"Take a front row seat on this adventure and experience a world and time that no longer exists." Michael Vincent
No Ordinary Magic is a memoir from Eileen McFalls who, at the age of 25, entered into the unconventional world of street performing with Jim Cellini—better known as The Great Cellini.
Eileen embarked on this once-in-a-lifetime journey into the world of magic without much hesitation after meeting the charismatic magician in 1980 at Jackson Square in New Orleans. No Ordinary Magic: A Memoir recounts many of the most interesting stories from this roller-coaster life of busking and the many unique adventures they shared as they experienced society from the one-of-a-kind perspective of a street performer.
The duo trekked across America, Canada, Great Britain, and Europe. They busked on street corners, plazas, and at festivals. The Great Cellini lived a life of freedom, performing whenever and wherever he wanted, without needing to worry about pleasing agents, managers or club owners.
Armed with instamatic cameras and her trusty Nikon, Eileen took 1,000s of pictures during their years together. Many of these shots, along with tons of letters they'd received, are featured in this incredible book.
No Ordinary Magic also details various bits and pieces from Cellini's famous magic act from his coins tricks, card tricks and cigarette magic tricks to his iconic cups and balls routine. There is even one effect performed that has a hidden clue just for magicians.
Eileen also discusses the many personalities they met during their travels including:
- Frank Garcia - a magician known as "The Man With the Million Dollar Hands"
- Quintino Marucci (better known as Slydini) - Legendary magician and mentor to The Great Cellini
- Noel Rockmore - renowned artist and terror of the French Quarter
- George Price the Mouseman
- Sonny Holiday - a quirky street performer who learned magic from The Great Cellini
- Sebastiano Lomanto - a Sicilian balloon artist turned magician
- Chris "the Piss" Lynam - an English comic clown.
- Michel Polnareff - a popular French pop singer and magic devotee
What others are saying:
"What an extraordinary tale. I was right there with Eileen on the streets of New Orleans, New York, Amsterdam, London, immersed in a multitude of riotous adventures. How courageous to have lived this life outside the borders of society." Anjail Ahmad, PhD, Director of the Creative Writing Program, A&T University
"The title of this memoir is perhaps understated. No Ordinary Magic could easily have been called Extraordinary Magic. Eileen McFalls' once-in-a-lifetime journey across the U.S. and Europe with her paramour, a street magician known as the Great Cellini, is a tale that underscores the adage that truth is often stranger than fiction. McFalls' detailed and active recounting of people, events, and conversations gives the reader a sense of being present in the moment as her narrative flows. No Ordinary Magic is a great ride and no ordinary read." Lance Elko, freelance editor
"If you love reading memoirs that include quirky characters, fabulous settings, and all kinds of magic, then this book is for you. Eileen's story brings you people and places you didn't ever think you would know but will be glad you did." Barbara Barry Levin, Professor Emerita, UNC-Greensboro