Monthly Archives: April 2017

First Time On Stage for the Public

How many of you remember going on stage for the first time? Were you a little nervous, a lot nervous? I bet you were. But that was nothing compared to how nervous your mother (and grandmother) were. My grandson, Jacob, age 11, performed for the Masters of Spectacular last night at the Decarie Square Dollar Cinema.

Dan Laxer, who you may know from CJAD, was the guest host and did an excellent job,  Jason Acoca, Ilusionist, made a lady appear, followed by comedian Geoffrey Applebaum who was hilarious and did amazing stuff with his voice, then Jacob Koffler performed Color Changing Wreaths, followed by Magician Jody Mihaly who was sharp, entertaining and had really great hair (you had to be there). He did mentalism and I can usually figure out a method but one effect stumped me completely.

We also had a special guest in the audience. None other than Spidey. We’ve know Spidey since he was a kid. He reminded me that he used to work for Perfect Magic. Now he’s a world renowned hypnotist. These magicians like Spidey and Jody have been around awhile so when Jacob started doing his Colour Changing Wreaths, they knew where he was going with it as it’s like that classic, Silk Serenade or Color Symphony, which is basically the same effect using records.  I know, some of you are thinking, “What are records?” but we old timers know. So Jacob blew them away with his ending, when he thew the 3 separate coloured wreaths into the air and they turned into one giant 3 coloured wreath.Jody Mihali, Jacob Koffler, Phil & Evelyn Matlin, Spidey

Oh, and by the way, Jody, a well seasoned magician, who does a lot of work for private parties and other venues, said that this was his first time performing for the public. He did a great job, even though he got my 9 year old grand daughter up on stage as a volunteer comedian and she gave him a hard time, that little monkey, but he handled it well. He did a fabulous job with 2 Rubiks Cubes and great comedy Book Test Routine. It was the first time I had seen it and would highly recommend it. It had a killer ending. Kudos to you Jody and Jacob!

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Going The Extra Mile For Magic

We live in an age of instant gratification. We don’t like to wait for anything. 3 seconds on for the computer to change programs is 3 seconds too much. Now. We want it now. Nor can we take the time to spell properly. You are is much faster if you write u r. And texting or emailing someone from my iphone is wonderful because it anticipates what I am going to say and give me a choice of 3 words so it practically writes it for me.

I think I once mentioned that someone who bought The Raven came back a few days later and told Phil he couldn’t figure it out. Phil asked him what his problem was and knew it was clearly explained on the DVD.

“Did you watch the DVD?” asked Phil.

“Are you kidding me? It’s an hour long!” was the reply.

Phil told him to go home and watch it. Why do I bring this up now? A new trick came in that Phil wanted to check out. It was a great trick. I watched the instructions too. My first thought was, “That’s a lot of trouble to go through to do a trick.” And then I realized I was one of these instant gratification people. My next thought, believe it or not, was Paul Gertner. Maybe you’re too young to have heard of him. I think he was on “Fool US” but that’s not why I thought of him. Many years ago he won the close-up prize at FISM, if my memory serves me right, for “Ring On Hour Glass”. I saw him lecture once and he showed how he did it. If anyone reading this was at his lecture you’ll know exactly what I mean when I talk about going the extra mile. It was an incredible feat of thinking to plot this out, let alone do it.

So if you buy something because the effect is so strong, and you get it and have to prepare something that’s more involved than you are prepared to take on, think of the end result and get back to it. It will be worth your effort.

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Small Hands? No Excuse for Magicians

I remember watching a famous magician doing card tricks and I commented to Phil how good he was. Phil said yes, but look at the size of his hands. He could  hide an elephant in his palm. So it made sense to me that if your hands were big you had an easier time of it.

That idea was tossed out the window yesterday. A new kid came into the shop with his parents. He walked in holding a deck of cards shuffling and fanning and cascading and doing all kinds of things with those cards while talking about different things. It was like second nature to him. Now when I say a kid, I don’t mean a 12 year old or even a 9 year old. This was a 7 year old kid, and small for his age. I thought he was about 5, which made it all the more unbelievable, small hands, delicate fingers. One of the other customers in the shop was a professional performer and he was blown away as well.

The kid picked up a deck of Phoenix cards and that was all he wanted. The other customer asked him why. He said he finds the quality to be better. He reminded me of a remark that I think Lee Asher made when we were at Sorcerers Safari Magic Camp a few years ago, “A pack of card to these kids is like a cigarette to a convict.”

The kid himself made a remark that he can’t do all the passes because his hands were still too small, so he is aware that his hands will grow and then, Magic World ….Beware!

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Magic Hands

I was in Toronto for the Magic Bash and my back, which has behaved so well for years decided it was time to remind me that I have a back. We were staying at my cousins home in Toronto and as fate would have it, she happens to be an occupational therapist who works with pain related issues and movement disorders related to neurological conditions. 

Her passion is working stroke patients. After a stroke patient has been to rehab in the public system and is told this is as good as its going to get, that’s when she steps in. Her forte is the arm and hand. She has done wonders for many patients, has contributed to books on the subject, had her own clinic and practice for many years and has taught courses to therapists and lectured all over the world. 

I’m happy I didn’t need her services in that area, but she did help my back considerably. She said I need a few treatments but was leaving for Montreal the next  morning so I couldn’t take full advantage of those magic hands, but she did offset a major crisis for me.

If you know someone that has suffered a stroke and wants to improve their mobility and are in the Toronto area, she’s your woman. Her name is Anna Greenblatt and she can be contacted at agreenblattot@gamil.com.

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