, 2016 Tue, 01 Mar 2016 21:54:56 +0000


Irene Lar

Irene Larsen

Princess Irene Larsen passed away last week, Feb. 25th, 2016 at her home in Brookledge, the Larsen home compound for years and years!

Irene was member #1 of the AMA, and was the love of the Academy. Her husband Bill Larsen was the brother of Milt Larsen, and both brothers were respected for building the “premier facility for magicians” in the world – The Magic Castle! Irene was the face of the Magic Castle wherever she went around the world, and also at the Castle, as she met and greeted many, many visitors to the shrine! She was a protector of all types of animals and also was a deep friend of Siegfried and Roy. (She was like a sister to them)!

Irene Larsen - Photo Signed to Buma Sr.

She loved magicians and the “Art of Magic”! And she had thousands of friends all over the world. On a personal note; “Martha & I will miss her dearly and will always have a found place in our hearts and minds forever! The “Princess is gone.” There will never be another like her! – Joe, Martha, Amy and Mark Stevens.

For more details – See Variety Magazine Post – VARIETY!

Stevens Magic Emporium Celebrates 40 Years! Non-Stop! Fri, 05 Feb 2016 21:12:20 +0000

40 Year Anniversary - Stevens Magic - Thank You

Personal Thank You Video From The Stevens Family.


Tribute Video for 40th Anniversary Stevens Magic Emporium



sliderSiegfriedRoyGerSME“Siegfried and I have been involved with Stevens Magic via our sponsorship of the Desert Magic Seminar since its inception. We are happy to congratulate Joe, Martha and Amy and Mark on achieving 40 years of success! We have one thing to say to Joe, never retire – life is wonderful… Magical SARMOTI Wishes” – Siegfried & Roy

Spanish: Desde sus comienzos, Siegfried y yo hemos estado envueltos con Stevens Magic a través de nuestro patrocinio del Desert Magic Seminar. Solo tenemos que decir una cosa a Joe, “nunca se retiren”- “la vida es maravillosa”… Magical SARMOTI Wishes – Sigfried & Roy

German: Siegfried und ich sind schon seid dem Sponsorship des Desert Magic Seminars miteinander beteiligt, seid dem Beginn. Wir moechten Joe nur eine Sache sagen – gehe niemals in den Ruhestand – das Leben ist wunderbar… Magische SARMOTI Wuensche – Siegfried & Roy



David Copperfield

Congratulations to Joe and Mark Stevens on achieving 40 years. Stevens Magic Emporium continues to represent the art with integrity, substance and trust. Wishing you continued and well-deserved success… – David Copperfield.

Spanish: Felicitaciones a Joe y Mark Stevens. Stevens Magic Emporium continua representando el arte con integridad, sustancia y confianza. Deseándoles un contínuo y muy merecido éxito… – David Copperfield.

German: Herzlichen Glückwunsch Joe und Mark Stevens. Stevens Magic Emporium repräsentiert weiterhin die Kunst mit Integrität, Substanz und Vertrauen. Ich wünsche euch eine Fortsetzung eures verdienten Erfolgs… – David Copperfield



Criss Angel - Stevens Magic

Stevens Magic has been instrumental in helping a large number of magicians, both starting and established, and have raised the bar for brick and mortar magic shops time and time again! Thank you Joe and Mark, on achieving 40 years, and for everything you have done and will continue to do for the magic community. – Criss Angel

Spanish: Felicitaciones a Joe y Mark en su logro de 40 años de magia!  Han sido instrumentales en ayudar una gran cantidad de magos; a los principiantes y a los profesionales, y han establecido una y otra vez la marca para las tiendas de magia vigentes!  Gracias por todo lo que han hecho y continuarán haciendo para la comunidad de magia. – Criss Angel

German: Herzlichen Glückwunsch Joe und Mark, 40 Jahre Zauberei zu erreichen! Sie waren maßgeblich daran beteiligt, einer Vielzahl an Zauberkünstlern zu helfen, Anfängern und etablierten, und haben die Messlatte für Zaubergeschäfte immer wieder angehoben! Vielen Dank für alles, was ihr getan habt und auch weiterhin für die Zaubergemeinschaft tun werdet. – Criss Angel

Lance Burton


Lance Burton - Stevens Magic
The most trusted name in magic, Stevens Magic Emporium, is celebrating their 40th anniversary. Congratulations to my dear friends Joe and Martha! Let’s hope the next 40 years are also filled with love and magic! – Lance Burton

Spanish: El nombre más confiable en magia – Stevens Magic Emporium. Felicitaciones a mis queridos amigos Joe y Martha en estos 40 años llenos de amor y magia – Lance Burton

German: Der vertrauteste Namen in der Zauberei – Stevens Magic Emporium. Herzlichen Glückwunsch, meinen lieben Freunden Joe und Martha, zu 40 Jahren erfüllt mit Liebe und Magie! – Lance Burton



Mac King - Stevens Magic Emporium

Congrats to my pal Joe Stevens on 40 years of leading the world in fine magic apparatus sales. – Mac King

Spanish: Felicitaciones a mi amigo Joe Stevens en sus 40 años de líder en el mundo de la venta de finos aparatos de magia. – Mac King

German: Glückwunsch meinem Kumpel Joe Stevens zu 40 Jahren weltweit führenden Verkäufen von ausgezeichneten Zaubergeräten. – Mac King

Lance Burton - Joe Stevens - Mac King

Lance – Joe – Mac King – 2015 LA History of Magic Conference


Derren Brown Mentalist

Derren Brown - Stevens Magic

Huge congratulations for reaching 40. None of you look a day over 21. You’re one of the very few truly loved and respected names in magic, and you’ve always been wonderful to talk to and ask for advice. Thank you for every time you’ve gone out of your way to help me even when there was no reason to do so. For being so knowledgeable, so easy and friendly to talk to, and for radiating a love of magic so rare amongst those who deal in it. Much love to you all from London.  – Derren

Spanish: Inmensas felicitaciones!  Ustedes son uno de los muy pocos nombres en magia que son verdaderamente amados y respetados, siempre ha sido maravilloso hablar y pedir consejo a ustedes.  Gracias por irradiar amor para la magia, lo que es raro entre aquéllos que la practican.  Mucho amor a ustedes desde Londres” – Derren Brown

German: Riesigen Glückwunsch! Du bist einer der wenigen aufrichtig geliebten und respektierten Namen in der Magie, und es ist immer wunderbar, mit dir zu reden und dich um Rat zu fragen. Vielen Dank für eine strahlende Liebe zur Magie, die so selten unter denen zu finden ist, die damit zu tun haben. Mit viel Liebe an euch alle aus London. – Derren Brown

Paul Daniels Magician

Paul Daniels Magician - Stevens Magic

Paul Daniels - Magician

40 years? Wow. That must be ‘cos you only sell the good stuff. Debbie and I love you both SO much. – Paul Daniels

Spanish: 40 años? Wao!  Eso debe ser porque ustedes sólo venden lo bueno.  Debbie y yo los amamos mucho. – Paul Daniels

German:  40 Jahre? Wow. Das muss wohl daran liegen, dass ihr nur die guten Sachen verkauft. Debbie und ich lieben euch beide so sehr. – Paul Daniels 


Congratulations Joe, you’ve always been there for all my magic prop needs. I Loved hanging out years ago at your booth during the Magic Castle dealer days. Continued success. – Ed Alonzo


What an accomplishment! 40 years in magic and much more than that: 40 years thriving in the magic trade. We are indebted to you for the way in which you have been proving year after year that this business can and should be respectably run – even in times of tough competition – there is a moral code to be followed and unwritten ethical rules never to be ignored. Your respect for intellectual property rights have set an example that commands everyone’s admiration. Accept my heartfelt congratulations and, above all, my profound gratitude for always having been such a nice person and a good and loyal friend. – Domenico Dante – FISM – International President

Norm Nielsen - Photo: Kari Handler

Photo Credit: Kari Handler

Congratulations on forty wonderful years of Magic! Thank you for your friendship and excellent service to the magic community. You have inspired so many generations of magicians.  We wish you many more years of success!  Norm & Lupe Nielsen


“Having known Joe and the Stevens family for most of these 40 years, it is very difficult to condense their multiple contributions to magic into a few words. However, there have always been two constants all of these four decades and those are class and character. From the beginning the Emporium, the Wichita Conventions and the Desert Seminars have always been first class operations, exemplifying quality and excellence, and always done with the highest character. The core of all these operations was always the Stevens family which brought a wholesomeness and substance that benefited magic and advanced its reputation. For 40 years, Joe Stevens and family have been the hallmark of excellence in magic. Becki and I are honored to offer our most sincere and heartfelt congratulations.” Bill and Becki Wells


“Joe owes his success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice I could give him, and then doing the exact opposite.”………… George Robinson Jr. a faithful friend.


“Without you and your family, Stevens Magic Emporium, I never would be the man, (person) in magic that I am today! We have worked a life time together, with great respect and honor to magic and the working performers. Thank you for your experiences and friendships.” Harold Voit – ZabuberZentrale


When I met Joe Stevens, I didn’t know who he was? That was the start of an incredible relationship by being on the board of the “Desert Magic Seminar”, to Joe marketing my magic….the list goes on and on”. – Pete Biro


To “Uncle Joe”, on the fortieth anniversary of his Cave of Wonders, who without a doubt, can sell ice cubes to Eskimos, in the middle of an Alaskan winter. I know, because I am one of those Eskimos! Indeed, one of my dearest and closest friends and may his ice cube never melt! – Marvyn Roy


In the history of American magic stores there have been a few select purveyors of prestidigitation that have stood out above the rest. This is due to the uniqueness of their wizardly wares, outstanding service, exceptional value, and integrity in transactions. Included in this list is Martinka & Company (Flosso/Hornman Magic Co), Joe Berg’s Princess Magic Shop, Marvin Burger’s House of Magic and Stevens’ Magic Emporium. As a retail store, wholesaler, importer, publisher, video producer, convention host, and internet magic dealer, Stevens’ Magic Emporium has excelled in all areas. Joe Stevens is a true lover of the art of magic and is himself a performer, mentalist, teacher of magic, and promoter of other magicians for the benefit of us all. The whole Stevens family has been involved in the business since the beginning, and the legacy of Stevens’ Magic Emporium will continue with Mark Stevens to reach magic enthusiasts worldwide. It is with great pride that I congratulate the Stevens family on their 40 year celebration of successful sorcery. – Nick Saint-Erne, DVM CertAqV
Certified Aquatic Veterinarian – Author, Poet, Prestidigitateur – Meatball #2


When I first started doing business with Joe Stevens back in 1975 he was one of the first dealers to sell my books and neither of us thought we’d be around forty years later. Stevens Magic Emporium (Joe and Mark) have consistently represented the world of magic with class and respect. They have been successful at giving us the personal touch they still offer today. They are honest in their representations of the effects they market . In addition to having a well-deserved respected company – they are nice genuine folks to deal with. I look forward visiting with them at our conventions and on the internet. Congratulations to my friends at Stevens Magic Emporium ….
George Schindler—Dean- Society of American Magicians


Dear Joe-san and your Family -Congratulations on your 40th anniversary! – Stevens Magic Emporium is loved by magicians around the world, and we wish even more future success to the entire Stevens family. Ton, Mama and Satoshi Onosaka


The modern renaissance in magic began when Joe & Martha Stevens opened Stevens Magic Emporium and took mail order magic to a level of service and selection still unmatched to this very day, it reached its pinnacle via their Desert Magic Seminars and the global magic community it brought together for the first time in a world class venue that highlighted magic’s greatest performers and their acts, it continues to this very second via their web site. 40 years of giving to magic and there still finding new and better ways to benefit magic and its magicians. – Mark BUMA Burger – House of Magic –


Congratulations on 40 years of above and beyond magical services to magicians and the world of magic. Stevens magic will live on forever in the history of magic as being a part of the solid foundation for which magic stands so tall. – Michael Finney – 2009 World Comedy Magic Act of the Year –

Bill Trotter

Congratulations to the Stevens family on their 40th anniversary in business! Your many innovations in the magic community are to be commended. Thank you for accepting me into your magic family. It’s been a blast! I wish you all the best in the future. – Bill Trotter (curator of Joe’s “crypt”)

Jonathan May

“Joe Stevens is a legend. Stevens Magic Emporium is Legendary. Is it possible to think of Don Alan without “seeing” his “Stevens Video” in your mind’s eye, and hearing that wonderful laugh of Martha Stevens’? How wonderful is it that other legends like Tom Mullica have been captured on film for generations of Magicians to cherish and learn from. Can you imagine our wonderful world of Magic without the Desert Magic Seminar, and the impact that it has had on the Giants in our world? When it comes to a magic supplier, store, shop and publisher it is hard to find a comparable source of knowledge, pride and integrity in Magic than Stevens Magic Emporium. Try reading one of our Magic periodicals each month without Joe Stevens or Stevens Magic Emporium being mentioned or referenced. You can’t, he’s there every month, and it is always a great story from some of Magic’s biggest stars. My friendship with the Stevens family (and the SME family) has not only made me a better Magician, but a better person. It is one of my most cherished relationships. Thank you for all that you have done and all that you continue to do for Magic. – Happy 40th Anniversary!” ~Jonathan May