The I.B.M. Blog & Articles

The International Brotherhood of Magicians

31 Aug

Two major magic women featured in September issue

Category: Blog   Posted by: C. DENNIS SCHICK

 The cover story for the September 2014 issue of The Linking Ring, has been in the works for several months. It is appropriate and timely to focus on Gay Blackstone because she is one of the driving forces behind the new magic series on television, Masters of Illusion, which began August 1.

But then the sad news came Sunday afternoon August 17, that long-time major magic director, consultant, choreographer, and mentor Joanie Spina, had lost her fight to live that morning, and the magazine -- which was close to being finished for the month -- "stopped the presses" to create an In Memoriam to her.

On the cover of the September issue, with Gay Blackstone, are fellow Executive Producer David Martin, and host Dean Cain. The story inside has a dual focus -- on the new thirteen-week television series, and one of the people most responsible for the returning magic show, Gay Blackstone. 

Included in the article are reviews of the first two of the weekly, thirty-minute shows. Reviewer Dennis Schick observes that while the show zips along from one illusion to the next, the tight editing of each illusion is almost TOO tight. For instance one -- by Nathan Burton took all of forty seconds on screen, almost too fast for the mind and eye to coordinate what they have seen.

Of course Gay Blackstone has carried on the historic legacy of the Blackstone name. Her husband of twenty-three years was the late Harry Blackstone Jr., who died in 1997. Read all about what she has been doing these past seventeen years since his death.

With a later deadline than most magic publications, The Linking Ring was in a position to pay tribute to Joanie Spina now, rather than wait another month like the rest of them had to do. We spread the word that we welcomed personal tributes to her, rounded us some great photos, and our In Memoriam reflects the wide and deep respect and love for her. If you have a story, anecdote, or example of her generiosity , talents, etc., please send it to Dennis Schick at and we will continue our tribute to her in the October issue.

There are other features, columns and Ring news in the issue of course, but we did want to emphasize this dual love coverage of two formidable women to whom we owe so much.

To read the September issue before it lands in your mailbox, read the electronic version here, or download a PDF to read on your own electronic device.


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