Category Archives: Frank Garcia

The Man with the Million Dollar Hands: Frank Garcia

The first time Frank Garcia came to Montreal, he stayed at the Windsor Hotel, where he was to give a lecture the next day sponsored by Morrissey Magic. That first night there was a fire in the hotel and everyone was forced out onto the street in the middle of the night in their pajamas in the middle of winter. That was in the early 60′s.

In 1984 Phil Matlin and Wim Vermeys had the honour of dedicating Magie Montreal, our 5th Magic Convention, to Frank Garcia. He was the turning point for Magie Montreal. Up to that point we were hardly making it. When the magicians heard that Frank Garcia was going to  be there, they descending upon us en masse.  There was no VHS  or DVD’s at that time so if you wanted to see a legend perform you had to do it in person. If I remember correctly we had to turn people away.

I know that many younger magicians don’t know who Frank was. When they come into our shop (Perfect Magic) and we mention something about him, they say ” I never heard of him. Is he any good? Is he on You Tube? Did he put out any DVD’s lately?” We have to laugh.

Frank was a magician and a gambler. He wrote many books on both subjects. They are collectors’ items now and hard to come by.

Besides being a legend he was warm and friendly and just nice to be with. He and his girl friend Lillian, came to Montreal before the convention and spent time visiting us in our home. Romaine and Joan were with us as well. We didn’t talk about magic.

He brought us a gift when he visited us. It was a round brass trivet with carved Chinese writing on it. He said it meant Good Luck. He, if anyone, would know the importance of that, being a gambler and all.

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Filed under Evelyn Matlin, Frank Garcia, Magic, Magic Conventions, Magie Montreal, Perfect Magic, Phil Matlin

Joan Caesar and CAM 2010

I’ve often referred to Magie Montréal Conventions in my blog, but there is a new kid on the block, the Canadian block, that is. This kid was born to Joan Caesar a number of years back. If determination had a name it would be Joan Caesar.

Joan was first introduced to magic when her son was in kindergarten and a magician wanted to do a magic show for the kids and asked her to be an assistant. She was thirty-something. That sparked her interest.

She had been somewhat into magic after that, but when we got to know her years later, maybe 1996 or 1997, she knew little about magic. I remember sitting in a restaurant with Joan and Phil. Phil was telling her stories about Frank Garcia and Al Goshman, and some of the other greats that we had come to know over the years and she hung onto every word. Joan’s son, Ben Caesar, had won the stage prize for Magie Montreal in 1995, but we didn’t know her then.

So this woman, who knew little at the time about magic decided that Canada should have a magic organization because FISM wouldn’t allow our talented magicians like Carl Cloutier, Greg Frewin and Juliana Chen to name a few, to participate because Canada had no official organization. They had to compete under the auspices of another foreign FISM representative. Although it was wonderful that they were allowed to compete at all, Joan wanted our wonderful magicians to have the opportunity to compete under our nation’s banner.

It was a long process. The organization had to have members and Canada had to be voted in by a group. Joan said that Herb Morrissey helped a great deal as he used to send out flyers and with the flyers he sent word about CAM. That brought in a lot of members. People joined from all over Canada. She told me how excited she was when someone from B.C. joined. From there it grew. It has a magazine and conventions and great conventions at that. So we tip our top hats to Joan Caesar for what she did for magic in Canada and Canadian magicians.

These are a few photos from the CAM Convention 2010. The CAM Convention 2011 will be in B.C.  Shawn Farquhar is organizing it. We’ll be there. We hope you will too. Enjoy the photos.

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Filed under Albert Goshman, Ben Caesar, Bob Sheets, CAM (Canadian Association of Magicians), Carl Cloutier, Charlie Frye, Chris Pilsworth, Frank Garcia, Greg Frewin, Herb Morrissey, Joan Caesar, Juliana Chen, Mike Miller, Phil Matlin, Romaine, Shawn Farqhuar