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 Post subject: Who they were: Harry Blackstone Jr
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 10:40 pm 
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I take no credit in writing this. I found it and thought it would be good to post it here and maybe help some of the younger magicians here learn the history of the magic I love.

Full credit goes to http://www.amdest.com/stars/harryb.html

Quote:
"Harry Blackstone," says Calvin Trillin in the New Yorker, "is regarded as one of the finest magicians in the country - the leading exemplar of the formal tradition of grand illusion."

Every time Harry Blackstone steps on stage for a performance, he brings with him the legacy of an American theatrical tradition that dates back for nearly a century. Harry Blackstone is the gifted son and professional heir of The Great Blackstone, America's legendary creative magical genius who led the art of stage magic and illusion to heights never achieved before his era. The son is doing a great deal more than merely following in his father's footsteps. Harry Blackstone is an author; an actor; an inventor; a casino showroom headliner; a TV personality; a teacher; a father; and the creator and performer of the largest magic and illusion show ever to play Broadway.

No magician in history has been more honored by his peers than Harry Blackstone. Named "Magician of the Year" in 1979 and 1985 by the Academy of Magical Arts, Harry has also been named the Society of American Magician's "International Ambassador of Magic". He and his wife, Edited, have been made Honorary Life Members of the Academy of Magical Arts, the Hollywood Magic Castle. He is also the recipient of the coveted "Star of Magic", an honor bestowed to only 11 other magicians, including his father.

Born in Colon, Michigan, 'The Magic Capitol of the World,' Harry's career in magic began at age of six months, appearing - and disappearing - in his father's illusions. Under the master's watchful eye, young Harry grew up learning the elements of his exacting craft. Today he performs such world-famous illusions as The Floating Lightbulb, The Vanishing Birdcage, The Dancing Handkerchief, and the frightening Buzzsaw, all of which he learned and perfected with his father's guidance and encouragement.

But far from satisfied with repeating the feats of his father, Harry has strived in his own act to develop the art of magic into something both uniquely and arrestingly modern. As he puts it, "What I am undertaking is the challenging - but delightful - task of bringing this magnificent art to even higher levels, building on what has gone before, injecting a modern, innovative presentation that is very much of the present, of the future, and of my own creation."

Harry proved the popularity of this modern approach in 1980, when after touring the U.S. and setting box-office records in sixteen major cities, he arrived at the Majestic Theater on Broadway, where to unanimous rave reviews he presented the longest-running magic and illusion show in the history of the New York theatre. His show continues to recieve rave reviews and standing-room only audiences in its world-wide tours.

Harry then set his sights on television. He starred in three of his own magic specials (one for PBS and two for HBO). He has also appeared as a guest on numerous other television shows such as "Donahue," "The Today Show," "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson," "The Arsenio Hall Show," "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour," "The New Mickey Mouse Club" and "Hart to Hart." Harry has also appeared on international television on BBC's "The Children's Royal Variety Gala" from London, "The Blackstone Family TV Special" for NTV-Japan, and Thames TV's "The Best of Magic." And in November, 1990 he hosted the "International Magic Awards", a 2 hour television special originating in 5 countries on 3 continents and seen by 1/2 billion people worldwide. But if you ask him which are his favorites, he'll mention two: his role as "Dr. Mephisto" on the NBC-TV daytime drama "Santa Barbara," and his recurring presence on the daily PBS series "Square One TV," where he teaches young people by combining conceptual mathematics with magic.

When it comes to performing live, Harry Blackstone's versatility and inventiveness allow him to be equally comfortable in such diverse settings as China, appearing with the Shanghai Circus and on stage at the Tropicana Hotel in Atlantic City, where reviewers unanimously proclaimed his 90 minute magic review the "Show of the Year."

To unanimous critical acclaim, Blackstone continues to present his unique "Magic of Music and Music of Magic" in symphonic halls throughout the country. This performance is an examination of the four thousand year 'History of Mystery,' with live illusions, full stage graphics and an entire symphony orchestra.

Away from the bright lights, Harry continues to meet with success in a broad spectrum of entertainment-related careers. In 1985 he was honored as "Speaker of the Year" by the International Platform Association. He has co-authored three books ("The Blackstone Book of Magic and Illusion", "There's One Born Every Minute" and "My Life As A Magician", and re-edited his father's "Blackstone's Secrets of Magic." Blackstone designed and inaugurated a line of four magic kits, "The Magic World of Blackstone" which have become the largest-selling magic items in U.S. history. In 1990, blackstone designed and produced magic illusions and special effects for the New Kids on the Block "Magic Summer Tour" and subsequent "No More Games Tour."

In 1985, on the 100th anniversary of his father's birth, Harry donated to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. the original floating lightbulb - designed and built by Thomas Edison - and the original Casadega Cabinet, used in the aforementioned "Dancing Handkerchief" illusion. It was the first ever donation accepted by the Smithsonian in the field of magic.

On the rare occasions when he is not working, Harry and his wife, co-star and co-producer Edited, and daughter Bellamie relax at their southern California home with three cats, two dogs, a Bengal tiger, several thousand small white rabbits, and an elephant!

Harry has sinced passed, and we all will miss him


I will do at least one of these a week, until a mod or admin asks otherwise.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 4:54 pm 
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Great post exodus. Harry Blackstone Sr. was one of the greatest all time. I enjoy the write-up on Jr.

Thanks for your contribution...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 5:04 pm 
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Glad someone finally noticed it. I'm going to put up another when I get some free time.


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 Post subject: Memories
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 12:27 am 
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I remember watching Harry Blackstone Jr. on Square One and an episode of Reading Rainbow when I was a kid. He's actually one of the 2 magicians who inspired me to get started in magic, the other being one who performed at my fifth birthday part. Thanks for putting up this article and letting everyone else know about this true master of the craft.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 10:54 am 
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Wow, I had forgotten about this post. I wish people took more interest in the older magicians.


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