Parasol Magic

When I was 17 years old I won a magic contest at a magic convention.  I don’t remember if there was any cash in the prize, but there was a lot of magic donated from the dealers.  One of the things that I got was Shimada’s Stevens Greater Magic VHS tape. That tape introduced me to magic Shimada. One of the acts that Shimada was famous for was his parasol act.

I’ve always thought that producing parasols looked great and better than a more modern umbrella.  I think that people connect umbrellas with the self opening feature and less so with a more Asian parasol. Yes, I understand that umbrella and parasol mean the same thing, and intentionally using them to refer to different things.

Parasol productions are very cool, visual and fill the stage, however I don’t think most routines pass the “drive home test”.  That’s were people in the audience talk about the tricks on the drive home. Parasols pack small and pop open and everyone knows that. That’s the weak spot in parasol productions.

cocktail parasol magic trick

OK, so I’ve wanted to do a parasol magic for years, but is doesn’t really fit my personality (and costuming). Then the other day I was at the store and saw some cocktail parasols. I bought a couple of packs of them and started playing with different ideas of things to do with them.

Let’s see what I come up with…


Sneaking into a Show with Shimada!

We’re getting ready to move and I found this picture of me with Shimada! It made remember the fun adventure that let to me hanging out with him.

shimada magician

Way back in the mid 1990’s I went to Vegas for the first time. I was a teenager and went to the Desert Magic Seminar by myself. One of the shows that I wanted to see was Lance Burton‘s show at the Hacienda. I walked over there from the Tropicana and was turned away at the box office because the show was sold out.

As I was walking away, legendary magician Shimada was walking in with a big group of people, who were all Asian. Just as they all went into the showroom, and Peter Reveen (who I think was Lance’s manager) stopped me and asked why I was leaving. I was totally confused, and he told me I should go in with Shimada’s group to get seated. He then brought me into the showroom and seated me with Shimada and his group!

Lance Burton’s show was amazing and it was a lot of fun to watch a legendary show with a legendary magician!