Hollywood’s Most Magical Night (Literally)
Shines Spotlight on Global Magic Stage, April 2nd
Featuring Performances by & Recognizing the Accomplishments of the World’s Most Renowned Magicians (From 10 Countries), the AMA Presents its 49thAnnual Magic Awards
LOS ANGELES — March 13, 2017 — For Immediate Release — The Academy of Magical Arts (AMA) is hosting its 49th annual AMA Awards Show, Sunday, April 2, at the historic Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles.
Shining a spotlight on the disparate and unique styles of the burgeoning, global magic scene, the show will once again feature award-winning performances by magic’s most-elite performers from around the world, including …
Jorge Blass (Spain), who merges magic with technology and has been honored by H.M. Prince Rainier in Monte Carlo and Siegfried in Las Vegas and is frequently seen on TV in the U.S. and Europe; Almudena Cid (Spain), an elite, rhythmic gymnast performing with Blass; Den Den (Japan), who performs his acclaimed magic with origami that is breathtaking and beautiful to behold; Joseph Gabriel (United States), introduced by Johnny Carson in 1983, going on to perform his fabulous sleight-of-hand and one-of-a-kind illusions from Las Vegas to Broadway and in a command performance for President Reagan; Maestro Voronin (Ukraine), famous all over Europe for his elegant illusion and aura of a bygone era; and Ma Yan Yan (China), this accomplished dancer performs a sophisticated style of magic combined with classic ballet and is in high demand throughout Europe and Asia.
The show will be hosted by world-famous magician Gene Anderson, who weaves humor throughout his magical performances (featuring an array of eclectic props) and has performed for enthusiastic fans in 21 countries on six continents.
Being honored with a coveted Magic Wand Award as Magician of the Year is illusionist Derek DelGaudio, a magic prodigy at a young age, who tours the world; broke box office records at L.A.’s Geffen Playhouse in 2016 with In & Of Itself, which extended five times and will open in New York City in April; and has been lauded by critics, including Los Angeles magazine, which referred to him as a “groundbreaking phenomenon.” [Other noted magicians nominated for their accomplishments in a variety of award categories are listed on page 2].
This year’s gala evening is truly a celebration of a wide variety of world styles of magic performances from 10 countries around the globe, including: Australia, Austria, Canada, China, France, Japan, the Netherlands, Scotland, Spain, the Ukraine and the United States.
Magician of the Year Winner
¨ Derek DelGaudio
Presented by: Michael Weber
Close-Up Magician of the Year Nominees
¨ Shawn Farquhar (Canada)
¨ Andrew Goldenhersh
¨ Bill Goodwin
¨ Mike Pisciotta
¨ Richard Turner
Presented by: Clark Cedebevoise
Parlour Magician of the Year Nominees
¨ Jon Armstrong
¨ Chris Capehart
¨ Shawn Farquhar (Canada)
¨ Handsome Jack
¨ Derek Hughes
Presented by: Cathy Haight
Stage Magician of the Year Nominees
¨ The Evasons
¨ Tina Lenert
¨ Shoot Ogawa (Japan)
¨ The Clairvoyants (Thommy Ten & Amélie van Tass, Austria)
¨ Justin Willman
Presented by: Sara Ballantine
Lecturer of the Year Nominees
¨ Simon Coronel (Australia)
¨ Shawn Farquhar (Canada)
¨ Eric Jones
¨ Mike Pisciotta
¨ Richard Turner
¨ Rob Zabrecky
Presented by: Paul Green
AMA Fellowship Awards & Awards of Merit Will be Presented to …
Ger Copper — Masters Fellowship
Award-winning Dutch magician Ger Copper travels the world performing his unique brand of Las Vegas-style illusion and frequently appears on television. The first entertainer to introduce “The Black Art” in China, he is a revered teacher of magic and his original illusions and magic props can been seen in theaters, amusement parks and magicians’ acts around the world.
This is the highest Fellowship Award granted by the AMA. The recipient is selected by the Board of Trustees, whose combined knowledge of the art and history of magic provides the platform for selection. Renowned magician Dai Vernon was presented with the first Masters Fellowship in 1968. Other recipients include Cardini and Slydini. Presented by: Johnny Thompson
George Schindler — Lifetime Achievement Fellowship
An American stage magician, magic consultant, comedian, actor, ventriloquist and writer based in New York, George Schindler has been a fixture on the magic scene, on TV, in film and performing at venues around the world. He serves as the Lifetime Dean of the Society of American Magicians, founded The School for Magicians in the ’70s and has penned several noted books on the art of magic. He continues to coach aspiring magicians and ventriloquists and lecture on performance technique and the history of magic. Prior to the opening of the Magic Castle, he consulted with Milt Larsen on the project.
Created in 1985, this fellowship is given to a person whose entire life had been dedicated to magic, either as a performer, a preservationist or a historian. Magic Castle co-founder William W. Larsen, Jr. received the first presentation, followed by Don Lawton, Castle co-founder Milt Larsen, Francis Marshall and others. Presented by: Tom Ogden
Luis Piedrahita & Fielding West — Performing Fellowships (2)
Piedrahita: A Spanish stand-up comedian, magician, script writer, broadcaster and author, Luis Piedrahita is known as “El Rey de las Cosas Pequeñas (The King of Small Things)” for monologues in which he critiques the lack of regard for such everyday things as toilet lids. A successful scriptwriter in Spain and the U.S., he has published two comedic novels and co-wrote/directed the 2007 thriller, Fermat’s Room.
West: Introduced to magic by his grandfather, an amateur magician, American illusionist Fielding West put himself through college by drumming in a band and doing magic shows for children. While attending graduate school at night in Florida, he met an unknown comic-magician named Steve Martin and knew that he wanted to be in show business. After a successful tenure on TV with a local children’s show, he hit the road with a nightclub act, The Amazing Fielding & Company, and never looked back. Since then, he has worked all over the word as a featured star in large productions and as an opening act for major stars. Also a successful comedy writer, he is well-known performer in the corporate market and created Stagecraft 101, seminars for young performers to learn to speak more effectively.
Recipients of this fellowship are performers – or a team of performers – who have made an impact on the art of magic. Cardini received the first award in 1968, followed by such performers as Frackson, Richiardi and Marvyn & Carol Roy. Presented by: Mac King and Lance Burton
Sébastien Clergue — Creative Fellowship
Now working with Derek DelGaudio, Frenchman Sébastien Clergue has spent the past 14 years helping one of the world’s most famous magicians, David Copperfield, bring his greatest illusions to life. Travelling around the world with Copperfield – including assisting him with 600+ shows a year at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas – Clergue does not know the meaning of “impossible” and some of his grandest illusions (including making the Statue of Liberty “disappear”) took up to four years to perfect. Making other talented people shine, now that is really magic!
Presented to people who have made significant innovations and/or whose creativity in magic is beyond that of their peers. The first award was presented to Ed Marlo in 1968. Others include Robert Harbin, Alan Wakeling and John Gaughan. Presented by: Mike Elizalde
Dr. Lori Pieper — Literary/Media Fellowship
As Director of Research and Translation for the Conjuring Arts Research Center – a Manhattan-based, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of magic and its allied arts, boasting an extensive working library of books and periodicals, not readily available elsewhere – Dr. Lori Pieper acquires almost-unexplored material in magic history, making it available to English-speaking readers in translations and editions of primary sources and secondary scholarly works. Also the official translator of Pope John Paul I, the multi-lingual Pieper’s studies in the humanities earned masters in both library science and history and a Ph.D. in medieval history.
Presented to those whose body of magical literary work is both large and important to the art. The first recipient of this fellowship was Lewis Ganson in 1968. Other recipients include contemporary authors Mike Caveney and Jim Steinmeyer. Presented by: Richard Kaufman
Dr. Edwin Dawes & Franz Harary — Special Fellowships (2)
Dawes: Dr. Edwin Alfred Dawes is a Scottish collector, historian and writer. Age 92 and going strong, he has written numerous books and articles on the history of magic and has penned the Magic Circular’s column, A Rich Cabinet of Magical Curiosities, since 1972.
Harary: Being recognized for his work creating the electrifying illusions for The House of Magic in Macau, American magician Franz Harary has led an illustrious career. He designed the illusions for Michael Jackson’s famous Victory tour; made a space shuttle disappear in front of startled onlookers at Kennedy Space Center (the finale of NBC’s highest rated special of the year); made an MD-80 airliner appear from thin air (more than once); made the Goodyear blimp disappear; made a sphinx invisible in Egypt; and during his first Japanese TV special, made a 52-story skyscraper vanish from the center of Tokyo, a feat which continues to hold the record of largest illusion ever.
A special fellowship is presented to those whose contributions do not fit into the annual fellowship categories, but whose contributions to the art of magic cannot be overlooked. Carl Owen received the first such fellowship in 1968. Other recipients include Ed Sullivan, Dr. Robert Albo, Irene Larsen and Erika Larsen. Presented by: John Gaughan and Bruce Gold
Milt Larsen & Bill Smith — Awards of Merit (2)
Larsen: Milt Larsen, one of the founders of the Academy of Magical Arts and the Magic Castle – who began a life-long career as a magician at a young age as part of the pioneering Larsen Family of Magicians, which toured a vaudeville-style magic show in upscale resorts in southern California beginning in the late ’30s – is being recognized as the only continuous producer of It’s Magic, now in its 60th year of production. This annual revue, featuring the world’s top, professional magicians and called “A must for magic buffs of all ages” by the Los Angeles Times, is seen in cities across the country each year and has been enjoyed by millions.
Smith: Bill Smith’s Magic Ventures has created illusions for the world’s top performing magicians and entertainers. In venues around the globe, the Las Vegas company’s masterful productions thrill audiences nightly. From the late Harry Blackstone Jr. to David Copperfield, magicians rely on the company’s ingenuity and quality craftsmanship to bring their one-of-a-kind vision to fruition and to bring a new approach to traditional illusions, utilizing cutting-edge technology.
Awarded for exceptional service to the AMA, the Magic Castle and/or the magic community in general. Past recipients of this recognition have included the Los Angeles Fire Department for battling the 2011 blaze at the club; the Skirball Cultural Center for their history of magic exhibits; William Scott Anderson for his military service in Iraq and Afghanistan, both as a soldier and for entertaining his brothers in uniform; Paul Gross for his extraordinary support of the William W. Larsen, Sr. Library; Merv Griffin for encouraging so many magicians on his TV show; and long-time AMA/Castle friend and supporter, Grammy- and Oscar-winning composer Richard M. Sherman. Presented by: Randy Pitchford and Gay Blackstone
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