It’s been an amazing year for virtual magic shows, including headlining at the Magic Castle, performing at Monday Night Magic in New York, and top secret news. But on Friday afternoon I learned something even more astounding.
The International Brotherhood of Magicians — the world’s largest organization of professional and amateur magicians, with 15,000 members in 88 countries — announced the finalists for 2021’s “Close-Up Magician of the Year.” This is an award Shin Lim won in both 2015 and 2011. There are only three names on the list. And one of them, taking my breath away, is mine.
The winner will be announced on July 9th, so keep those fingers crossed!!
I was so thrilled to discover I’d beaten out legendary actress Rita Moreno for the cover feature in the Santa Fe New Mexican’s weekly Pasatiempo arts section. It included a long preview of my spotlight performances at the Currents New Media festival.
“Entertaining, astounding, and all too timely!” Santa Fe New Mexican
Was exciting to perform in Santa Fe — and to see so many old friends and new strangers in the audience. I can’t wait to be back!
Okay, so the government’s UFO report turned out to be a nothingburger (sadface), but that only means the truth is still out there… and what better way to bring the truth to your coworkers than a private show with Andy Deemer, PrivatePsy?!?
“Stranger Things meets David Copperfield!!”
Just some of the glowing reviews from last month’s clients include:
“Beyond entertaining!!!” – Erica L., YouTube “Our team had a blast!” – Garth W., Google “Everyone had an amazing time!” – Kerry L., Salesforce
If you’d like to see the show, but don’t have an event, you can get tickets now for New York’s longest-running off-Broadway magic show, where I’ll be performing tonight June 7th alongside Sweden’s single greatest conjurer, Malin Nilsson!
While January was all about Bigfoot, February became a fantastic month of UFO chasing.
I tackled a classic: John A Keel’s The Mothman Prophecies: A True Story. It’s a fascinating report of a town plagued by visitations, filled with olive-skinned giants and dwarfs in poorly-cut suits, vehicles floating over highway, the author’s radioactive sunburns. The stories are weird, and brilliant, and claimed to be true. The author — sorry, the journalist — asks every experiencer what he considers a silly-sounding question: “Did you ever dream there was a stranger in the house in the middle of the night?” It’s not silly. It’s honest, and perfect. It could have informed how Dale Cooper takes his coffee (black as midnight on a moonless night) or my script. Okay, the line influenced the script, the moment I read it.
Then there was Ben “The Social Network” Mezrich’s remarkable The 37th Parallel: The Secret Truth Behind America’s UFO Highway. Instead of being about the experiences and visitations, this fantastic and scary book follows one man’s dive down the rabbit hole of UFOlogy. A microchip engineer and sheriff’s deputy, who segues from UFO tourist to a fully-obsessed expert in alien cattle dismemberment, traveling the country for the Mutual UFO Network. It’s A Beautiful Mind, but instead of going crazy for math, Chuck Zukowski goes cuckoo for little green men. I loved it, and love him a bit too. (In the book, his primary office tools are a pin-filled map and a scrawl-filled whiteboard. I use both in my sets, but not as much as I should!)
Because every good conspiracy theorist fears what the government is doing with their money, and what they’re preventing YOU from doing, I also dove into DeFi, Decentralized Finance. Cryptocurrency.
For light reading, I ate up (the same) Ben Mezrich’s frantic and brilliant Bitcoin Billionaires in a single sitting. How misunderstood the Winklevoss Twins were!! (Oh, how surprised I was that the goofy two-dimensional cardboard cutouts from The Social Network weren’t true to life!) I can’t recommend this book more. After reading it, I almost raced to my laptop and bought some more Bitcoin, just in time to lose about 10%.
For something more substantial, I also ploughed through CoinGecko’s How to DeFi. There were fewer six-foot-five crewmen and bikini-clad models, but there was a lot more definition. The book breaks down how entrepreneurs are working to overthrow the broken banking industries, and what the future of finance probably looks like. After reading this, I bought some DAI tokens. That seems a little more stable than Bitcoin… which just went up.
Well, I’m now a Magic Castle performer. Being featured at the Castle, especially in one of those more-exclusive virtual shows, was a dream come true. And I knew it was going to be a hit, but I didn’t realize how much of a hit it would be!!! 274 cheering faces on zoom, and one folded-arms fellow, is amazing.
Reading the messages after the show, I was in seventh heaven. A sampling of them, from strangers, magicians, friends… “You killed it!!! Entertaining and hilarious!” “Amazing show!!!!!” “My significant other said it was the best virtual show she’s seen, and she’s seen a lot.” “Holy moly you were absolutely amazing. I haven’t seen [ redacted ] smile with such childlike wonder at any other zoom shows. You were an absolute delight!” “So original and clever. Well done.” “Really amazing show!!! The ending blew my mind.” “I was completely blown away by the presentation and creativity.
Andy’s Super Fun Happy Magic Show has been a lot of work. It still is — it’s growing, and changing, and ever-evolving. But this one performance of it made it all worthwhile.
If you’re on my e-mail list, you hopefully heard about this week of virtual magic show rehearsals, getting ready for this Saturday’s Magic Castle show. It’s a very tight 15-minute production (not as relaxed as my 45-minute corporate magic show), and it’s VERY fun. While the rehearsals are going on all week, they’re sold out. But the March 6th, 2021 Magic Castle show does still have tickets!
Some of the faces are family…
Some are old friends….
One of them is a Texan I met in a jungle…
But many of the faces are unknowns, people who found their way here from word of mouth. And that’s the audience I care the most about. If I can impress, amuse, and entertain them? That’s when we’re rocking.
I’ve performed for audiences at the Magic Castle a good hundred times, always in one of the impromptu spaces like the Library Bar, the Hat & Hare, or the Cellar. 20 or 30 or maybe even 40 spectators squeeze into these sought-after performance spaces to see close-up magic. They’re not official, they’re not promoted, they’re not in the programs, and they’re not officially paid, but they’re where magicians try out new material. They’re where you see the unexpected.
I’ve been missing these spaces. With the Magic Castle closed, they’re only doing virtual shows, booking 20% the prior number of magicians. The virtual Castle events have only 3 of the world’s very best magicians, once a week. It’s close to impossible to get booked for them.
Close to impossible.
I’m SO excited to announce that I’ve been selected to be part of that very exclusive, limited group of magicians!!! Yep, in about two and a half weeks I’ll be prestidigitating alongside the great Nathan Coe Marsh and legendary Jon Armstrong at the virtual Magic Castle!
If you’ve seen the show, you know that I play two characters: Conspiracy Andy and Super Fun Andy. One is dark and serious and dedicated to conveying “the truth”–this site carries that tone–while the other is light and silly and… well, fun! This site doesn’t really support fun Andy.
So I brought in magiciana’s favorite photographer, Taylor Wong, to fix that. Here are some sneak previews of virtual magic’s favorite prestidigitator: Super Fun Andy!
Even though the holiday season is behind us, the magic keeps on flowing. This week has seen several belated 45-minute corporate Xmas parties (for clients who failed to book in time), an insanely rambunctious 35-minute Zoom birthday party for a 35-year-old woman and her friends, and also a few 15-minute shows testing out some rapidfire new comedy and material.
Because every client has different needs, it’s good to have a flexible repertoire. Want PG magic? We’ve got it! Looking for something darker and more sinister? We can provide! Need a single magic trick before the ahem very senior chap at Amazon does a Zoom presentation? Got you!
The show is actually endlessly customizable, with packages including a talk on the fascinating real stories behind the conspiracies — like when the CIA used actual psychics to hunt for a downed jet, or customized magic & cocktails events, or even team-building packages where the team learns to do their own magic! (Yep, that may break a few magician rules. That’s why the Alliance is after me!)
Please get in touch if you’re looking for a way to boost the team morale. After all, this is so much fun.
Every day, I’m practicing and researching the magic. But you know what? The magic is just a part of my virtual magic show. There’s always more work to be done.
Implementing new technology. Zoom audiences should have a seamless virtual magic experience, and this week I’ve been furthering that. A new touchpad for switching scenes, new software to improve the audience immersion, improvements to my foot pedals. I try to keep up with the technological advances, so the audience remains entirely unaware of anything except the magic.
Developing my set. The backdrop is such a huge part of the character and the virtual magic show. The original concept was designed with a generous set-decorator from some of my favorite shows, like Inside Amy Schumer and Broad City, and based on the “obsessive cop” shows I’m obsessed with, like HBO’s True Detective and The Wire, as well as It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Each piece in the backdrop represents a story in the character’s head, such as the Mandela Effect, Subliminal Advertising, the Moon Landing, JFK, and Helena Blavatsky. Each of these could be the focus of an entire virtual show, and perhaps one day will be.
Building the character. My magician character is obsessed with conspiracies and cults, and I can’t shirk my duty. I need to know about them, too. Some terrify me, like QAnon and Anti-vaxxers and David Icke. Those stress me out, but I also study the fun ones.