What was he thinking? Why would someone start a bi-monthly magic publication in the early 1990’s? Desktop publishing was in its infancy in 1990, and I mean dot matrix printing and tractor-fed printers. And when I say low resolution graphics, I really mean pixilated clip art. Wow! And then to make it even more arcane, focus on a small segment of the magic society: restaurant magic. Even at its peak, they only had 500 subscribers. What was he thinking?
But Jim Sisti had a passion and created something that will live as essential reading for the restaurant magician as the Bible of Restaurant Magic. The Magic Menu started with the September/October 1990 issue that carried on for 11 years and eventually bound into two hardback volumes. I believe Jim has a plan for the last couple year’s worth of issues to be bound sometime.
The Magic Menu led the field in educating magicians in how to be a restaurant magician. It remains the longest running and only regularly published newsletter exclusively for the performing restaurant magician. The Magic Menu included advice, tips, tricks, brilliant articles and more for the restaurant magician. Contributors included all the top workers of the day including Al the Only, Michael Ammar, Michael Close, Jay Sankey, Simon Lovell, Paul Green, Doc Eason, Eugene Burger, just to drop a few. I was pleased and honored to have been one of the regular columnists for The Magic Menu for a number of years. I was also the one who designed the artwork for the masthead for the later years of the publication.
Jim was recently an adviser for Criss Angel’s “MindFreak” TV show and now works with Richard Osterlind and seen on many of Richard’s instructional videos. Jim is not only a close-up magician but also a skilled stage performer as well.
In this podcast, Jim talks a little about The Magic Menu, but more extensively about restaurant magic and some of the ideas gleaned from this publication. Jim talks about the real secrets and talks about facts, figures and money.. In addition to talking about the genesis of The Magic Menu, we discussed Bulletin Board Services (BBS) and other early iterations of how magicians congregated online in the days of "dial-up", which was long before the internet.
If you are interested in performing in a restaurant or in a corporate strolling environment, then this is a "must hear" podcast.
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