Author Archives: philipmatlin

About philipmatlin

Perfect Magic is a magic shop owned and operated by Phil Matlin in Montreal, Quebec, Canada . We have been in business for 35 years. Besides selling magic to pros and amateurs alike, we have brought in many lecturers and held 2 day Magic Conventions, Magie Montreal, for 19 years bringing in top magicians from all over the world. Magic has changed in these 35 years and I, Evelyn Matin, enjoy writing about Perfect Magic Then and Now, the people we met, the incidents, and the magic scene in general. I hope you enjoy reading about it.

Strange Happenings at the Magic Shop

A lot of strange things happen in the magic shop. Yesterday I thought of someone, a customer, I hadn’t seen in a long time. Today he came into the shop.  I found that to be amazing. Why did I think of him? I have no idea. Among other things he asked for something that is no longer on the market. Phil opened the top drawer of his desk and took out the item. He said he wouldn’t be using it anymore and sold it to him. The guy was amazed because it was the only trick he had in his drawer. How’s that for magic!

The only reason he knew he had it was because some time last year someone wanted a large trunk for his magic stuff and Phil had one, his own, and he said if you want it, I’ll sell it to you.Find The Lady - di Fatta He bought it, but Phil had his stuff in it,  and this was one of the items. He kept it in his drawer as he really liked it and didn’t want it to get lost among the other stuff. It was a small version of Find the Lady, where you can show all the three cards, front and back. He bought the large version  (12″ x 18″) as well.

So now we only have one large version left and will not be able to get them at that price again, if we can get them at all.



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It’s Great to be Back at Perfect Magic

I’m back in the saddle again. It feels good. People come in and say they like my new hair style. It’s great to see them. Thank you all for your prayers, positive thoughts and good wishes. All treatment has stopped and I am not on any medication.

Tiny Spirit SlatesI’ve been reorganizing. All the used books that were in the office part of the shop are now in the main shop and are for sale. One book a friend sent me  in 1983 and she wrote a few words inside. She passed away recently so I will never sell that one. I’ve know her since High School.

I have also been making a list of tricks that would be great for Halloween, which is just around the corner, so I’ll share it with you. You may have some of these and perhaps you never thought of them (some of them) for Halloween.

Voodoo Doll…Orange and Black Mouth Coils (1 package left 50″ Cresey coils)… Orange spongVoodoo Dolle balls…Black sponge balls…Knife thru arm (that should scare them to death)…Haunted 2.0…Spider Pro… Bruised…Disecto Arm Chopper…Spirit Slates… Neck Cracker… Ghost Key… The Web… Haunted Hank…Rising Card… Tiny Spirit Slate..not to mention the floating tricks. If  you think of some that I’ve missed, let me know.

Now I have to organize the space that used to hold those books. I will try to write more often and I hope to hear back form you. Drop by if you can. Our roads have been fixed so there’s parking again. The construction in front of the shop is finished. We look forward to seeing you.



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Irresistible Magic

The problem with magic if you’re a magician, is that things come out in the marketplace that you think might fit right into your act. You’re tempted but you resist because it might be too expensive for your budget. Now, until the 28th, much of it is irresistible because the price is right, 60% off. That’s a big discount. If you haven’t seen the sale yet go to

It’s a good time to tell your parents or other loved ones that you can save them the trouble of worrying about Christmas gifts and give them a wish list with all the details.’s that for an idea? Another idea might be that you want to buy a gift for someone who is interested in magic. Ultimate Beginner Magic or Greatest Beginner Magic Ever would delight any aspiring magician. They’re both DVDs.  So what are you waiting for? Do your shopping while this fabulous opportunity is here!

Just as an aside, I happy to inform you I was discharged from the hospital on Saturday. I  usually get fever from the chemo and end up in the hospital for a week, but my next session is the last one which is at the end of the month. Then I’m done with all treatments. The operation was a success and these chemo treatments are just to make sure that everything is gone that should be gone.

I  thank all of you who were kind enough to send your positive thoughts and wishes during this time. It seemed it worked. I look forward to seeing you in the shop if you’re in town.

Good health to you all.


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The Agony and Ecstacy of Magic

As most of you know, I’ve been away from the shop and my regular duties as chief cook and demonstrator of magic since February. Now I come in with Phil on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the afternoon. I don’t know where to put the blame, on my old age, on my Chemo treatments, or that I have been away so long, BUT I forgot how to do a lot of the tricks that I demonstrated.

One of my favorite card tricks using a trick deck is Dan Harlan’s Card-toon There’s Card-toon 1and Card-toon 2.Card Toon I like them both and would show them to everyone who walked in and didn’t have one. It’s a winner. It’s not an “I fooled you trick”.  It’s fun, enjoyable as well as mystifying. So today I came into the shop and picked up a Card-toon and had no idea how it worked. I mean no idea!!! Of course there is an instruction sheet. Then I remembered that whoever bought the trick I showed them how to do it because it is so easy to do, BUT did you ever try to read the instructions for it? I thought they would take it home and put magic away forever if I didn’t show them how. I even have the instructions in French, thanks to Denise Tesher. Phil was of no help. After spending at least 20 minutes on it, trying to understand the instructions, I figured it out. Has it ever happened to you?

Well, now I’ll see if I can do the Svengali!!!


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Magicians, Musicians and Other Street Performers In Montreal

I would have been on this much earlier had I not been hospitalized several times since I first heard about the issue our wonderful street performers Image result for Street Magic  by Jeff sheridanhave had to deal with here in Montreal. It seems there are Draconian rules about who can perform, where and when and inspectors, etc. I would prefer that City Hall spent their precious time and manpower, not to mention our taxes, on a solution for fixing the pot holes on our streets rather than the performers on our streets.

When Phil and I were younger we traveled a lot. We drove across Canada and probably through all the states in continental U.S.A.  We took the children with us. We stopped all over to see the sights and points of interest. We also traveled to England, France, Italy and Israel. In so many places there were street performers and they added so much to our enjoyment. Many were excellent and were rewarded for their talent.  Magicians who came to Montreal, not to perform but for whatever reason, used to come in for props because it was such a vibrant city and they saw the possibilities here. They didn’t need a permit.

I don’t know if the name Jeff Sheridan means anything to you, but he was a street performer in Central Park in New York City and was the first magician to make a name for himself as a street performer and wrote a book on it. He is known as The Father of Modern Street Magic. One day he came into our shop and introduced himself. Phil knew right away who he was. He came to visit a friend and had no magic with him but his friend to him to Prince Arthur Street when it was closed to traffic and was full of restaurants and a real people attraction. He couldn’t resist doing magic there so he bought some rope and sponge balls, maybe linking rings, and I forget what else and asked us to come and see him perform. He asked if Phil would put some money in his hat at the end to get the ball rolling and he would give it back to him after.

Well, we watched his show. Tons of people came to watch him and we were pushed to the back. When the show was over we tried to get to the front but couldn’t make it. We saw him signal to us not to bother coming. People were fighting to get to him to throw money in his hat. He made three to four hundred dollars for his 20 or so minute show.

When we were in Florida, a street magician recognized Phil and asked if he could do some magic for him. It was something with sponge balls. He was pretty good, but the best part was that at the end of the routine he asked Phil is he wanted his watch back. Phil had no idea he had taken it.  In so many places the tourists as well as the locals enjoyed them. They never did any harm, only good, so what’s the problem with our City Hall?


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There’s No Escaping Magic!

I’m back home. Cancer sucks! But I guess I’ll feel better everyday. Thank you all for the lovely emails, positive thoughts,  and even phone calls I got from you. It was certainly encouraging.

I had the operation on the 18th of June at the JGH. I managed to crack up the anesthesiologist. Before the operation she came and explained to me in great detail what was going to happen, step by step, to make sure I understood everything. When she was through with her long and detailed recitation, I simply said, “Whatever!” I didn’t think it was that funny but she certainly did. When she finally stopped laughing she started talking again and burst out laughing again. I said I was happy to make her laugh. The staff must have a lot of stress and I’m sure she relieved a lot of hers with that laughter.

So after my robotic operation I was brought to a “short stay” unit and was supposed to go home the next day, but didn’t. The doctor wanted to make sure I was strong enough to take the next 3 doses of Chemo which I am not looking forward to…however, I went this far, I’ll see it through, but it’s not a walk in the park.

So there I am, in a room with 4 other people. I’m in Bed “A” nearest the door, not feeling wonderful as you can imagine, but I always kept the drapes facing the hall open to see some activity. One time I look up and just outside the door are two CLOWNS, a man and a woman, and they are dancing and singing and carrying on, real pros! The songs were ragtime songs that Phil plays on the piano. I called them in to find out more about them. They were both doctors. Did you know there is an organization of Doctor Clowns, FOUNDATION DR CLOWN that go around hospitals to cheer people up?

This is a postcard they left me and autographed.Clowns 1 copy.jpgClowns 2 copy.jpg

Of course I told them about Perfect Magic and the items we have for clowns as well as magicians. There’s the wrist watch that you pull the winder (remember those?) and out comes a tape measure, and I told them about the wand that falls apart , etc. They were excited to hear that Perfect magic was so close to the hospital. Anyhow I got a big kick out of them and they certainly lifted my spirits.

If any of you want to know more about them go to If you’re a doctor, you may have a whole new career waiting for you!!!





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Magic Sent Me Back To the Magic Shop

As most of you know, I have been away from the Perfect Magic since early February when I was informed by my doctor that I had cancer. I have been in and out of the hospital since then.  I am convinced I will not die of cancer; maybe from the Chemo treatments but not from the cancer!!!

I was supposed to have a robotic operation to remove the cancer in May but due to my reaction to the Chemo it had been put off. The last time I was sent home from the hospital, I did a lot of bed rest, TV watching and playing games on my iphone. I went to the park when the weather was good, but was told to stay away from crowds as my immune system was compromised by the Chemo. I tired easily and got to know my bed really well.

Then the magic happened. My son Brian and his wife Denyce, who now live in Pennsylvania, and their two Pyreneese Mountain dogs came in for a visit. Julie (my daughter) made Friday night dinner and we all got together. For the first time since my cancer business started, I felt well. My tiredness disappeared. I became alive again. It was then that I realized that my feeling of well being was psychological and made up my mind I was not going back to that place. On the way home I told Phil I was going to the shop with him on Tuesday. He thought I was crazy but I insisted.

He tried to prepare me that he didn’t have a chance to clean up. He wasn’t kidding. Boxes were everywhere.  I got rid of all the empty boxes, tidied up the place and rearranged the shelves. Of course I didn’t do all that in one day. I’ve been coming in with him every Tuesday and Thursday since then which was about a month ago and have been feeling just fine. I was amazed at all the new magic that came in.

I answered the phone once and the customer said he was so glad to hear my voice and he missed my blogs, so here I am. Another customer came in to pick up some stuff and left and came back an hour later to tell me he forgot to mention how happy he was that I was back.

Today I saw my doctor and he said everything was fine and I should be having my robotic operation next week or the following week at the latest. They do 2 robotic operations a day. If I’m the first, I go home the same day and if I’m the second, I sleep over at the hospital. Frankly I don’t care which it is, as long as I get it over with. I thank you all for your good wishes that you sent and appreciate them. If you get a chance, drop in and say hello.



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A Word For Magicians

It’s been over  month since my last blog. It seems like much longer to me but I’ve been getting my chemo treatments and recuperating from them and the time passes. I’ll be going for my forth treatment at the end of the month and then will be going for my robotic operation in May. How futuristic does that sound. Right now I’m feeling fine as the effects of the chemo have worn off.

I’ve been passing a few hours everyday playing a Scabble like game (Words With Friends 2) with my eldest daughter Ronna, on line. We have nine games going at a time. I haven’t played Scabble in at least 20 years so I was a bit rusty at first. Now I’m catching up to her. Why am I telling you this? I’ve learned a few new words since this began but one really fired up my imagination. I even dreamed about the word and wondered how many of my magician readers know what it means.

I’ll tell you what it is but not what it means. Without looking it up, if you know, tell me you know. The word is “Sice”.* It’s not an abracadabra thing, and I’m sure most of you may not even be in this area of magic, but if you are, and since patter is such an important part of performing, its worth knowing this word and would impress your audience if you impart this word and meaning to you audience.

P.S. Thanks to all of you who have been coming to the magic shop on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, which is when Phil is in the shop. We’ll let you know when things get back to normal, but we really appreciate your support.

* It has many different meanings, but you’ll know which one if you google it.






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Who’s The Magician Here?

“Who’s the Magician here?”

That’s the first question I was asked by my doctor as he walked medicine-and-health-care-stock-image_k19726369.jpgin the examination room where my daughter Julie and I sat waiting for him.  We had never met before even though I had spent a week in the Jewish General Hospital 4 weeks prior to this and he was my doctor.

So if any of you don’t know yet, and are wondering why I haven’t written anything since January, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the beginning of February. To make a long story as short as possible, I think you know that Phil broke his ankle in late December and was working at home all this time. I looked after the shop all of January. I was used to running up and down the stairs of the shop and would take parcels to send out at the Pharmaprix Post Office across the street. I thought nothing of it.

Then, in early February I noticed I was out of breath when I got to the top of the stairs. I called our family doctor. He said to come in immediately, sent me for X-rays and sent me directly to emergency as he said there was water in my lungs and it had to be drained. I thought it would be a few hour session. I got in, but never got out. I went from test to test, had a CAT scan, biopsy, more X-rays, etc. When I was done with the CAT Scan, after drinking 3 glasses of barium, I was told to drink lots and lots of water.  One of the men who handed me barium asked me if he looked familiar. I said no. He said I looked familiar to him but didn’t know from where. About 10 minutes later he came back.

“Are you Perfect Magic?” he asked.

“Yes, but I don’t remember you. Sorry.”

” I haven’t been there lately but I did take courses with Guy Camirand and was there often then.”

“That was years ago,” I said. “you’ll have to come back now.”

“I will, and give my regards to Phil.”

So to get back on track, I had to drink lots and lots of water. Someone put me on a gurney and took me back to emergency to go for more tests. When I got to where we were going I asked the doctor there if I could have some water as I just drank 3 glasses of barium.

“Not one drop,” was his answer.

“But I just had barium.”

“I don’t care what you had. Not one drop of water. Not today and not tomorrow. No food. No water.”

So here I am fasting for 2 days. And I thought Yom Kippur was hard. I hadn’t eaten since the night before, except for the barium, if you can call that eating. It took a week for my lungs to drain. Then they gave me Chemo, which I thought took about an hour, but Julie, who was by my side through most of this ordeal, said it was about 6 hours and I slept through the whole thing.  She caught up on her Netflix programs during that time. I had a huge private room in the new K-wing with a huge bathroom and shower. It was like a hotel, but I don’t recommend it, although all the nurses and doctors, and social workers that came around were incredible. One hears all these horror stories about how long it takes to get into a hospital, so maybe it was magic. Who knows.

So when the doctor asked “Who’s the magician here?” I said, “Everyone here is a magician.” He laughed and nodded.

The good news is that all my results were good. I have 2 more rounds of chemo (once every 3 weeks) and then I will have a robotic operation,  and then 3 more rounds of chemo and he said by August my treatment is complete.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch (Perfect Magic), Phil still can’t drive or take a chance on falling on ice etc, so Julie takes him to the shop and picks him up. Phil is there every Tuesday and Thursday from 12:30 to 4:30 pm. If you can’t make it at that time, and you need something, phone him as some of our customers have done, and tell him and he will make special arrangements for you. Also you can order on line. We appreciate your support, especially during this difficult time.

Right now I am feeling extremely well and wouldn’t know I had cancer if I didn’t know it. Of course that will change tomorrow after my Chemo, but I’ll be back to “normal” after a week. I did not have a bad reaction after my first bout and hope it will be the same after my second bout. Because of my cancer, which at one time would have been a death sentence, I included my doctor as a magician, as he said my treatment would be complete  by August, which I interpreted as “my cancer would be gone”. He didn’t say that but  if that turns out to be the case, he qualifies as a magician in my books.












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The Top of His Magic Game

I usually don’t use this post to advertise, but I  have always been a fan of Paul Gordon; I always thought his packet tricks were terrific. They always had such a punch but for some reason he was not asGold dust Companion.jpgGold dust.jpggold dust finale.jpg

well known as some of the American and Canadian magicians, like Paul Harris or Richard SanQuidnunc.jpgders. Perhaps it was his British accent. Who knows, but I always like him.  I was thrilled to see he came out with not one, not two, not 3 books, but 4 books; Gold Dust, Gold Dust Companion and Gold Dust Finale., The fourth one is Quidnunc, which  is not new.  That’s for the book lovers! He is also author of Article 52 which is not available at the moment.

However I know that not everyone loves books or learns easily

Quidnunc Plus

from them, so Quidnunc Plus! which is a two DVD video set by Paul Gordon is also available. So if you find it easier to learn from a DVD, you can still learn some terrific magic from Paul Gordon. Check it Out.

I also happen to have his second book which he wrote in 1998, Protean Card Magic.        WProtean Card Magichatever you choose, you will be adding some excellent and exciting card magic to your repertoire.



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