This summer is going to be Super fun! Over the years, prior to my work with Markus, my former theatre companies (Krackerjack Theatre Co. and Driftwood Players) specialized in creating plays just for schools and libraries. These shows were based on classic literature for children, and held broad appeal to kids from pre-Kindergarten through 5th grade...and especially were popular among teachers, librarians, and parents.
Since Markus and I began working together in 2003, we loved to build upon both our "skill sets" and created wonderful shows that incorporated the magical arts into themed programs that also proved to be extremely popular among libraries and schools. Some of our Summer Reading Program themed shows are pictured here.
However, over the past few years our summer season has been SO jam-packed with performances out of state, for family resorts and other groups, that it has not been practical for us to try to create a specially-themed magic show for libraries. We've missed some really fun themes.
For Summer 2015, the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) has selected the theme of "Every Hero Has A Story", loosely based upon superheroes, real-life heroes, and heroes/heroines of literature and history...what an intriguing theme that is guaranteed to spark the interest of kids, whether of reading age yet or not! (Look at the popularity of comic book characters in today's films, for instance.)
Many magicians, storytellers, musicians, and variety performers are having a field day with this theme, and offering shows for libraries this summer that fit the "Every Hero Has A Story" theme. This year, so are we!! In the past, Markus and I have performed an actual Superhero Magic Show here and there for other groups, which drew upon Markus' extensive (and I MEAN extensive!!) knowledge and love of classic comic book superheroes! With a totally tongue-in-cheek style and presentation, those shows were hilariously funny and involved magic in ways that reinforced our over-the-top "superhero" characters.
For libraries this summer, our focus for this show is going to be on the library itself as a source of "super powers". If you think about it, what seemingly "impossible" things can you NOT learn if you know where to look and how to process the information you find? We'll still be campy and funny, but with a focus on how kids can find their own "super powers" within the library.
Markus is a magician; as such, his first taste of magic happened when he was 8 years old and read a book about legendary magician/escape artist Harry Houdini. The book, which he still has to this day, is "Houdini's Fabulous Magic" by Walter Gibson and Morris Young. Not long after reading it, Markus soon had read every book in his school library that had anything to do with magic or magic tricks. He learned his first magic tricks from books--this was decades prior to the Internet, and he maintains that that is still the best way to learn magic. So although he does not have "super powers" per se; to an audience, his magic tricks can still be viewed almost as if they are super powers. This power/ability has also led to him being able to make a living for the past four decades as a magician...so although he is not able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, he is able to make mortgage payments on a small house every month. :-)
Science, technology, artistic endeavors, individual talents, psychology, engineering...there's a wealth of "power" to be discovered just by knowing where to look and how to use it. The library is a terrific source of that knowledge and power.
We're going to have a great time visiting libraries in Southern Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts this summer! Caped Crusaders we are not, but be on the lookout for The Steelgraves in whatever guise they choose to adopt for this year's Summer Reading Program family magic shows!
Contact Us anytime.
Happy New Year! Have you been dating your documents with the correct '15, or are you (like me!) still apt to put '14? It usually takes until mid-February to break the pattern, doesn't it? :-)
With this new year, Markus and I are experimenting with a new "look" for our company. Our new logo was designed by Carol Mancini, the wonderful graphic artist/web designer who collaborated with us to create the logo for our Cape Cod magic convention, Oceanside Magic Invitational. (Pictured here--note the tiny magic wands in place of lighthouse beams, and the fan of cards cleverly hidden in the scallop shell! At the risk of seeming immodest, those were my only little contributions to the effort).
But back to Steelgrave Magic. A logo that reads "Magic of The Steelgraves" kept coming out being far too lengthy, so we condensed it. We're planning to change the font, though, as one of our colleagues uses it in his promotion; so this is an interim design.
Other changes have been made to this website; browse around; as the only magic duo in Maine, we've got lots of different show options to suit your many different event needs.
In this new year, always remember to look for the MAGIC in your life! And if we can help you add some, just remember "Steelgrave Magic".
Just added a new section to this website, describing our specially-designed magic shows for Cub Scout Packs in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts!
It's already early January, and most Blue and Gold Dinners tend to be held between February and June, depending on state. There is still time to book your event with us! Check out our new pages, which include lots of great photos of an actual performance, as well as more details about where we are able to travel for these "birthday parties for Scouting".
Blue and Gold Banquet Magic Shows
Reviews from Cub Scout Packs
Touring Availability for Blue and Gold Banquets
We're hoping that the weather remains fairly decent throughout the winter. It has been a bit unusual here in Maine, with no significant snowfall since Thanksgiving or so (until today, that is...)! This does make travel much easier, although we've never backed out on a Cub Scout Banquet yet, despite some pretty harrowing driving conditions!
Bookings are also rolling in for spring months, as well as for the summer. If you'd like to book a great performance for your school, library, campground, resort, fair, or festival, or--of course--your Cub Scout Pack, give us a call!
Read more about our other Stage Magic Shows here.
Happy 2015; The Steelgraves wish all of you a safe, happy, prosperous, stress-free, and *magical* New Year.
I am in the process of migrating content from our former website, www.TheAlmodarrs.com, to this one. As our "Reviews" page here is still in need of reworking, I didn't want to add this relatively long review to that page. So, I am adding it here. Our sincerest thanks once again to Susan Flaherty-King for sharing this with us! (The performance took place about a year or so ago.)
Altrusa International of Portland was thrilled and delighted with The Steelgraves' performance at our 82nd Birthday Party. I would be honored to recommend them without hesitation to anyone interested in booking fantastic entertainment.
Markus and Angelique made our event the most memorable we've ever had! Our members were enthralled and entertained! It was clear that Angelique had researched our organization. They tailored their act brilliantly to our audience, involving members in playful and positive ways. We had 30 guests ranging in age from 16 to 89 and everyone was spellbound.
All of our interactions went smoothly. Communication was flawless. Angelique provided us with a clear, straightforward contract. The agreement was easy to understand and The Steelgraves met every detail without exception.
They arrived in good humor with plenty of time to acquaint themselves with us and to unobtrusively set up their act. Our group LOVED the illusions and reveled in the magic of the evening. Following the performance, Angelique and Markus mingled and visited with members of our club, making everyone feel valued and special. They posed for photos, introduced their animals, and answered many questions. They were subtle as they packed up and did not seem to be in a hurry to leave.
I wish The Steelgraves continued success and will actively look for another occasion to enjoy with them.
--Susan F. King, Altrusa International, Portland, ME
Book your visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus! December dates are limited; contact us for rates/times.
During the month of December, when we're not performing magic shows for the holidays throughout Maine and New England, we don our "alter ego" disguises and make visits to daycares, preschools, private homes, corporate functions, company parties, restaurant and hotel "Breakfast with Santa" events, and anywhere else the Clauses are invited. Santa and Mrs. Claus brighten the lives of everyone they touch. Just another aspect of Holiday Magic!
Most often, we're asked to distribute gifts that are provided by the organization or the children's parents. In cases where gifts are not given, we provide a candy cane for every child. Those who experience the "magic" of the Clauses never connect us with our true magical personas! A child can see Santa and Mrs. Claus in December, then later on see one of our magic shows--and they never, ever realize we're the same people.
Visits vary in length, from 30 minutes to 60 minutes, or longer if necessary. Pricing varies according to length of visit; mileage may be additional. Contact us to book your Visit With Santa and Mrs. Claus!
Hard to believe summer is on its way out, but here in New England the leaves are already turning, the hours are getting shorter, school has been in session for weeks, and the sweaters and coats are becoming a daily necessity. With less than 8 weeks until October 31, it's not too early to finalize your entertainment plans for the Halloween season!
Add some "tricks and treats" to your school or library programming, Rotary Club or Lion's Club children's holiday party, Recreation Department program, fall festival, or even your corporate party! "Halloween Happenings" can be structured to fit a few different environments, from small preschool multipurpose rooms to large auditoriums (see photo, above). Give us a call/e-mail if you'd like information on our fun, kid-friendly (or adult-friendly, if that's your event!), Halloweeny-but-not-scary magic show!
On Halloween night itself, Markus and I will be performing once again for the Old Orchard Beach (Maine) Fire Department's annual Children's Halloween Party! This is always a great event for kids and parents--bounce house, games, trick-or-treat bags full of candy, pizza and soft drinks, and (of course!) two awesome magic shows!
Dates are still open, but not for long; call soon to reserve your show! "Halloween Happenings" is available the month of October, and the weekends (as well as several weekdays) before Halloween still have some times available.
Show fees depend on length and style of show, location, and date. Call soon for the best choices!
Click here for more about "Halloween Happenings".
There's still time to book a family magic show for your Maine or New Hampshire Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquet / Dinner!
Every year we perform for a number of Blue and Gold Banquets throughout the upper New England area: Southern Maine, parts of New Hampshire, and Northern Massachusetts. Over the years, the number of actual Cub Scout magic shows we do has varied, but the high quality and fun content of our shows have remained wonderful! And the fee is extremely reasonable, too.
Yes, just about every magician performs a show for these types of events! However, with Magic of The Steelgraves being a "magical duo", Markus and I are able to present a Cub Scout-oriented show that has extra-special appeal not only to them, but also to the boys' female siblings ("Wow! It's a girl magician!") and their parents ("Cool...these two are married and we can identify with the dynamics of a husband/wife partnership!"). Not only that, but with our youthful experience as Scouts in the past (well, I won't say how long past that was!), our shows for Blue and Gold Dinners reflect and reinforce aspects of Scouting in a fun, unique, and *magical* way.
The Scouts are always the REAL stars of the show, too! Markus is great at letting them take center stage and ham it up in front of their friends and family...without getting out of control. (I can't tell you how many times I've been backstage behind our blue and gold curtain backdrop, laughing myself silly along with the audience!)
A Blue and Gold Banquet is an annual "birthday party" for Scouting, and birthdays only occur once a year--in this case, winter/early spring--so available dates are limited. Many Packs ask us about the same few dates; all shows are booked first-come/first-served, so whoever reserves a date first and pays the deposit gets that date. February is booking up quickly (especially weekends), so if your Maine, New Hampshire, or Massachusetts Cub Scout Pack is looking for great entertainment for your Blue and Gold Banquet, call or e-mail us right away! We just booked another Banquet for February.
This site is still new and undergoing renovations; click here for more details about The Steelgraves' Blue and Gold Banquet Magic Show.
With only a few minutes left of 2013, this seems a fitting time to launch a new website. No more redirects from www.thealmodarrs.com to this domain! (For those who don't know, for many years Markus performed using his middle name, "Almodarr", and the troupe name "Almodarr's Grand Illusion". When we first joined forces, our friends called us "the Almodarrs"...hence the choice of domain at the time.)
I can hear fireworks being launched here in the little town of East Waterboro, Maine, as I type this...and while I'm safe and warm inside my office, with each "boom" that sounds outside in the sub-zero cold, it seems fitting to imagine that people everywhere are letting go of the past by igniting projectiles that zoom out of their hands with a fury, so they can momentarily view an explosion "up on high" of metaphorical possibilities for their New Year. I've always found it odd that a ball had to "drop" in Times Square...wouldn't a ball rising up higher and higher be more fitting for the sentiment of New Year's Eve? Anyway!
In this New Year, The Steelgraves hope all of us, everywhere, may be gifted with both the opportunities to experience *magic* in our daily lives...and the peace and wisdom to remain silent and open long enough to let those aspects of magic find and engulf us. To all of you reading this, and to those close to you...I extend a heartfelt wish for a joyous, abundant, stress-free, and MAGICAL 2014. We hope to hear from you next year! ;-)