The Nielsen Gallery: Curtain Call

By Lupe Nielsen

 May17 coverThank you!

This is the last installment of what has been a remarkable project – the Nielsen Gallery for M-U-M: eleven years and four months, featuring a total of 135 posters.

We want to thank M-U-M editors John Moehring (January 2006 – December 2008) and Michael Close (January 2009 - Present) for their expertise during our tenure with the magazine. Various authors contributed to the columns. Richard Hatch started the column with twenty-two articles; Tom Ewing wrote the bulk of the column through the years – ninety-one articles or sixty-eight percent of the output. Tom is a writing and research genius who was able to find and convey all the information with a uniquely engaging style. He even won the Leslie Guest award for the column. Other guest authors contributed to the column: James Alfredson, Mike Caveney, David Charvet, Gunther Dammann, Gabe Fajuri, Ann Marie Fleming, Charles Greene, James Hamilton, Steve Marshall, Martin Pacheco, William V. Rauscher, Jim Steinmeyer, Barry Wiley, and yours truly. Thank you all for making this project possible.

Illusionist David Garrity

by Bruce Kalver, PNP

apr17 cover

One of the busiest New England area magicians is someone you’ve never heard of. On the road, traveling from one gig to another, he is hard to pin down. Whether he is working all summer as the house illusionist at Six Flags New England, or jetting down to Mexico to do a residency there during the cold months of winter (smart man), David Garrity has logged a lot of stage time.

David performs everything from close-up magic to large scale illusions, Because of his versatility, he works theaters, arenas, colleges, casinos, and resorts, and he has a long list of corporate clients. His infectious smile, radio voice, and easy-going manner on stage delights and pleases every audience.

The Unconventional Mind of Paul Draper - Mentalist Magician and Anthropologist

by David Goodsell

Mar17 cover

Not long ago, Paul Draper was performing his stage show in a large theater in his hometown of Salt Lake City, Utah. He brought a man up from the audience and, as he always does, he engaged him in conversation. This way the spectator becomes comfortable with Paul, and the audience gets to know the spectator. In doing so, he is treated as a person, and not a prop. He truly becomes their representative; thus, the entire audience is engaged.

“Where are you from?” Paul asked.
“Iran,” the man replied.
“Are you Sufi, Sunni, or Shi’a?”
“I am Sufi,” he said.
“Oh, you’re my favorite,” said Paul, “the singing, dancing, Mystical Muslims.”
The man laughed, and said, “Yes.”
“My best friend from childhood is half Iranian, said Paul. “His father’s family was from there.”
Paul then addressed the audience directly. He said, “Look! It takes Utah for the Jew and the Iranian to be best friends, and that is the solution to the Middle East!”
Turning back to his new friend Paul said, “You and I, here, on this stage, we can be friends starting now; and we can be friends tomorrow and forever.”
The man smiled and said, “Can I hug you?”

Paul said yes and gave him a hug in front of over a thousand people.

McDonald Birch: The Master Magician

By Tom Ewing

Feb17 coverI never intended to write a book on McDonald and Mabel Birch. Of course, as someone interested in the history of the conjuring arts, I was aware of Birch and his wife. I even have one of their posters promoting “Princess the Vanishing Pony.” And I knew Charles McCall, a fellow historian, professor of political science at the University of California, Bakersfield, and all-time fan of the Birches. Charles was the one writing the book on the Birches; at collectors’ meeting friends would ask Charles how it was coming. He always replied that he needed to do a little more research and then he’d start writing. His untimely death in 2013 prevented him from writing that book.

Knowing how easily precious research and files can be lost after a person’s death, I reached out to his executor and urged him not to let all of Charles’s research be disbursed or destroyed. Eventually we reached an agreement and he turned over all of it to me with no provision that a book be written. However, once I saw the multiple scrapbooks and six linear feet of hanging files, I knew the book was there to be written. Charles had interviewed everyone who ever worked on the Birch show, friends, relatives, collectors, and other historians; he had extracted every bit of material online or in print. He just hadn’t written a manuscript. But now, the book that Charles planned to write has been published.