The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Currents

July 18, 2013

Cleveland area magician wins award

Jack Stouten experts the curiosity from schoolchildren.

It's the adults who surprise him.

"They'll come up to me after the show and want to go through my stuff," said Stouten, who resides on Middle Lake Jefferson near Cleveland and has performed as The Amazing Magic Jack for more than a decade. "Even they're curious."

And yet, Stouten will never tell.

As a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians-Ring 19 -- and the winner of this year's "America's Funniest Magician Award" winner as determined through a competition hosted by the Minnesota Magic Convention -- Stouten holds tight to the philosophy that exposing a trick deadens the mystery of the illusion not only for himself, but for all other magicians.

Even more, magic is a highly proprietary art form. Social norms within the industry dictate a strict obligation to credit the original source of a trick or illusion, and disputes over copyrights on tricks are sometimes settled in court. In 2012, for instance, Teller -- the silent half of the Penn and Teller performance duo -- sued a rival magician for stealing his famous "Shadows" illusion and trying to sell a DVD of its secrets online.

Though Stouten has been willing to mentor other magicians (as he, too, was mentored by others), he keeps the tradition despite his audiences' best efforts.

"I try not to spoil it for the next magician," he said. "But people always ask."

In that context, it's not surprising that Stouten would divulge nothing about the barbed wire linking ring act that earned him top honors during the state convention in May.

Stouten has been doing the barbed wire routine for years, once performing it before a crowd of magicians at a convention. When he was preparing for his most recent competition, Stouten sent a list of three candidates for his final routine to a magician friend. That friend scrapped all three ideas and suggested the barbed wire act instead.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Currents
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
NDN Video
Blake Lively's Wedding Dress Revealed?! Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Yes It's True! Jessica Biel Returns to TV H-O-T! "Fifty Shades of Grey" Trailer Is Here! A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years Zoe Saldana is Reportedly Pregnant, Will Announce it When She's Ready Kim and Kanye's Daughter Takes Her First Steps Tori Spelling Lets Loose on Marriage Problems Selena Gomez Caught Snuggling With New Guy Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Selena Gomez Celebrates her 22nd Birthday with Cara Delevingne Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable NeNe Leakes Goes Off On Wendy Williams Check out JWoww's Post-Baby Bod PDA Alert! Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello Arm in Arm Cameron Diaz Cuts Interview Short Over Barrymore Talk Zoe Saldana's Alleged Baby Bump Causes Stir Zac Efron's Sexy Sleepover With Michelle Rodriguez Holy Bikini! Jennifer Lopez Takes It To Another Level