Category Archives: Magic Camp

Magic Camp. What’s it all about?

So now I know what I missed as a child that didn’t go to camp. But I guess the child is still in me as I loved it. We had a cabin in the woods that we shared with Bill and Becki Wells, who Phil hasn’t seen in maybe 20 years. They were wonderful. We had a bathroom and shower between our rooms and a huge screen porch and a fridge. I don’t think the younger campers had all those luxuries.

It was freezing at night in the mountains. We had a down duvet that kept us warm, and each other of course. When Phil woke up and said it was freezing, I said “You wanna warm up? Go onto the porch for a minute.” When he got up to use the facilities (you have to go out onto the porch to get there), he came back and said. “You are right. The room is warm.” Everything is relative!

The best part about the camp was the people of course. The adults and the kids. Where else could you rub shoulders with Mike and Jen Segal, Dan Weibe, Eric Leclerc, Aaron Fisher, Dave Mitchell, Carey Lauder, Lee Asher Dick Joiner, Steve and Stephanie Kline, Lori Farquhar ( Shawn was in China) , Lisa and Michael Close, Ben Train, Chris Mayhew, Mike D’Urzo, Chris Pilsworth, Rosemary Reid, Joan Caesar, Phil DaCosta, Becki and Bill Wells, Mark Correia, Lorena and Trevor Watters, Chris Westfall, Scott Hammell, Alex Seman, Loran, Asi Wind, Steve Valentine and Nicole Lee from Canada’s Magic ( from where I got the list of names as I could never remember them all).  These were the people running things, giving workshops, shows, lectures and spent time with the kids helping them with magic problems etc.

One night all the adults were asked to congregate on the peer. It was late and the sky was pitch black and the stars in the sky looked huge and I said to Phil, “Look at all the fabulous stars!” and Dick Joiner, who was standing near by said, “Really Evy, I’m not sooo fabulous!”

Steve Valentine was incredible. He was in an evening show and did something which I could not believe possible and went to his 11:00 pm  lecture after the show  hoping he would explain it, but he didn’t  but his lecture (not for the campers but for the other magicians there) on cards was fantastic.

Asi Wind held the audience spellbound in his one man show the next night. You didn’t hear a peep from the kids who were just as enthralled as the adults.

Then there was the kids show, 27 kids performed. Started off with Michael Close’s daughter (maybe 8 years old) and she picked Steve Valentine as a volunteer. She is little and he is well over 6 feet tall. He stood beside her and she looked up at him, ran off stage for a minute and came back with a plastic crate which she turned over and climbed up on to do her trick. It was hilarious.

Steve did a most unusual ice bucket challenge with the kids.

Speaking of the kids, one little guy came over to me and said, “Parlez -vous français?” and I said “Oui” and he went on to tell me in French that he had been to Perfect Magic and congratulated me for having having such a great shop. Another older kid  (14) also came over to say he had been in the shop many times. They were all so polite and after one of the workshops on performance that we sat in on we made a few comments and some of the kids came over to us after to get more info from us and thanked us for spending the time with them.

Speaking of the kids again,  Lee Asher who sat beside me at meal time, said “A pack of cards to kids here is like a pack of cigarettes to a convict.” Every single kid was walking around with a deck of cards constantly in motion… shuffling, fanning, cascading, springing, etc. and most of them were darn good. Illusionists provided the cards. Lee also thanked me somewhat sarcastically for giving the kids invisible thread and wax. He said “You try teaching 8 year olds how to strip thread and float stuff. I floated a candy for them and they all went nuts and wanted to do it. We were up for hours and I was in such a sweat. Thank again!”

Phil played the piano prior to the show as people were getting seated.

We had bonfires, lots of food and yummy deserts, swimming, dancing , exercises. The only regret I have is that I didn’t take a canoe out. The lake was so beautiful. Next year!

A big thank you to Mike and Jen Segal for inviting us.





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Magic Camp and all that Jazz!

Most of the people I know have been to summer camp. I never went. When I was a kid my parents rented a cottage on a lake in the Laurentians and we’d spend a blissful summer there. My mother’s sister, who who is now 99, and her family either shared a house with us or rented near by. Always on a lake and with a boat. Always had fun but I wondered what it would be like to go to camp like my friends did.

Now in my 73rd year I finally get to go to camp. Not only a camp, but just in case there is not enough magic in my life, it turns out to be a  Magic Camp, Sorcerers Safari. You never know how friends you have as a child will affect you in life. How did we come to be invited to Scorcerers Safari, not to work, just to go and relax and have fun. This may have had something to do with it.

Mike Segal is the creator and owner of Scorcerer’s Safari. He lives in Toronto, but his family is from Montreal. As fate would have it, it turns out that Mike’s mother was was my husband’s (Phil Matlin of Perfect Magic) first girlfriend, when he was about 8 years old. Last time we were in Toronto, we arranged for Mike and his mother to be at Browser’s Den in Toronto so these childhood friends could reconnect. We all met. It is also noteworthy that at a birthday party at Mike’s mother’s house when she was little and Phil (also little) was a guest, someone brought a magic kit as a gift. Mike’s grandmother went into the kitchen, opened the kit, learned a few tricks and had a magic show for the kids. It was the first time Phil saw a magic trick.

I wrote about this in an earlier post  but I hadn’t been invited to the magic camp then. So when Phil called Mike and told him we would accept his gracious invitation, he also told him how excited I was to finally go to camp. Mike’s answer,”Be sure to tell Evy that it is not a hotel.”

We are leaving August 14th  and will be back Tuesday the 26th, so if you need anything let us know before that. We will not be spending the whole time in Camp. It is 2 and a half hours northeast of Toronto on a lake. Should be fun!

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