We will list SOME of the exceptional talent here, check back often as we update and add MORE MAGICAL NAMES.
ONE name will NOT be revealed until the first day of the convention! This person will be our MYSTERY MAGICIAN for 2019.
You won’t believe your eyes when you see who YOU will get to meet IN PERSON at AbraCORNdabra 2018 – It’s gonna be WILD!
Las Vegas, Nevada
Frank Zak is a uniquely talented sleight of hand entertainer originally from the East Coast. He has appeared across the country including the famed FORKS HOTEL (Home of the F.F.F.F.). Using his special talents as a magician, Frank has entertained customers as a magic bartender in Las Vegas since 1990. He also provides entertainment in the corporate environment at Trade shows, Hospitality Suites and company festivities for clients such as: Standard Duplicating Machines Company, Marriott, Atlantic Richfield Co., Dr. Pepper, and ARCO. From start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, frank entertains them all with his unique, easy-to-follow style of magic.
Over the years, Frank has gained accolades from his peers and clients alike. Published in various magic journals, Frank has been recognized by his peers with numerous awards of achievement and excellence. He has performed and lectured for his peers at the International Brotherhood of Magicians convention, the Society of American Magicians convention, and at the esteemed Magic Castle in Hollywood, CA.
Cos Cob, Connecticut
Ben Zabin has been an entertainer his entire life. starting off his career by taking the magic competition circuit by storm, Ben became the proud holder of more than a dozen international awards & honors at an early age. His unique brand of magic has been seen from off-Broadway stages in New York city to the famous Rio hotel & casino in Las Vegas, and everywhere in between. In 2018 alone, he performed over 300 shows.
Ben is the author of the book “AbracaDAMMIT”, and will be sharing selected passages from his book at the exciting Friday night event ~ “TELL S’MORE”
Las Vegas, Nevada
AbraCORNdabra is proud to have Alex Gieser joining us this year. He has been a major force in the underground coin and close-up magic circuit for more than a decade. Alex rarely appears at magic conventions, we are excited and thrilled to have this powerhouse magician coming to Iowa this year!
The only magician working today who got Teller to speak on National T.V. ~ Watch Alex get an audible GASP from one of the hardest men in magic to impress, on the C.W.’s “FOOL US”
Mario the Maker Magician
New York City, New York
Touring children’s performer Mario the Maker Magician is known for his integration of DIY electronics and robotics in his show. As seen on Sesame Street and NBC Universal’s Sprout Channel, Mario the “Maker” Magician is an artist and inventor who creates his own props. He is known for his dedication to the Maker Movement and STEM initiatives and his clever integration of DIY electronics and robotics into his performance. Despite his use of cutting edge technology, he never sacrifices the old-school slapstick vibe that audiences so love. It’s vintage meets the future. Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin for the modern age, with a mad inventor twist, and a whole lot of audience participation.
Mario has even had the honor of touring North America with David Blaine as his opening act in 2018.
Mario received an astounding four Editors Choice awards and a Best in Class at World Maker Faire New York in 2016. He is currently a resident artist developing new work for New Victory Theater’s LabWorks program in New York City. He is also the subject of award-winning indie documentary film, Building Magic.
Carisa Hendrix grew up fascinated by the art of magic, creating her own tricks to fool her classmates at the age of 7. By the time she graduated from high school, she had become a skilled fire eater and sideshow artist and began doing shows around town to help pay the bills. It wasn’t long before a local magician saw her performances and natural stage presence and hired her on the spot as his new lovely assistant. Over the next 4 years, she worked with for 6 different magicians as an assistant before breaking out to create her own magic shows.
Since then Hendrix has done thousands of performances, written for magic magazines, been featured on iTricks, stage managed for the largest magic convention in the world, and starred in her own Las Vegas Illusion show in 2015.
Her character “LUCY DARLING” has become a “fan favorite” at the World Famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, California
Hendrix’s unique magical style was showcased nationwide as the star of a feature-length Super Channel documentary that first aired in October of 2016. Hendrix continues to create and perform original magic in her shows all over the world, creating custom props and new magic in her Calgary based studio & workshop.
SIDE NOTE: Carisa’s FIRST MAGIC CONVENTION she ever attended was AbraCORNdabra in 2014! We are honored to have her returning as one of our special guest artists!
Gazzo is a British street magician who is an expert in cons and scams, he moved in the 1980s to the US, where he befriended Walter Irving Scott (The Phantom). He is Scott’s only pupil and the only person with whom Scott entrusted his biography and life’s work at card cheating and sleights.
His interest in magic was sparked by a Christmas gift from his aunt. At age 10 he also received a copy of “The Phantom of the Card Table” manuscript by Walter Irving Scott and Eddie McGuire, from his grandfather. The almost impossibly skilled protagonist talked about, The Phantom, intrigued the young magician and influenced his own development. He focused on scams and swindles, associating with a team of monte men until, in the late 1970s, he moved to London.
In 1983 Osborne arrived in New York City. Short of money he relied on the kindness of other street performers, or their friends, to have a place to stay. He also had to tailor his style of comedy to the American audiences in order to start making money from his street magic shows again.
He continued to practice his card work and demonstrated his skills to local New York magicians. After years of dedicated work his skills were without doubt. His reputation as a first class card dealer spread quickly and he soon found himself, much like his manuscript mentor, performing for the elite of New York’s Inner Circle.
He was praised by the likes of Harry Lorayne and gambling expert Tony Giorgio.
Eventually Gazzo began touring the states, and moved to Key West where he continued performing his street magic to greater success.
His version of the classic cups & balls routine, in which he produced a full melon, got him an invitation by the American Association of Magicians to perform at one of their conferences. It was there he met Ray Goulet, a man who had seen ‘The Phantom’ decades earlier.
After finding no luck in obtaining information about Scott his original quest to America had virtually been forgotten. When Gazzo visited Goulet at his Museum of Magic in Watertown, Massachusetts, he was shocked to discover that Goulet knew that Scott was still alive. He also knew where he lived. Goulet gave Gazzo a business card for ‘Walter Scott and his magic’ bearing an address in Massachusetts and a phone number.
The day after receiving the card Gazzo called the number and nervously arranged a meeting with Walter Scott for the next day. It was sharp and to the point and Gazzo didn’t have the courage to ask any questions about cardsharps, cheating or Scott’s ‘work’. However he was nonetheless thrilled to be so close to his goal.
Scott greeted him warmly, making tea and talking about Gazzo’s trip from England. He then produced a musical instrument and ask Gazzo to play so he could see how good he was. Gazzo sat dumbfounded. Apparently there had been a misunderstanding. Scott had expected a student of music looking for lessons. Looking at his business card again Gazzo realised it said ‘Music’ and not “magic”. There was no hint of magic, cards or old evidence to suggest Scott was ever a cardman. He was at least 80 years old and wore glasses.
Devastated Gazzo admitted his mistake at asking for ‘lessons’, and in an attempt to explain he removed his 1976 edition of The Phantom at the Card Table from his bag. As he left the room to get some more tea Gazzo heard “That book should never have been written”.
With that, the truth was clear and the conversation continued. Scott resented McGuire writing that book and spent the next few hours opening up to Gazzo. They talked about his time in New York and about Cardini, McGuire, Max Holden and Dai Vernon. As Gazzo prepared to leave he asked to have his manuscript signed. Scott said he had a ruby that Gazzo could have. Gazzo just wanted the signature. “You’re learning fast kid” was Scott’s reply.
Many more meetings followed and Scott gave his side of the story. He talked about cheating, scams, that night in New York, Vernon and McGuire. He revealed his life story and how he eventually had to give up his young hedonistic lifestyle. He also began teaching Gazzo all the ‘work’ he had used all those years before. Gazzo became known as Scott’s pupil and was his emissary in the magic community, relating the stories of New York and the perfect deals.
He was baffling magicians everywhere he went with his refined, Scott-approved dealing skills. Gazzo now intended to write a book and share Scott’s story, skills and advice.
In 2001, aware that he was still the torchbearer for the Phantom legend, he resumed work on his book. He contacted David Britland and in 2002 they published Phantoms of the Card Table; Confessions of a Card Sharp. This book told Scott’s entire story, and detailed his eventful demonstration in 1930. It detailed the special card work that Scott had perfected decades earlier and introduced the level of skill and practice necessary to survive as a cardsharp to an entire new generation.
Gazzo is now living in Bath, England, and continues to give lectures and performances around the world and perform street magic. He has published several magic related book, manuscripts and DVDs. He also produces custom made magic items.
AbraCORNadabra is thrilled to have Gazzo joining us in the Midwest for this year’s convention!
San Antonio, Texas
Oscar joined our AbraCORNdabra Family Staff several years ago. He is our Master of Ceremonies for our Big Gala Show at Hoyt Sherman Place each year, as well as our Contest Manager.
Continuing with a tradition we started in 2018, Oscar will again be over seeing a special event JUST for our very special KERNELS Young Magi! A select few magicians will join Oscar as they mentor our Kernels ~ Young Magicians with a private Critique Session & Free Lunch after their performances in the KERNELS YOUNG MAGICIANS SHOWCASE SHOW. We are calling this event the “JIFFY POP PARTY”
This is exclusively for the Kernels and Oscar’s hand-picked staff of magicians only.
For more information about the JIFFY POP PARTY – check out “SPECIAL STUFF”
Oscar Munoz Website – http://www.oscarmunoz.com/
Australia’s Favorite Thief
AbraCORNdabra is always looking for the newest, brightest young stars working in the World today. This year we are proud and excited to be bringing in all the way from Australia, this amazing & talented young man. Jay Jay will charm the socks off of you (literally!) with his astounding skills of deception and misdirection. Who is Jay Jay?
Jay jay is Australia’s Favorite Thief!
500 global clients
10,000 pinched watches
At AbraCORNdabra, he will make that 10,001 pinched watches…
OUR VERY SPECIAL GUEST MYSTERY MAGICIAN
This person will be our featured guest on our AbraCORNdabra Collectible Coin Series for 2019. This year – the folks who register during our 24 HOUR/ONE DAY ONLY Early Bird Registration Day (January 17th, 2019) – will receive in the mail ONE PHYSICAL CLUE as to who the 2019 MYSTERY MAGICIAN will be…
Here is some more clues…
This year’s MYSTERY MAGICIAN is a World-renowned master magician. He is an extraordinary sleight of hand artist and TV actor who has been charming audiences around the world for decades with his unique style of magic.
Legendary magician Harry Blackstone Jr. described him as “The epitome of real magic”. With movie star good looks, he carries with him all of the elements so crucial for “extraordinary magic”, poise, wit, charisma, and a European style of charm that is totally disarming, along with impeccable sleight of hand.
His magic career really began when he won the Golden
Lion Award for stage and close-up magic from Siegfried & Roy at the Las Vegas Desert
Seminar. He has been nominated nine times as “Magician of the Year” by the Academy of Magical Arts (the governing body of the Magic Castle) in four different categories. He has won the prestigious Merlin award twice and the Mandrake award
Our MYSTERY MAGICIAN is the only American to win awards at two (Yokohama, Japan, and Stockholm, Sweden.), F.I.S.M. (Federation Internationale des Societes Magique), the most prestigious Magic Organization in the World.
This living legend of magic has literally performed his way around the world from the Poly theatres in China, the Grace Kelly theatre in Monte Carlo, the Crazy Horse Cabaret in Paris, France to venues in numerous other countries.
He has appeared numerous times on the “Master’s of Illusion” TV series and has starred
on VH1’s magic reality series “Celebracadabra”. In addition to American TV, he has also
performed on International TV in countries from China to Spain to Italy to name just a
He has performed for such luminaries as Michael Jackson, Muhammed Ali and Howard
Stern, as well as for the Queen of England. He is often seen performing on both Coasts, from the well-known Monday Night Magic in New York City to the World famous Magic Castle in Hollywood California.
AbraCORNdabra is proud and honored to have this man coming to Iowa for our 9th year as our treasured & honored guest magician.
For more information about the COLLECTIBLE COIN SERIES – check out the bottom of the “LECTURES” page.
2019 AbraCORNdabra is going to be WILD!
KEITH WEST & KITTY MARIE
Des Moines, IA
Returning for their ninth year, Keith West & Kitty Marie joins the cast of all star magicians in the Saturday night Gala Show! A local favorite, Keith’s illusions and cast of beautiful female assistants including the amazing Kitty Marie and “The Illusioneers”, are always a feature of our Saturday night evening gala show & they are one of our TOP supporters of AbraCORNdabra!
Keith West Website – http://entertainmentgroupcomedy.com/magicians/KeithWest/keithwest.html