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The Close-Up Magic of Jon Armstrong



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Updated 07/11/2002
The Close-Up Magic of Jon Armstrong (CLOSED)
By Chuck Rounds
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Jon Armstrong performs on a semi-regular basis inside the Secret Pagoda at Caesar's Magical Empire. The show is an incredible demonstration of card manipulation and close-up magic. Even the most inquiring eyes cannot seem to detect the sleight-of-hand that occurs with his illusions. Also, the Magical Empire now offers "show only" tickets for patrons that want to see the magic, but skip the dinner. As it turns out, these tickets are a great bargain in a very high priced market.

Jon Armstrong has been performing magic since he was 8 years old, and now works solely with card tricks and manipulations. He was the resident magician at Disney World in Orlando and performs numerous gigs all over the country, but every other month or so, Armstrong is back at the Empire for an extended run.

Armstrong has a very easy and fluid style. He quickly builds a strong rapport with the audience, and is good with children as well. One can easily see why he was a regular with the Disney corporation. His presentation is fun, clean, and always professional.

The card manipulations are so good that Armstrong places the card directly in front of people, virtually daring them to see the trick. Involuntary gasps and comments such as, "No way!" were often heard amongst the crowd as they sat in disbelief. Armstrong often attempted to solicit applause, but usually the crowd would simply sit there in awe.

The Secret Pagoda at the Magical Empire is a great space for the presentation. The Pagoda was designed and built specifically for close-up magic. It is a small, intimate space offering a good view to everyone.

The "show only" ticket at the Magical Empire is a very good deal. For the ticket you get to see the close-up magic show, the stage magic production, and also the fire show in the center of the Empire. You also get to bask in the atmosphere of the Empire and enjoy the themed bars as well. It is a good deal, but there are also trappings with this ticket. It is obvious that the "show only" tickets are the "extra" revenue for the Empire and not the main source of income, and the patrons are treated as such. While waiting in line to gain entrance into the Empire, these patrons are virtually ignore, and when the hostess does acknowledge us, we seem to be more of a bother than anything else. This separation is very apparent as we watch how the "real" guests are treated. I mention these trappings because this is not the first time that I've gone with the "show only" ticket, and unfortunately, the same treatment has occurred every time. Once inside, however, the separation disappears and the enjoyment begins.

Jon Armstrong isn't always at the Empire, but he is there frequently and on a semi-regular basis. One should check the main web site, lvol.com, or call the Empire to find out when he is performing, and if he works out with your schedule; you should go and see him. His card tricks and illusions are amazing.






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