Pam Thompson – Exceptionally Fine Company

Mar13 cover

In the history of magic, there have been only a few two-person acts in which both partners were able to establish clearly defined characters during a twelve-minute act. Such is the case of Johnny and Pam Thompson, whose characters – the pompous and mostly oblivious magician (who for some reason performs exquisite magic) and his bored and slightly wacky assistant – have achieved iconic status. Johnny tends to

get most of the press in magic magazines, and rightly so; he is one of magic’s living treasures. But the success of Tomsoni & Co. is in no small part due to Pam’s genius, acting skills, and (as you’ll read in a moment) fearlessness on stage.

In addition to creating a great magic act, Johnny and Pam are two of the nicest people I have ever met. When we lived in Las Vegas, Lisa, Ava, and I spent many enjoyable evenings around their dinner table, chatting about magic, kvetching about life, the universe, and everything, and laughing until our sides hurt.Although other magazine articles on the Thompsons have included information on Pam, I thought it was time that she got the spotlight all to herself. She is smart, funny, articulate, and (as evidenced by the large bag containing two Chihuahuas that she carries everywhere) one of magic’s genuine characters. We spoke via Skype. – Michael Close

Christian and Katalina – Married to Magic

By Bruce Kalver

Feb13 ChristianPainterChristian Painter and his wife Katalina were at the IBM national magic convention in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2009. Christian was in the contest and was a finalist. His routines demonstrated “out of the box” thinking and I took note of his performances. At the awards presentation, all the finalists were standing on stage and names were announced with accompany- ing applause and trophies. By the end of the ceremonies, it became obvious that the only person standing without a trophy was Christian. Had he been too hip for the judges?

Families and friends rushed to the stage to take photos and congratulate the winners as Christian stood alone trying to maneuver around all the joy and happiness on stage. I spotted Katalina in the back row of the theater; I walked over and told her I enjoyed Christian’s wonderful act. She thanked me and said, “We should get Christian and head back over to the hotel.” I told her I would go get Christian. I walked down to the stage and saw that Christian was still stuck on the large stage with all the celebration. In my loudest voice, I yelled, “Hey loser, you can come down from the stage now!” He looked out and saw me standing next to his wife. We all started laughing out loud.

It is a favorite story that we each enjoy telling.

We have crossed paths at various conventions (Abbott’s, FFFF, S.A.M.) and kept in contact with each other. While in Las Vegas this past summer, we had a chance to write together for the M-U-M convention article. As I learned more things about their lives, I thought that their rise to magic fame would make a nice article for M-U-M, and Michael Close agreed. On a quiet morning in December, I gave them a Skype call. By the way, Christian and Katalina are far from being losers…

Read the interview in the February issue of MUM Magazine by Clicking HERE.

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Dennis Loomis | Well Prepared

By Michael Close

Dennis LoomisIn October of 2008, Lisa and I were busy brainstorming possible content for the January 2009 issue of M-U-M. I had a short list of magicians who I hoped would sign on as regular columnists, and Dennis Loomis was on that list. There were several reasons why I hoped that Dennis would write for the magazine: he was a full-time pro, and could thereby offer practical, real-world advice that had been gained through the performance of thousands of shows; he would focus on stand-up and stage magic, and there is a dearth of such information available; and he was a pal, and a reliable and easy guy to work with. I was delighted when Dennis agreed to sign on, and I was even more delighted when, in addition to his “A Magician Prepares” column, he offered to write up some of his reminiscences of Doug Henning, who had been his very close friend. (The Henning articles appeared as “The Skinny Kid with the Overbite,” the final installment of which is in this issue.)

Dennis has been an important part of the magazine during my time as editor, and I wanted to commemorate his contribution
by putting him on the cover. Although many of his columns contained personal anecdotes, I wanted to fill in a few of the
blanks and talk a bit more about his story. We chatted via Skype. —Michael Close

You can read the conversation in the January issue of MUM by Clicking HERE