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 http://geneanderson.biz/magic/contact.html
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,