Category Archives: Grandparents and Magic

Picking the Correct Suit in Magic

So I was sent a sample trick, a rip off of Nick Trost’s “The Deuce You Say” which came out long before most of you were born.  It was a great trick and we sold dozens of them. For those of you who weren’t in magic back then, let me explain what happens.

You show a person a packet of 4 cards and tell them that they are the 4 twos. They see the back of the top card only.  You put the cards in a small envelope and you tell the person to name a suit, any suit. Let’s say he chooses the diamonds. You take out the cards and spread them and lo and behold, only the two of diamonds is face up.

The sample I was sent contained Queens instead of twos. The quality of the cards was not so hot. the trick itself is still great. I showed it to my 8 year old grandson one evening, and he appreciates magic and was impressed. So I taught him the trick and  although he is plays cards and all, I wondered if he know the term suit. He said no. I explained that diamonds are one suit, clubs are another suit, spades…”I got it.” he said and he practiced for a while and then went into the computer room, where Phil was working at something or other. ” Grandpa, would you like to see a magic trick?” he asked.

“Of course”, said Phil

So I listened from the other room as he went though the whole thing and put the cards in the envelope and said to Phil.”Pick a coat, any coat!”

I just had to share that.


Filed under Grandparents and Magic, Uncategorized

A Treat At The Magic Shop

Last Friday was not our ordinary day at the magic shop.  It’s spring break. We had a visitor for the day, my grandson, who is now seven years old and has been doing magic since he is two. The last time he was here was about a year ago and by chance David Acer came into the shop and 5 minutes later Richard Sanders came in. Not planned. It was a riot and my grandson was doubled over in laughter with their antics. This time he came to the shop well armed with his magic case, under lock and key. We picked him up at his house and when he got to the shop he read the sign outside the door. Open 10-3 on Fridays.

“What time is it?”

“Ten past ten.”

“It says you open at ten. Where are the magicians?’

We had a good laugh and told him with the internet, sometimes we don’t see a magician all day. So he got busy checking everything out hoping a magician would come in. Finally one did. Someone we know well. Jonathan Levey.

I thought he would be excited to see a magician so that he would see some tricks, but no, true to form, he wanted to do tricks for the magician. He actually did a coin trick  with a penny (Miracle Coin Block)  for Jonathan that fooled him and  in the reciprocal manner of a magician,  Jonathan took the penny to show him a vanish. He vanished the coin from one of his own hands  and made it appear in the other. The most magical thing of all  happened when Jonathan opened his hand, expecting to see the coin he had transfered there. Instead, there were two coins in his hand, a dime and a penny and his jaw was hanging open, as he had no idea how the dime got there. We all had a good laugh.

Last year, when my grandson was here, there happened to be a huge box in the shop, so I cut out a door and windows and he played happily in and out of it. When he left I got rid of the box, but another came in a few weeks ago, and I saved it for him. Being busy with other things, I left him to his own devices. Then he called me and told me to watch. At age 7 he devised a manner of visibly getting into the box, and invisibly escaping from it. I had watched Le Plus Grand Cabaret du Monde from Paris and, to my amazement, the escape the magician used on the show was very close to the one my grandson came up with.

My grandson had a treat spending the day in the shop. We had a treat, because he was there and Jonathan had a treat because he managed to fool himself.


Filed under Children's Magic, Grandparents and Magic, Magic, Performing

Reinventing the Magic Wheel

Believe it or not, this is my 95th blog and I was sure I wouldn’t  be writing it today or even have one today. We’ve been busy in the shop, our web is undergoing an overhaul and  some of you may or may not know this, but I am also a document examiner and had to make a report for a rush case that had to be ready to hand into court and I’m out of the office on Thursday and Friday this week because I am a Grandmother Judge at the International Startup Festival  here in Montreal at the Old Port which takes place on those days. Then I have Phil on my back to get the banners and newsletter ready because I’m the one who puts them together.

But the important things comes first. It was my grandchildren’s soccer practice  last night between 6 and 8:00 pm. Of course they want us to be there. So I’m sitting on a pad on the grass watching my four year old grand daughter in her practice sessions when my six year old grandson sits down beside me and says in a quiet voice, “You know Bubby, when  I was at camp today I was reading a book on magic and it said you could make this thing that fits on your thumb and then you take a silk hanky and …….He described it so perfectly. I told him the name of it and he asked if I could possibly get him one. So we checked out his thumb and came to the conclusion that he might just have to wait awhile,  but perhaps we could find something that would work. I tell Phil the story, and what does he get out of it? “He can read?”

Anyhow, I thought it was so sweet how he shares these “magic moments” with me that I thought I would like to share them with you.


Filed under Grandparents and Magic

Super Stars David Acer and Richard Sanders

We had a special visitor in the magic shop today.  I’ve written a few blogs about my 5 year old grandson who is into magic. His mother dropped him off at the shop today as he is between day care and kindergarten. We volunteered to look after him. He  became fascinated with the bang gun, joy buzzer and the magic light bulb and was practicing them ardently when who should walk into the store? David Acer  and Richard Sanders. I introduced them to my grandson and in less than a minute he asked Richard if he wanted to see some magic. How could Richard say no to that? So he showed him the light bulb which lit up in his hand.

“You wanna try?” asked my grandson.

” Oh, I could do that.” said Richard. He took the light bulb in his hand and squeezed it but nothing happened. He looked at the kid and said, How did you do that? and the kid took back the light and make it light up again. Richard said, now I know how and took it back and tried with all his might but the light wouldn’t go on. The kid was killing himself laughing. This continued for a long time with the kid just roaring. Richard finally gave up so he went to David. You wanna try, he asked. David said, Oh , I can do that. He took the bulb and tried, but no luck. The kid just had the most marvelous time fooling these guys, who anyone could see were trying their very hardest to light that  light. They went through all the theatrics

When all was said and done, they left and I said to my grandson. “You know, those guys are famous magicians and comedians. One has his own T.V. Show,” and I showed him the autographed photo of David in a shot from Mystery Hunters. And I told him he wrote books, and that Richard has made DVD’s, which I showed him. And what does the kid say to me? Really? I said yes, really. And he said. Hmmm, and they didn’t even know that trick! And I said, Maybe they’re not so great after all. And he said, Maybe not.

Phil and I were killing ourselves after for not taping it.


Filed under David Acer, Grandparents and Magic, Magic, Richard Sanders

When is the best age for starting magic?

It seems to me that infants are fascinated and laugh when you play peek-a-boo with them. Now you see me, now you don’t. Sounds a lot like a the name of a magic book. When my grand daughter, 3 years old, was over a while back I did a basic sponge ball routine, placing one ball in my hand and one ball in hers and of course when I opened my hand my ball was gone and when she opened her hand she had the two of them. The squeals of delight still ring in my ears. “Do it again! Do it again!”  Then SHE wanted to do it and tried every which way. Then of course the ball came out of her ears and nose  and it kept her fascinated for a long time. My grandson is 5 and is familiar with many magic tricks, like the Appearing Flower, which he performed with bravado at age 2 accompanied by  a big Tah-dah when the flower appeared. He does Magical Block, Coin Slide, Cigarette Vanishing Case, (using things other than cigarettes of course) and the  other day I showed him the Penetration Frame, whereby a pencil passes through a solid sheet of plastic. I let him play with it and was astounded when he come over to me and said, “I figured it out.” I’ve demonstrated this trick hundreds of times and always let the spectator examine the apparatus before and after and never has anyone, adults included, figured it out. Now I know I sound like a typical grandmother bragging about her grandchildren, which is true, because they are the cutest and brightest, BUT I also want to make a point.

I believe that when children are introduced to magic at an early age and learn to do magic tricks, they also learn to think a little differently than children who are not introduced to magic tricks. You see, I really can’t fool them anymore. The are still impressed and delighted with each new thing I show them, but those little brains are working. I can see them trying to figure out the possibilities. They know there’s a trick to it. I think this helps them in school as well. They can think outside the box. A while back I wrote a blog on Dr. Joe Schwarcz, who brought his granddaughter, age  5 then, to our magic shop (Perfect Magic in Montreal). She’s an old pro at it, and figured out every trick I showed her, but said she still liked them. So its not just my grandchildren. I believe all children would benefit. And some magician’s with children don’t even think to teach their children magic. One very well known magician saw the video of our 2 year old performing the appearing flower and was amazed. He said, “Gee, my daughter is older than that. Maybe I should get a couple of things for her. I never even thought about it.” Get your kids and grandkids started on the right foot with magic! And I didn’t even talk about what it does for their self-esteem and self-confidence!


Filed under Grandparents and Magic, Uncategorized

Dr. Joe

One of my early blogs was about grandparents. During the summer Dr. Joe Schwarcz came up to the shop with his beautiful granddaughter Adira, who is 5 ¾ years old. It seems she’s a chip off the old block, so to speak, and has a love for magic.

Dr. Joe first came to our shop in the 1970’s. He and a couple of his colleagues put together a wonderful magic show called The Magic of Chemistry, which they have only performed over 200 times. If you didn’t see it, you missed something special.

Anyhow, Adira, it seems is an old hand at magic. She had this and she had that, but I showed her a few tricks she had not seen before. There was no fooling her, however. I had fooled many an adult, but she knew exactly what must have happened in order for the effect to have taken place. Joe and I had a few good laughs watching her. I think she’s hanging out with her Grandpa too much. Even though she figured everything out, and I mean everything, she still appreciated it and if she liked it she took it. Now he’s teaching her paper tears

Watch out you guys (and gals)! Your competition is not far behind.

While on the subject of Dr. Joe, as he is known in Montreal both on radio CJAD 8OO on Sunday afternoons and through his regular column in The Montreal Gazette in Saturday’s paper, in which he demystifies chemistry and tells us all sorts of fascinating facts; he is a great fan of Randi and I somewhere I have a photo of Randi and Joe sitting at a table at Magie Montreal, 1998 but I can’t find it. I mention this because Randi is coming to lecture at McGill University very soon.

So I had some other photos of Randi lecturing at Magie Montreal and one with some of my family. Enjoy.

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Filed under "Amazing Randi", Brian Matlin, CJAD Radio, Evelyn Matlin, Grandparents and Magic, Julie Matlin, Magic, Magie Montreal, McGill University, Memorablia, Perfect Magic, Phil Matlin

Grandmas and Grandpas and Magic Part 1.

It’s sometimes hard to connect with kids these days. They’re into video games, DVD’s and other new age stuff. It’s also hard to compete with Spider Man and Dora.What you need is magic! What age is a good age to start?

I started my grandson at 2 ½. He was thrilled with Appearing Flower and knew just when to say tadahGeorge Schindler, the dean of the Society of American Magicians, was so impressed with his performance he sent him a Appearing Bouquet as a gift! He’s 4 ½ now and his eyes still light up every time he sees a magic trick! He performed one for Show and Tell at day care. He told me he showed but he didn’t tell.

My first memory of a grandparent bringing his grandson to the magic shop goes back about 30 years. The boy was about 11 years old, I think, and his grandfather said, “The boy is shy. Do something for him!” It was an order and a plea. I showed him a trick and his face lit up. His grandfather bought him a couple of things. And just where is he today?

Richard Sanders He is a professional magician par excellence and creator of some of the greatest magic effects to hit the market. Go to his home page and click on about us to get his full credentials. He blames me for getting him into this, as I blew him away with the Mental Photo Deck and he claims that’s what did it.  I blame his grandfather.

Photo of Richard Sanders receiving the Tom Auburn Award from Tom Auburn in 1981 at Magie Montreal.

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Filed under "Magic Tom" Auburn, Grandparents and Magic, Magie Montreal, Richard Sanders