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5 Minutes With… Our Guest of Honor!

A living legend in the world of magic, Mike Caveney’s fingerprints are everywhere. As a performer, he has traveled the globe and astounded audiences on national television in over 20 countries. He is a recipient of the Academy of Magical Arts “Stage Magician of the Year” award. 

As an author and historian, he has received awards from the Magic Castle as well as the Magic Circle, and has authored more than twenty books on the history of magic. He is considered one of the most knowledgeable magic scholars. 

As an inventor, he stunned the magic world two years ago with the release of Mike Caveney’s Wonders, a two-volume set crammed with his commercial, original ideas. 

Mike Caveney will make his way to Columbus from Pasadena, where he will accept our Lifetime Achievement Award, emcee our gala show, and do a very special customized lecture. In the meantime, we have a VERY special treat for you. Enjoy ‘5 Minutes With…Mike Caveney’!

It has been many years since you have appeared at the Columbus Magi-Fest, but you have worked it before. Any Fest memories? 

I have many fond memories of Magi-Fest back in the 1970s. Sharing a dealer room with Albert Goshman when the dealer room consisted of one floor of hotel rooms. The year the Gardening convention got snowed in and the magicians got snowed out. I think Paul Diamond sold a Chop Cup to every one of those gardeners. Performing with some great old acts in the Masonic Temple downtown. And never understanding why Magi-Fest had to take place during January.

What can we look forward to seeing from you this time around (in your lecture)?

Now that I have the world’s biggest and most expensive set of lecture notes (Mike Caveney Wonders and The Conference Illusions, 700 pages, $240) I have plenty to talk about. I will probably talk about some old routines, a bit of magic history and a dose of magic theory.

You’re a performer, author, and historian. What are you working on at the moment?

The show I wrote for the folks producing The Illusionists touring shows (The Illusionists 1903 – Turn of the Century) is opening on Broadway on November 25 for five weeks. I just recently finished another script for a similar show called Circus 1903: The Golden Age of the Circus. It’s a look back at a turn of the century circus brought to life by ringmaster David Williamson. That’s right, our David Williamson. And I just started writing another series of Classic Correspondence from Egyptian Hall Museum columns for the final issues of MAGIC Magazine. And still doing just enough shows to keep my chops up!

You have worked a lot of conventions. What advice can you give younger attendees to benefit most from the convention experience?

I can honestly say that my best friends today are people I met at magic conventions dating back to when I was fifteen years old. That network of friends now extends all around the world. And when I think of all the great acts I have seen and worked with over the years, I’m just sorry I didn’t attend more. Mainly what I take away from conventions is inspiration.

You are a world-renowned collector of magic. What is a recent discovery or acquisition that you’re excited about?

What I really love is finding a stash of antique magic that was outside the magic world, on the verge of being tossed in the trash and bringing it back into our world where it will be safe for generations to come. Ask me about the roll of posters and fantastic scrapbook I recently found in a laymen’s garage.