Monthly Archives: September 2011

Where Magicians Meet!

We became friends with Denise and Stan Tesher through magic many years ago. They used to live in Montreal but moved to a little town in Ontario, not far from Ottawa. Phil, besides being a magic dealer, is a piano player, and does shows a few times a year in Ottawa. Whenever we do we arrange to have dinner with the Teshers. We had not seen them in a while so we decided to meet, even though Phil didn’t have a show in Ottawa. We met in Vaudreuil, in a little shopping center at a restaurant called Madison’s.

Phil and I got there first. We sat down and soon saw Denise and Stan. Denise came right over but Stan looked like he was reading something in a showcase. I figured he was looking at the menu, but they do hand them out at the tables so what was he looking at? He told me to go over to the showcase and look. I went over and saw two white dinner plates on stands with writing in thick black marker on them. One was signed “Best Wishes, Jacques Demers, 1993 Stanley Cup” which is the vied for trophy for all Canadian hockey fans; the other plate was signed “ Gary Kurtz, 2010.” Go figure!


Filed under Magic, Magic Conventions, Magie Montreal

Gene Anderson Responds

Two Blogs ago I wrote about Gene Anderson. I also wrote to Gene Anderson to inform him that I was going to write about him and asked what his first trick was that hooked onto magic. Here is his reply.

Evy and Phil,


Thanks for remembering me, and how very well I remember “Magic Montreal.” I loved that convention and that audience, and I wished we could do it all again.


In answer to your question, my first trick was the stack of nickels. An visitng uncle showed it to me when I was eight years old, and although we didn’t have that expression back then, he blew my mind. In the several days he stayed at our house I had him show it to again and again, at least twenty times. When he left he shook hands with me, and left the nickels trick in my hand. That’s when it started, and I still have the stack of nickels trick.


Magic did not become my principal career, but I’m generally credited with coining the term “part-time pro.” In fact that term has been the title of most of my lectures since its debut at the Magic Castle in 1975. I was nominated for Lecturer of the Year on its very first presentation, and it is the lecture I did at Magic Montreal. Of course the tricks I used to illustrate the lecture have been changed over the years (many repeat bookings), but the title and basic premise remained the same.


The “Part-Time Pro” treatise is written as a chapter in my forthcoming book. The working title for the book is “Forty Years to Make a Hat,” and the book will include my newspaper act plus a lot of other stuff. The book is still a few years away, but I am motivated and diligent. In fact I’ve been working on it all this weekend, and it will happen.


I thought you might find the attached draft page of the book interesting. It tells about the origins of the newspaper act. Feel free to use any of this material in your blog, and if you need a photo you can download one from my website at


If you do choose to write anything about me, please send me a link so I can see what you said. I’m jealous of my time, and if I spend much of it reading what everyone else is writing then I’ll never get the book written.


All the best,


Gene Anderson

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A Tip of the Hat To The Contestants – Magic of Course!

Last week I wrote about Gene Anderson. In 1989, a mere 22 years ago, he performed at Magie Montreal, our yearly Magic Convention back then. As I was going through material for the blog I came across photos of the contestants for the close up contest show and stage contest show of that year They were great. Over the years it happened many times that the Contest Show outshone the professional show.

Our M.C. for the Stage Show was  The Great UnKnown ( Daniel Raymond) and the contestants were Andre Boisvert, Salvatore Gervasi, Sylvain Charron, Tom Rutherford.

Our Sunday Close -Up Contestants were Raymond Dionne, Jocelyn Gauthier and Chris Pilsworth., who won the coveted Tom Auburn award.

And the winners are:


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A Man And His Scissors – Gene Anderson, Who Else?

I don’t remember when or where I first saw Gene Anderson perform, but I remember loving it. I was thoroughly entertained, and when it was over I wanted more. What I do remember was a NYCAN Convention  in Syracuse. They had an organ player to back up the show who was not the best. Romaine and Gene were walking along side us as we went back to the convention hall after the show and Gene said to Romaine, “Where did they get that organ player from?” and Romaine, who was going to perform the next evening said, “Yes, he’s awful, I’m not using him. I’m using my tapes.”

The man  in back of us, who I believe had something to do with organizing the convention piped up, “Hey, that’s my son you’re talking about.” So Gene said, “He can’t play. Why did you give him the job?” and the guy said, “He’s has to start somewhere!”

The son was there as well. I remember Gene going over to the kid and said “I want to talk to you.” He put his arm around the kid’s shoulder in a gesture of friendship and said,” Listen kid, you gotta get good…!”

That’s the way I remember it. I phoned Romaine to make sure and we both had a great laugh.

But I digress. We knew we had to have Gene at Magie Montreal and we did in 1989. He did not disappoint! He was the M.C., he did his act, and gave a wonderful lecture called the Part Time Pro. He stressed that just because you were not a full time magician did not make you an amateur. You could be a professional magician if you went about your magic in a professional way, even if it was only part time.

In his book, Newspaper Magic that he wrote with Frances Marshall of  Magic Inc in Chicago, he shares his stuff with the magic community. After more than 20 years later he’s still at it as a sought after entertainer and a lecturer.

When we had our Sunday night party  at our home for the out of town entertainers and dealers after Magie Montreal 1989, he liked to hang out in the kitchen.  We had a large kitchen. He said that was always where the real action was. He’s a real down to earth guy, who happens to have a lot of talent. Here are some photo’s from 1989 Magie Montreal. Were you there? Do you remember? Enjoy!

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Filed under Gene Anderson, Magic, Magic Conventions