Monthly Archives: April 2014

Houdini and Dorothy Dietrich

In 2011 I wrote about Women In Magic. In 2012 I wrote More About Women in Magic and October 2013 I wrote Where are the Women in Magic?

Last week I got a comment on one of those posts telling me I should look up Dorothy Dietrich. The name sounded familiar and I did look it up and found her web site which was impressive. She was familiar so I said to Phil,

“Did we ever meet Dorothy Dietrich?”

And he said “Did we ever meet her? We went out to dinner with her and Dick!”

“We did? I don’t remember.”

” Oh, yes you do. They had their 2 little dogs  with them which they kept in a carrying case that looked like a purse. I think there were  in 2 separate cases, which they brought into the restaurant with them.”

And the whole scene flashed in front of me. Dorothy and Dick were in Montreal many years ago. The CBC was filming them for something or other and they called us to see if we wanted to go out to dinner. So we went to a lovely restaurant on the South Shore.We didn’t know what was in the cases. We were sitting around the table just talking and she mentioned her dogs and I asked if they were at the hotel and she said no, they were here. Where? Here in these cases. We never go anywhere without our dogs.  I was in a state of shock that someone would bring dogs into a restaurant.  But that is not all I remember.

Phil and ordered steak and shrimp. I ordered a steak with green pepper. It was absolutely delicious. I still remember how much I enjoyed it until I looked at Phil’s plate and saw a dead cockroach lying on it.  I stopped eating cold in my tracks.  Phil finished eating and looked at my plate.

Are you finishing that?


“Can I have it?”


“Why not?”

I did not want to spoil it for Dorothy and Dick so I said as softy as possible that there are cockroaches in the food.


And I motioned to his plate.

“That’s not a cockroach. That’s the shell of a shrimp!”

And so I ate my pepper steak and we had a great laugh.

Then I wondered what they were doing at the CBC, (Canadian Broadcasting Corp.) so I googled Dorothy Dietrich and the CBC and I came across a most interesting interview audio which I don’t think had anything to do with why they were here but it’s something worth listening to, especially if you are interested in Houdini.


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Did You Ever Think Of Becoming A Street Magician?

I had a taste of being a Street Magician  a few minutes ago and I saw its appeal. Of course I didn’t actually do magic on the street. But somehow it felt like it. Four grown-ups came into the shop. They had seen Luc Langevin and other magicians and wanted to get some magic tricks. In the promos for some of the tricks you see advertised there is usually a bunch of people yelling and screaming in disbelief. Sometimes you get the feeling that they are just actors. Well, here I was in my shop, doing my tricks, so to speak and I was wondering why it wasn’t being taped. Of course the proof is in the pudding. I showed one Svengali Deck and sold 3 to 4 people. I adore beginners. Everything is a miracle. They each bought a couple of things, and will be back. It was  fun. I’m used to getting reactions but this was special.

I always thought you could tell a lot about a person the way they react to magic. The more they enjoy it, the better natured they are. Some people try to figure out how you did it. Others get angry or frustrated and want you to do it again. Some people think they are too smart to be fooled by a trick. and some people just enjoy it. Those are the fun people. They were here today and it made my day!


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Timing Is Everything, Especially in Magic!

Seemingly unrelated to the title, my grandson, who is 8 and in grade two, had a project to do at home. He had to make a video of himself doing something. He decided he would make cookies, which were delicious by the way, and the video would be of himself making cookies and he would bring the finished product, the video and the cookies, to class. The other day my daughter told me when she came downstairs for breakfast, he was at the table doing a voice over for his video.

I should also mention that, being my grandson, he has been performing magic since he was two.

So now you have those facts.

This morning I got to work, turned on my tempermental computer, actually its my monitor that is giving me problems, but I digress. I went to Canada’s Blog Spot to see what’s new in the world of magic  in Canada and at the right side of the page there was a tweet from Chris Kenner and it said that he is looking to hire someone that can shoot and edit video, use photoshop and has a magic background. We could email him if we were interested at  My thoughts went straight to my grandson,  who can, at his tender age, shoot and edit video and has a magic background.  But alas, there was a tweet following that saying that the person must be able to relocate to Vegas. I don’t think his mother would let him go, let alone his grandmother. Too  bad Chris! You’ll just have to wait a few years! But if YOU fit the bill, get in touch with Chris. You never know!



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OOPs in Magic! Make it Their Fault!

A few weeks ago I wrote about picking the right suit in Magic. It was about Nick Trost’s “The Deuce You Say” whereby four twos are placed in an envelope face down. The spectator chooses a suit. The cards are removed from the envelope and Lo and Behold! their suit is the only card that is face up.  I gave a similar trick to my grandson. At his sister’s birthday party he decided to do a few tricks and that was one of them. However, instead of the chosen Queen of hearts the Queen of Diamonds came up. He took it in his stride and sort of apologized to the audience and continued on.

When I got a hold of him later, in private, I told him when he does a trick it could always go wrong and he should have an out. He should prepare for that “out” before he even starts the trick. He was interested in this business of “outs”. I explained to him that had he told the person to concentrate on their card and a diamond came up instead of a heart, you could tell them they didn’t concentrate hard enough. They got the red part right but they should have thought harder of the heart. Make it their fault.

So David Acer was in the shop a few days later and I told him the story. He loved it. He said I had to write a book called “Make It Their Fault”.

Have any of you wormed your way out of a difficult situation. Wanna share? I’ll put it in my book, when I write it.

I had a situation the other day. When someone new comes into the shop I always demo the Svengali deck. It is an amazing effect for someone who has never seen it, so over the years I must have done it thousands of times.  The other week someone came in and I said my usual line, “I’m going to riffle the cards and just put your finger in the deck, anywhere I want, I mean, anywhere you want. (Always gets a  laugh). And they do. I said, Take out the 10 of Diamonds and they just looked at me and are a little confused, and I said just take out the card, the 10 of Diamonds. And this person said,  as she turned over the card, but its the Queen of spades. I realized in that moment, that I had taken another deck. I said, Of course it is. I knew that. And she gave me a look. Yeah, sure!

You don’t believe me, I said. I just wanted to see what you would say when I said the wrong card, but I knew what it was, what it had to be, because they are all Queen of Spades and I showed her all the Queens. Her jaw dropped. and then I went on with the trick.

I must confess I hadn’t thought it out in advance, but you have to think on your feet in magic at times as the unexpected can happen.

Who is going to be brave enough to confess?


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