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Richard KaufmanBREAKING NEWS: GENII Magazine has been sold to Cardini’s Nephew. You read that right, Genii Has Been Sold but the Chief Genii will Remain. The details of the sale have not been publicized so there are not many details to share. At this point, The Magic Compass understands that no change of any kind is envisioned for the immediate future of the magazine. Randy plans to preserve this part of magic history and make sure of the longevity, viability and vitality of Genii far into the future so it can “live on forever.” Richard Kaufman has just released the following statement on the Genii Facebook page…

I’m delighted to announce that Genii will shortly have a new owner, Randy Pitchford. I couldn’t imagine a more delightful partner in our venture to improve Genii over the coming years. I will remain as editor, my wife will remain as Art Director, and things will continue as they have, but bigger and better.

Randy is the CEO of Gearbox Software, and is one of the most forward-thinking people I’ve ever met. He’s a stupendously intelligent person and businessman. Spending a few hours with him is literally a mind-expanding experience. He is a visionary in addition to being a swell all-around guy who loves magic. Whenever we’re together, we just have a plain old good time. And he’s been a magician for most of his life, so he’s “one of us.”

His belief in the value of Genii to the magic community will make possible both its longevity and many improvements in the coming years. I was able to inform Irene Larsen of my plans before her untimely death, and since I owe my livelihood to her, I was thrilled at how delighted she was by the idea of Randy being the new owner. Her blessing of the deal was essential and it pleased her greatly. As to what will happen at Genii, the answer is that things will continue as usual, but with more pages each month we’ll be able to bring you additional stories and features.


Randy Pitchford at GearboxFor those of you that don’t know Randy Pitchford here is a quick biography. In his early days, Pitchford was a professional magician in Hollywood occasionally performing at the famous Magic Castle between classes at UCLA. However, his love of the art of magic is matched by his love of video games. In fact, he wrote his first game (a 16-room text adventure) when he was about 11 or 12 on a CPM machine that his father built.

Randy’s last name “Pitchford” should sound familiar to magicians and magic enthusiasts. Richard Pitchford was a Past National President of The Society of American Magicians who performed professionally under the name Cardini. Cardini is also Randy Pitchford’s Great Uncle.
Randy was two years old when Cardini died; too young to remember meeting him, but stories from his Great Aunt (Cardini’s wife and longtime assistant) inspired a lifelong interest in magic.

“Everyone,” begins Randy, “every kid at some point was given a magic set. “But the fact that Cardini was related to me, and he was this amazing famous magician, it made magic intriguing to me, and it felt accessible. Someone with the same DNA as me could learn this stuff and do it.”

Randy Pitchford“I don’t remember my Great Uncle, he died when I was really young. But I remember his wife, and my Grandpa’s brother would talk about him all the time. I had some books that his wife gave to me, because I had some interest and she figured it might plant a seed with me. So I studied magic, and it really became a fascination for me. I practiced all the time.”

Randy borrowed books left behind by his Great Uncle Cardini. When he wasn’t busy trying to reinvent Pacman on his terrifyingly powerful computer, he practiced the sleight of hand his Uncle was famous for. He improved rapidly, built up a repertoire of tricks. Soon he got the itch to entertain.

What’s more, even before Pfizer’s announced partnership with CVS, it was possible to prescription viagra online cheapest cialis report under the same category available for medicines in the same brand, such as cialis. I am happy about one more thing; I don’t experience any side effect, not even headache or high blood pressure. click for source order viagra online When people faces stress due to conflicts amongst buy levitra online you and your present partner could add to the issue. And one levitra online of the best alternatives that you can do is to simply consult a chiropractic practitioner. After college and before he started building video games and software companies he had to find a job. He had bills to pay, and college tuition fees to manage, he turned to magic.

“I actually paid my way through college performing as a magician in Hollywood,” says Randy. “I never knew where I stood in the spectrum of magicians. LA has Magic Castle. It’s like the Mecca for magic. I had always known about it, and I always wanted to try and get in. “But you can’t get in unless you’re a member or you’re invited by a member. So I worked really hard, and I honed my skills. I joined some magical clubs and I earned credibility with some other magicians and a couple of them were from Magic Castle, they agreed to sponsor me. So I got my audition.”

The MAGIC CASTLERandy was completely terrified. “I went and there were nine of us that day. Because they did it in alphabetical order, and my surname is Pitchford, I happened to be the last one. One at a time the magicians went into this secret room and I couldn’t watch.

“They walked out looking dishevelled and broken. I had no idea what to expect. “I strolled in and there were 12 old magicians, just sitting there with folded arms. They were just guys in suits. One was a creepy guy who had a weird long jacket with tails, another guy had a monocle. All these old guys were just looking at me, and the guy in charge said, ‘OK, you have 10 minutes’.

“I had this act prepared, it was an original routine. I had this piece of black felt — remember that movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit? I loved it. Remember the portable hole? Well my act was like, ‘imagine this piece of black felt is like a portable hole’ and I would pretend to throw coins into the hole! I had this whole thing. I was really proud of it.

In the waiting room afterwards, Randy sat dejected as his fellow magicians received judgement. “Every single one didn’t get in. I was the last to get called back, and I’m going back muttering, ‘this is a waste of time’. “I sat down and they said, ‘you’re in’. And then they said, ‘we’d like to book you’. Right then and there they booked me to work in the Magic Castle. It turned out I was actually pretty good.”

“There are definitely parallels between magic and video games,” explains Randy. “I loved performing magic, and it was so much fun, but it was limited. The nature of magic is that it’s really something you need to experience live. We can watch it on TV, but it doesn’t work. You have to see it live to really appreciate the value. To really believe like you’re seeing something impossible, it has to happen in front of you.

Randy Pitchford“As a magician, I was limited by the amount of people who were in the room. With video games we can create something and that can reach millions of people all over the world, and it’s such a thrill to be able to affect that many people. To add that much joy and happiness, that’s really what I’m in it for.”
Randy is also a Magic Collector. He purchased much of the Cardini collection from the 2013 Potter & Potter auction and put the bulk of the exhibit in a museum at the Magic Castle. He also dropped $25,000 for the ponytail of magician/comedian/dancer/apprentice Penn Jillette.

Now Randy Pitchford can add another job to his resume…Magazine Publisher. We can only imagine what the Online Genii will look like once Randy Pitchford has a chance to put his thumbprint on it.
Scott Wells discussed all of this with Randy on the Magic Word Podcast. To listen to that interview please CLICK HERE.

  1. Paul Critelli says:

    A surprise to be sure, but everything does change. It sounds like you made a good decision, and I wish you and your family and Randy and his family all the best. As they say in Japan: You done good! Paul Critelli

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