Monthly Archives: October 2010

Where Magic Leads Us.

It’s funny how my (abstract) pen has a mind of its own. Last week I wrote about Joan Caesar. I wasn’t going to when I started off. She was going to be mentioned of course but I was going to talk about CAM 2010 and also CAM 2009. I never got there. It was supposed to be a side story that I thought was funny so I’ll try again.

Romaine and his wife Joan usually stay with us when they come to Montreal. They used to live in Montreal but moved to Kitchener about 10 years ago. In 2009 The CAM Convention was held in Montreal so they came to Montreal and stayed with us.

Joan and I went to the gala show, but Romaine and Phil, being magicians, attended everything. The convention banquet was for Sunday lunch. Unbeknownst to Phil and I, but known to Romaine, Phil was going to be presented with the SID LORRAINE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

The Sid Lorraine Acievment Award

for his contribution to excellence in Magic In Canada.

Sunday morning Phil came to our breakfast table wearing a golf shirt and sport pants. He looked at Romaine who was dressed up in a white shirt and tie and jacket…the works! Phil looked at him and said, “Are you going to Church or are you going to the convention?”

“The convention.”

“So what are you all dressed up for?”

“Today’s the banquet. You should dress up for the banquet. It’s an occasion.” he said.

“Nah, I like to be comfortable.”

So despite his valiant effort to shame Phil into dressing up it was to no avail.

To make matters worse, at the banquet, after the prize winners were all announced, Phil got up and went to the bathroom, totally oblivious to the fact that the emcee was now presenting him with an award. The organizers, frantic, stalled, and were going to get someone to drag him out when he reappeared.  That was 2009.

Fast foreword to 2010. The CAM Convention was in Kitchener so we stayed with Romaine and Joan. 

Once again, Romaine came to breakfast dressed up. We knew that Romaine was getting a LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD, but Romaine and Joan didn’t know, or did he find out somehow?”

“Roman, why are you all dressed up? Phil getting another award?”

“No, no, no. I have to introduce an act so I want to look presentable.”

Fast forward to the banquet. This time Joan and I went to the banquet as well. Each table had a banner of a performing magician and the attendees could sit with the magician of their choice. The four of us, along with others sat with J.C.  at the J.C. Wagner table. Romaine’s name was announced. He went to the podium to receive his award and received a thunderous applause. He told the emcee he would like to say a few words.

He thanked everyone and proceeded to say that he was sitting at the J.C. Wagner table with J.C. Wagner and that they have a lot in common. J.C. is a bar magician and he used to hang around in bars, and he kept the audience laughing until his last sentence when he spoke about the friends he made in magic and he actually broke down and wept and then the whole audience wept.

It was touching and funny. He had hoped to keep it light and comical but you just never know where you’re going to be led!

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Filed under CAM (Canadian Association of Magicians), J.C. Wagner, Joan Caesar, Joan Oleskovich, Magic, Phil Matlin, Romaine

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

Dr. Joe

One of my early blogs was about grandparents. During the summer Dr. Joe Schwarcz came up to the shop with his beautiful granddaughter Adira, who is 5 ¾ years old. It seems she’s a chip off the old block, so to speak, and has a love for magic.

Dr. Joe first came to our shop in the 1970’s. He and a couple of his colleagues put together a wonderful magic show called The Magic of Chemistry, which they have only performed over 200 times. If you didn’t see it, you missed something special.

Anyhow, Adira, it seems is an old hand at magic. She had this and she had that, but I showed her a few tricks she had not seen before. There was no fooling her, however. I had fooled many an adult, but she knew exactly what must have happened in order for the effect to have taken place. Joe and I had a few good laughs watching her. I think she’s hanging out with her Grandpa too much. Even though she figured everything out, and I mean everything, she still appreciated it and if she liked it she took it. Now he’s teaching her paper tears

Watch out you guys (and gals)! Your competition is not far behind.

While on the subject of Dr. Joe, as he is known in Montreal both on radio CJAD 8OO on Sunday afternoons and through his regular column in The Montreal Gazette in Saturday’s paper, in which he demystifies chemistry and tells us all sorts of fascinating facts; he is a great fan of Randi and I somewhere I have a photo of Randi and Joe sitting at a table at Magie Montreal, 1998 but I can’t find it. I mention this because Randi is coming to lecture at McGill University very soon.

So I had some other photos of Randi lecturing at Magie Montreal and one with some of my family. Enjoy.

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Filed under "Amazing Randi", Brian Matlin, CJAD Radio, Evelyn Matlin, Grandparents and Magic, Julie Matlin, Magic, Magie Montreal, McGill University, Memorablia, Perfect Magic, Phil Matlin

“Magic Tom”

Several years ago, maybe ten, Réjean Pagé, magician, friend, and customer of ours asked if I could help him on a project. He wanted to create a website for Magic Tom, to honour and remember him and the impact he had on Quebecers during his lifetime. He had tried to get copies of the weekly TV shows Magic Tom performed but it seems they were not saved nor could he get any information from anyone. We gave Réjean the phone number of Tom’s son and he got in touch with him. Soon after Tom’s son phoned us to ask who this guy Réjean Pagé, is and if he could trust him, etc. We assured him Réjean was a sincere person who would do his best to create a worthy memorial to his father.

A meeting was arranged in our shop and Tom’s son, Byron, daughter, Darleen, Réjean, Phil and I had a meeting that brought tears to all our eyes, and hugs all around. His son had brought a box full of photos and memorabilia, which he gave to Réjean to use for the website. It was a moment to remember. A treasure chest if there ever was one. Réjean did not disappoint.

Five years ago we moved from 4781 Van Horne to 4755 Van Horne to a smaller location, a few Suites down the hall. In the old shop our walls were lined with 8×10 photos but in this shop there is simply no room for them. I took them out of their frames and kept them in envelopes.

When I started writing this blog about 2 months ago, I looked through photos for subject matter and came that envelope and found pictures that Tom has given to us as he felt they should be passed on to someone who cared about magic history. So I will share these photos with you. Enjoy. And if I made a mistake or if you know the name of someone I couldn’t name kindly put it in the comment section below. Thank you and enjoy.

Tom did give us a couple of clues. On the back of one he wrote Tom Auburn and Blackstonetaken backstage at Her Majesty’s Theatre during 2nd World War. Theatre now demolished.

On another was written, Late Danté and Magic Tom during II World War Days at His Majesty’s Theatre and On another Mandrake and Velvet 1956.


Filed under "Magic Tom" Auburn, Memorablia, Perfect Magic