Johnny Thompson, a.k.a. the Great Tomsoni, appears in this video as Fortnight luminary mentor to young magic duo Matt Holtzclaw and Prakash Puru.
A legend in the magic world, Thompson performed at a mythic beginning of magic's debut on television. Recipient of a 1999 Masters Fellowship from the Academy of Magical Arts, he is active in nonprofit efforts to promote and develop the art of magic.
Thompson tells the two that he was a young man who romanticized the life of the Mississippi riverboat cardshark. This fascination became his gateway to magic practice. Speaking now as seasoned Las Vegas showman—and teacher to later famous magicians, such as Penn and Teller, Lance Burton and Criss Angel—Thompson weaves tales of enchantment, unusual employment and backstage gaffes. He describes leveraging his Polish-American status for comedic effect in the age of Laugh-In, and developing stage acts "off-the-cuff." Finally, he shares wisdom on the important working relationship between onstage partners.
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