Monthly Archives: July 2012

9th Annual Soapy Smith Night Photos

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The 9th Annual Soapy Smith Night at the Magic Castle, held on July 8, 2012, was a great success! We had 420 attendees, and raised $2,520 for the Vernon Fund!

Thanks, everyone!

For nine years, the Magic Castle has celebrated the famous gunfight on the wharf at Skagway, Alaska on July 8, 1898, when the great Soapy Smith, the King of the Frontier Conmen, and the finest exponent of the Shell Game thet ever lived, was gunned down and his gang of 100 con men who had ruled the entry to the Gold Rush from its inception were arrested or scattered.

At the Magic Castle, we have a wonderful party each year to celebrate the memory of this clever bad man. We turn the place into a Gold Rush era saloon, with antique gambling tables for Chuck a Luck, Faro, Black Jack, and Roulette, along with all sorts of other games like the Shell Game, Three-Card Monte and Fast and Loose. There are prizes for the best dealer and most successful player. We have a costume contest as well. Everyone dresses up in 1890’s attire, and there are prizes for the most authentic, funniest, and sexiest costumes. We have a toast to Soapy’s ghost, and live Old Time music provided by Professor Dave Bourne and the Medicine Show Band.  Chef Anton, the two-time national trick shot champion at pool, presents his incredible demonstration of billiards wizardry. We have a live auction, presided over by professional auctioneer and wonderful magician/vaudevillian, Rob Zabrecky.

It is one of the most fun nights  of the year at the Magic Castle.

Most politicians just talk; Pop Haydn listens…

Pop Haydn at his central listening command.

Crowd-Funding — “It’ll Make You Feel Better!”

Pop Haydn fires his Teleportation Device

Pop Haydn’s Post-Modern Medicine Show uses lateral marketing in its crowd-funding campaign at IndieGoGo.
Los Angeles, California (PRWEB) July 19, 2012

What would a troupe of talented vaudevillians and con artists from 1910 do if they were suddenly thrust here into the 21st Century? That is the premise of Pop Haydn’s Post-Modern Medicine Show, a live variety show in the Los Angeles area. The story goes that medicine pitchman Pop Haydn and his small band of time-displaced mountebanks are still able to put on their song and dance and to pitch their medicines just as they did back in 1910, but now it’s even easier—here you can sell a half pint of water for four bucks!

If there really were a group of 19th Century expatriates trying to mount a show here in our time, and they were hip to the internet, they would probably turn to crowd-funding. That is exactly what the real Pop Haydn did.

Pop Haydn is a real person as well as portraying a character in the show. He and his variety company have recently started a crowd-funding campaign on IndieGoGo. They hope to raise enough money by August 31st, 2012 to support producing a regular show in local vaudeville theaters.

So, what is crowd-funding? It’s a joint effort on the part of a large number of individuals on the internet, who freely give their monetary support to various efforts initiated by other people or organizations.

Crowd-funding works for a wide range of purposes, including disaster relief, support for the arts, political campaigns, startup companies, movie development, and scientific research. IndieGoGo, Kickstarter, RocketHub, BelieversFund, StartupAddict and Quirky are a few of the crowd-funding sites available. Successful funding of any project depends on its intrinsic appeal to investors and on the campaign’s ability to promote its cause to as wide a market as possible.

Local theatrical productions can be a difficult to pitch to a world audience. To attract donors, it is helpful if the group seeking funds can appeal to a more general cause than just the realization of their own local project. Having an appeal of some kind to a thing of wider concern, such as support for children’s theater or for tolerance education can open a campaign up to a larger pool of donors.

This lateral approach is important because it helps to connect the campaign’s project with the concerns and interests of the donors, and makes them feel better about giving. Finding ways to make the donors feel good about giving is extremely important to a successful campaign.

The Medicine Show trusts there are plenty of people around the world who support live variety theater and Old Time music who would be willing to help fund this new production even though they might never expect to see it. These online supporters donate directly to the Medicine Show through IndieGoGo. Here prospective donors can also find nformation about the show, video and photos.

Perks are another important consideration. Offering attractive perks can help motivate people to donate. IndieGoGo makes setting up and managing these perks very easy. The campaign will give each donor a thank you perk. These include such things as sponsor credit, a theatrical poster of the Medicine Show, or a bottle of the Amazing Miracle Oil.

Magician Whit “Pop” Haydn is a six-time award winner at Magic Castle in Hollywood, and a past vice-president of that organization. He and his fellow performers have created a show that combines theater and variety arts with live music intermingled with demonstrations of Pop Haydn’s Teleportation Device and other steampunk-oriented inventions. Haydn pitches the Amazing Miracle Oil in a send-up of modern medical quackery—“It’ll make you feel better!”

Says Haydn, “We are going to produce our show no matter what, but with a little startup money we will be able to get things moving much sooner. What we like about IndieGoGo is that even if we don’t quite meet our goal we still get to keep what we have raised. Everything helps and this assistance makes it possible for us to keep things moving forward.”

“The Medicine Show is just a hoot!” says Sophie Evans an award-winning Las Vegas act. Evans performs with her “fire magic” routine on the Medicine Show, and then plays the part of intrepid electronaut Tesla Girl in a performance with Pop Haydn. That bit involves a large Tesla Coil and several able-bodied men from the audience, and is a recreation of an old 1890’s Vaudeville act known as The Georgia Magnet.

“I enjoy working to live music, which you rarely get to do, and re-working my Vegas show to fit a more 1910 style has been fun and very stimulating…as has been working with that Tesla Coil!” Evans laughed.

Bell, Book and Candle at the Knightsbridge Theatre/NASC

Pop Haydn tells the story of Gold Rush Madame, Diamond Lil

Pop Haydn tells the story of legendary Gold Rush madame Diamond Lil. Diamond Lil would make $1000 a night for sleeping with a man, and had a large diamond in her front tooth. She made a fortune in Alaska.

From the Monday Night Tease “Gold Rush Follies” at 3 Clubs, Hollywood. May, 2012.

Pop Haydn demos the Teleportation Device

Pop Haydn demonstrates the Teleportation Device at Diamond Lil’s Gold Rush Follies. This was a special turn of the century edition of Monday Night Tease at the 3 Clubs in Hollywood.

Pop Haydn’s Amazing Miracle Oil

Pop Haydn does his Amazing Miracle Oil pitch at the 3 Clubs, Hollywood for Diamond LIl’s Gold Rush Follies at Monday Night Tease, 2012.

“next to of course god america i love you…

I can’t seem to find my patriotic speech for this occasion, so I will crib this fine speech:

“next to of course god america i love you

land of the pilgrims’ and so forth

oh say can you see by the dawn’s early

my country ’tis of centuries come and go

and are no more what of it we should worry

in every language even deafanddumb

thy sons acclaim your glorious name

by gorry by jingo by gee by gosh by gum

why talk of beauty what could be more beautiful

than these heroic happy dead who rushed like lions

to the roaring slaughter they did not stop to think

they died instead then shall the voice of liberty be mute?”

He spoke. And drank rapidly a glass of water

— e e cummings


Happy Fourth of July, everybody!

Pop Haydn Medicine Show Fundraising Campaign

This is our new fundraising campaign for the Pop Haydn Post-Modern Medicine Show.

Just Click the icon below to see it:



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