Jean Boucher came into the shop a little while ago to stock up on supplies. I found it fascinating to learn that Alan Greenberg got hooked on magic by watching the movie Houdini when he was a kid. When I saw Jean and his beautiful daughter, Alyson, come into the shop, I wondered what got him hooked. This is his story and he’s sticking to it. Jean was about 9 when he saw a Zombie performed on TV on a circus show. He was awe-struck. When he got a magic kit as a present he threw out the thumb tip as it was too big and he didn’t know what it was for.
He bought a book on Houdini and found a book on back palming in the library
His interest waned during the years but he started playing cards at CEGEP (Quebec’s post secondary school) as he had a 3 hour break without classes. He suddenly remembered his card book and thought he could learn second deals, etc. to “help him win” at cards. He went to the yellow pages and found Le Grand Marcis, who had a little shop on Bienville. He saw all these magic tricks but he didn’t want that, he wanted to learn sleight of hand card magic so he could cheat.
Marcis sold him Derek Dingle’s book on card sleights. The book of course was in English and is not a beginner book to say the least. Furthermore Jean couldn’t speak English at that time, but he managed. He learned sleight of hand and became interested in magic again.
He didn’t know other magicians but when he attended a magic auction at Marcis’ he saw many people there and they all seemed to know each other but they didn’t know him.
What are you doing here? They asked him. He shrugged his shoulders. He came for the auction. Someone gave him a deck of cards and told him to do something; so he did a trick for them. Their jaws dropped open. Where did you learn that? They asked. He pointed to a black book behind the counter. A book?
Jean craved books. He never told me if he cheated at cards or not but he mastered hundreds of card tricks.
Then one day he met Michael Ammar who told him he only needed 10 tricks to earn a living. Ten tricks! It blew him away. It was then that he learned about the tricks having to be entertaining.
Since then Jean has been working for 15 years on cruise ships doing 25 cruises a year. Besides this he performs in Casinos, for corporations, etc. He carries a small bag. He’s big on books and entertainment.