Max Maven (b. 1950)


Max Maven's Real Name

Philip Goldstein




Mentalist, Magician, Lecturer, Innovator, Magic consultant, Author

Place of Birth

Ithaca, New York, USA


5' 6"






Max Maven possesses uncanny abilities in the branch of mentalism. His mind-boggling feats are accomplished through psychological subterfuge that he himself has cunningly created.

His mysteries transcend linguistic and cultural boundaries: He's performed in over two dozen countries.

Interesting Fact

Maven is an art enthusiast, including plastic arts, paintings and sculptures.


Max Maven was born Philip Goldstein in Ithaca, upstate New York, but at a very early age his family moved to the Boston area.

As a kid, he found himself drawn to magic on TV. He was shown some simple card tricks by an older cousin and a cut and restored string trick by an uncle. Thereafter, Max was hooked on magic.

Maven studied a wide range of magic, however, he discovered the branch of mentalism to suit him the most. It is conceptual in a way that visual magic is less so. It's very verbal, which is something that he tended to be.

He continued to study the art of magic, reading numerous books and even took theatre, involving himself in a number of high school and college plays.

Maven learned from some of the greats in magic; he even befriended some of them, such as Jay Marshall and Dai Vernon . He found himself heavily influenced by the works of the Annemann.

In 1978, he moved out to Los Angeles to pursue his career in magic. Since then, Maven's contributions to the magic community has spanned inexhaustibly.

He was presented with the Tenkai Prize, the highest award in Japanese magic in 1988; this was the first time this honor was ever given to a foreign artist.

Maven is respected within the industry for being a prolific author. His exploration of the mysterious side of human nature led to Max Maven's Book of Fortunetelling, published by Prentice Hall in late 1992.

Though he legally changed his name to Max Maven, but he still uses "Phil Goldstein" as a pen name for technical writings.

He has also contributed frequently to industry journals such as "Genii", "The LInking Ring," and "M-U-M."

Maven is particularly well known for his pioneering work in interactive broadcasting. He created the ground-breaking video "Max Maven's Mindgames" for MCA.

His games were a regular feature on the popular "Best of Magic" series for the ITV network in England.

Max's interactive work was included on "The World's Greatest Magic," NBC's highest rated special of 1994, and he was the first artist booked for the 1995 edition, and brought back yet again in 1997.

Mavin was named Lecturer of the Year by the Academy of Magical Arts (Magic Castle) in Hollywood, and in 1998 he was the recipient of a Creative Fellowship from that organization.

He has innovated many of the magical and mentalist effects that are used by other magicians.

As a consultant he has worked with David Copperfield, Siegfried and Roy, Doug Henning, Penn & Teller, Lance Burton , and many others. He has also directed revue shows for several major American gambling casinos.

Maven has a fascinating history. He has been a successful radio announcer, graphic designer, author, pianist, teacher, singer, actor, lecturer, screenwriter, composer, advertising consultant, and chef.

He reads over 150 books and magazines each month, and this constant flow of information provides a continual stimulation of new ideas for presenting his uncanny abilities.

For more information, visit Max Maven's official website.

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