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Mar 16, 201509:43 AM
New Orleans Voices

Our City Talks Back

New Orleans own wizard competes in 700 year old magic tournament.

Diego Texera

Michael Dardant is New Orleans' representative to the world of professional magicians. Although Michael began practicing magic about 25 years ago, he did not begin competing until the last five years. Now, Michael is headed to Italy to compete in FISM, the equivalent of the Olympic Games of Illusion. The origins of this world championship of magic go back 700 years to a tournament between wizarding schools that began in the late 1200s. In 2015, Michael will be one of only 12 magicians who will represent North America in this prestigious event. According to Michael, “There will be over 40 countries represented, sending their top competitors”. Regarding the difference between Michael’s type of magic and the magic we see on TV, Michael noted that while he is generally not a fan of magic on TV, he loves the concept of the new television show, “Wizard Wars”. In fact, he recently auditioned for the show. In this podcast, Michael shares his insights about various types of magic and describes his own favorite form of magic. How does one learn how to become a magician? Michael  says that magic is one of those arts where aspiring magicians learned in an apprentice-mentor relationship. Michael describes his craft and tells us the locations where he performs his magical art in New Orleans.

Special thanks to Diego Texera for the great photograph of Michael.

 

 

Listen to the podcast here

 

 

 

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New Orleans Voices

Our City Talks Back

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Craig Kraemer grew up in New Orleans on Lowerline Street, across from the Carrollton Cemetery. As a child, he watched countless Jazz Funerals wind their way into the cemetery long before Jazz Funerals became cool. He remembers Hurricane Betsy and Mayor Vic Schiro’s famous quote to panicked citizens: “...don’t believe any false rumors unless they come from me...”

 

Kraemer lives now in Faubourg Saint John near picturesque Bayou St. John. (He prefers the term "faubourg" to"neighborhood" to reflect his pride in New Orleans’ French heritage.) Although his father’s family was originally from Germany, Kraemer’s ancestors—who established the town of Kraemer, Louisiana— adopted Cajun culture and traditions. His mother's family came straight from Paris to settle in New Orleans.

 

Kraemer's day job is as a videographer and graphic designer for his company, Kraemer Advertising. Kraemer's ongoing projects include filming productions for the New Orleans Opera, and symposiums and events for the Historic New Orleans Collection. In addition, he provides a variety of web videos and other film and graphic services for corporate and business clients. Kraemer's love for history and tradition have led him to recently open a new business: CK Digital Memories. This unique service allows Kraemer to apply his skills as an award-winning documentarian, film editor and visual designer to film and produce very personal and comprehensive Family History Video Documentaries for discerning clients. These broadcast quality productions capture the life stories of traditionalists who value their family legacies and heritages.

 

Kraemer’s clients understand the importance of preserving family history and achievements. They put high value on their history and want lasting video tributes to share their family pride with generations to come. In his work, Kraemer films clients as they recount family stories and share personal reminiscences. He then edits the video to include photographs and home movies the family provides. To add richness and ambiance, Kraemer adds music selections that relate to the stories and their eras, and includes photo images of cherished heirlooms or objects that have special family meaning. The result is a unique family chronicle, an enduring testament to a family’s continuing heritage. 

 

Kraemer started his New Orleans Podcasting site as a community service four months following Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans was in dire need of positive stories after the massive devastation of the storm. The national media were taking care of the negative stories. However, those who had stayed through Katrina, who were still in the city or who had just returned were eager to talk about the good things that were happening, however small they were. Kraemer’s weekly podcast interviews provided much needed injections of hope as they regularly highlighted positive stories throughout the city. Today, Kraemer continues to gather positive and unique stories to inform locals and the world about the wonderful place we call home.

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