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Max Maven (born Philip Goldstein 21 December 1950 in Ithaca, New York) is an American magician and mentalist. He often appears on television magic shows to perform "interactive" mind reading tricks. Among other cities, including Rome, Maven grew up largely in Boston, Massachusetts where he became known for his performances at several nightspots including the then popular Playboy Club.

Max Maven
Max Maven.jpg
Max Maven, out of character, performing an ESP card trick, 2007
Philip Goldstein

(1950-12-21) December 21, 1950 (age 68)
OccupationMagician, mentalist

He is a prolific author[1] and conceived many magical and mentalist effects used by other magicians. He has been a magic consultant for such performers as David Copperfield, Penn & Teller, Siegfried & Roy, and Doug Henning, and is a frequent contributor to industry journals such as Genii, The Linking Ring, and M-U-M. He has also been the featured magician at the annual conventions of both the Society of American Magicians and the International Brotherhood of Magicians.

He hosted a 12-part series for HTV (Harlech Television) in Britain, "Something Strange with Max Maven", a talk-show exploring all aspects of the paranormal. The show set a ratings record, and led to a second series the following year. He also starred as the title role in FOX's 1992 Halloween special Count DeClues' Mystery Castle. It was shot at The Magic Castle.

Maven occasionally plays a magician character (often as himself) on various television series, such as, "Magic", "The Art of Magic", "Something Strange with Max Maven", "Fresh Prince of Bel Air", "General Hospital," "Mork and Mindy," and "The MAXimum Dimension".[citation needed][2]

He has performed often in Japan.[3]

Maven also appears as a part of the traveling science exhibit "Magic: The Science of Illusion" in the "Magic of the Mind Illusion," which has toured in science museums such as Los Angeles and Boston.[4] His name has been changed legally to Max Maven but he still uses "Phil Goldstein" as a pen name for technical writings.

In 2007, he won The Magic Woods Award for Best Teaching Video for his mentalism DVD "Nothing".[5]

Recently he has started his own show on Israel's Channel 2, licensed version of Penn & Teller: Fool Us called Mi Yapil Et Ha Master ("Who Can Fool The Master?).

Maven has a broad knowledge of magic history and the origins various tricks and methods. He has stated that he believes it vital to preserve the history of the art and provide credit to the originators of ideas.



  • The Magic Woods Award for Best Teaching Video, 2007
  • MINDvention Lifetime Achievement Award, 2015

Selected worksEdit

  • Max Maven's Book of Fortunetelling, 1992, Prentice Hall General. ISBN 0-13-564121-7
  • Max Maven's Mindgames (video)
  • VideoMind - Phases 1-3: Mentalism (3 volume DVD)


  1. ^ "Obituaries (Mike Caldwell)". Genii. William W. Larsen Corporation. 58 (10): 858. September 1995.
  2. ^ "MAXimum Dimension". Retrieved 31 October 2011.
  3. ^ "Magic Cafe". Retrieved 31 October 2011.
  4. ^ "Magic:The Science of Illusion". Retrieved 31 October 2011.
  5. ^ "Cover page (Special Max Maven issue)". Genii. 45 (3): 1. March 1981.

External linksEdit