A reassuring guide to turning a magical hobby into a profitable business.

The Teen Magician: That's You!


The hard part of magic—getting paid for it—is ably demystified in this straightforward debut primer.

Kraus, a renowned magician who has been performing in paid shows since the age of 12, reveals the secrets behind a few nifty tricks and steers readers toward books, magazines, magic shops and clubs that will teach them the nuts and bolts of the magician’s craft, but his focus is on helping neophyte magicians turn their passion into moneymaking gigs at children’s birthday parties. He emphasizes showmanship as the key to a successful party business: flamboyant costumes (sequins will spruce up the classic top hat and tails); a commanding stage presence (Kraus recommends the performer listen to recordings of his or her voice and practice modulating it); and jokey patter (he includes an extended script for his own “mystery trick” bit that rivets the attention of restive youngsters). Thematic storytelling, running gags and catchphrases help, too, as a way of drawing kids into the unfolding magical effects. Kraus analyzes the niceties of tailoring a show to the audience’s age and attention span—very young kids may not get jokes or register the magician’s apparent defiance of physics and logic—and offers strategies on how to cope with the young volunteer who suddenly dissolves in tears, the disruptive brat who needs to be disciplined or the heedlessly talkative parents who need to be diplomatically shushed. Due attention is paid to the all-important topic of advertising and promotions (sending self-written public relations profiles to local news outlets desperate for filler is a surefire trick), and there’s a thorough discussion of contracting and record-keeping, complete with sample forms. Kraus writes in a clear, humorous style, sprinkling in his own entertaining anecdotes of stage fright, a prop that sliced open his thumb and a flash paper (highly flammable paper) incident that almost burned down the house. Magicians in the making will learn a lot from his vast experience and engaging presentation.

A reassuring guide to turning a magical hobby into a profitable business.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1623097745

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Other Than Now

Review Posted Online: Oct. 30, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2013

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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