Category Archives: Magic Conventions

Magic in Montreal Gets a Big Boost

There was a time, a few moons ago, that there were Magic Conventions in Montreal, once or twice a year. At Magie Montreal there was a lot of magic of course, but more than that was the comraderie and we haven’t  had that in a long time. Our last Convention was in 1998. CAM (The Canadian  Association of  Magicians) had one one the South Shore a few years ago. There is also a Festival in Quebec  City.  But in Montreal it’s been quiet. We miss it. It’s just too much work and too expensive. But at the Comedy Nest at the Old Forum, a few months ago, David Acer took a  chance and decided to make one Sunday night a magic night. It turned out there was standing room only. It was such fun. And the after show was great too. The magicans hung in there and chatted away. It was like old times.

If you missed it you get a second chance. SUNDAY JUNE 1st, at 8:00pm The Comedy Nest is having another magic night.  It should be a blast. Jonathan Burns, Richard Sanders, Romaine, and Angelo the Amazing Food Magician will be performing. We’ll be there! Will you? The Comedy Nest is not a big place so put your reservation in now if you intend to go. Otherwise you may be disappointed.

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Filed under Comedy, David Acer, entertaining, Magic Conventions, Magie Montreal, Richard Sanders

The Magic Connection

We went to the one day CAMJAM  2 week-ends ago at Niagra Falls and had a great time. Shawn Farquar and Perfect Magic were the only dealers except for the fabulous lecturers. Romaine’s wife Joan said at the end of the day that all the years she has been going to conventions with Romaine, she never went to the lectures as she was not a magician and thought it would be boring for her. After going to the lectures of  Oscar  Munoz from Texas , Michael Dardant from New Orleans, and Vincent Hedan from France, she said “I ‘m sorry I missed the lectures all the years we’ve been going. I never realized how fascinating they were.” (or something to that nature). They had a good turn out and there was a lot of comeraderie. Then in the evening we saw Greg Frewin’s great illusion show at the Greg Frewin Theatre, a feature event in Niagra Falls.

Another event of CamJam was the presentation of the Magician of the Year Award which went to Mike Segal of Sorcerers Safari Magic & Performance Camp, which has been in operation for over 15 years. We met Mike a number of years ago, ten maybe 15, and although he is living in Toronto, his mother is from Montreal, and guess what! She was Phil’s ( yes my husband Phil) first girlfriend. He thinks he was seven at the time. So everytime Phil met Mike, he would ask how his mother was.

After we left Niagra Falls we spent  5 days with Romaine & Joan and then went to Toronto to visit my Aunt and other relatives. At the CamJam Phil told Mike he was going to Toronto on the way home and Mike said to give him a call. Phil told  him he was going to be at the Browser’s Den (a magic shop in Toronto) at noon on Saturday and we could meet there. Then Mike suggested he bring his mother and Phil thought that would be a great idea. The plot thickens!

We got to the Browser’s Den. They weren’t there yet, but I had shopping to do, after all, it is in a shopping center so I left. When I got back Jewish geography was in full swing. I met his first girlfriend, who was very sweet, and we got to talking and this is the magic connection! When one of her brothers was little he got a Magic Kit  at one of his birthday parties and his mother, Mike’s grandmother, went into another room, opened the kit, figured out the tricks and did them for the kids at the party. Phil was one of the kids and it was the first time he saw a magic trick. That was 70 years ago!

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Filed under CAM (Canadian Association of Magicians), CamJam, Magic Conventions, Phil Matlin, Romaine

The Great Unknown – Magician, Clown, Comic & Gentleman

Two posts ago I wrote about Magic Dealers at  Magie Montreal 1988-89 and I received such a touching comment from one of our Convention Goers that I thought I would share it with you. It was from no one else but The Great Unknown. He was certainly known to anyone who attended Magie Montreal. This is what he said and it is a great compliment to us. Thank you Daniel for bringing so much laughter to Magie Montreal.

Boy ob oy did I have fun at the Magie Montreal conventions (as a matter of fact I never attended any other convention)! 99% of the magic equipment I ever owned came from Perfect Magic. The Magie Mtl conventions gave me a real incentive to perfect my art of being ridiculous. When Magie Montreal conventions became something of the past so did my short lived career. Just now I come to realize that I never told Phil & or Evy that THEY were responsible for my ten-year amateur (or, at best, semi-pro) career. To start with I got interested in magic by attending magic shows on Saturdays at the magic shop. Then I heard of the magic conventions and I got carried away. A million thanks to Phil & Evy for starting my fire and then nurishing it. Knowing you was a real treat. I only have sweet memories of this too far away past. Great job Phil & Evy. My very best regards to you.

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Filed under Magic Conventions, Magie Montreal

Magic Dealers at Magie Montreal 1988-89

Sometimes to get inspiration for a topic I look at old photos. I randomly picked up the year 1989, but I had lost those programs. Denise Tesher was kind enough to find me a copy but there was no cover, so I wasn’t sure of the year. Which was which? I went through the 2  years and thought what a gold mine we had then. These were  not guys that sat in their basement and invented a trick and put it on the internet. These guys were performers and entertainers. We knew them personally. Unfortunately, many have since died, some much to early, but at least we have memories and somehow they must in some way have influenced out lives. There was Hank Moorehouse for Abbott’s Magic, Al Cohen for Al’s Magic Shop, Bob Little  for Guaranteed Magic, Hank Lee for Hank Lee’s Magic Factory, Al Goshman for Magic By Gosh, Paul Diamond for Paul Diamond Magic, Pavel for Pavel’s Top Magic, and Marilyn for Hans Zahn Videonics…and of course there was also Perfect Magic…so take a look.

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Filed under Magic Conventions, Magie Montreal

Reaching For A Star and Catching It! That’s Magic!

We’ve known Ted Outerbridge since he was a kid. He had a dream and didn’t let go. He worked hard. He struggled but never gave up. It paid off. Last week in the Gazette, there was an article about him. We were thrilled to see it.  In 1997, before he was famous, he won the Tom Auburn Award at Magic Montreal, the Annual Magic Convention produced by Perfect Magic and Wim Vermeys for 19 years. It was a sign of things to come. I spoke to him and asked him to write about himself and to include what got him to decide to make a career of this and also what tip he could give to up and coming magicians. I’ll publish it when I get it. In the meantime…Ted and Marion…Keep on truckin’!

I have included  photos of Wim Vermeys and Phil Matlin and the Trophy Winners of Magic Montreal 1997 and we have David Acer, sticking his head through the curtains in the back. He was never one to be left out! David was the M.C. of the stage show that year, hilarious as usual!

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Filed under "Magic Tom" Auburn, Magic Conventions, Magie Montreal, Perfect Magic, Show buisness, Ted Outerbridge

Where Magicians Meet!

We became friends with Denise and Stan Tesher through magic many years ago. They used to live in Montreal but moved to a little town in Ontario, not far from Ottawa. Phil, besides being a magic dealer, is a piano player, and does shows a few times a year in Ottawa. Whenever we do we arrange to have dinner with the Teshers. We had not seen them in a while so we decided to meet, even though Phil didn’t have a show in Ottawa. We met in Vaudreuil, in a little shopping center at a restaurant called Madison’s.

Phil and I got there first. We sat down and soon saw Denise and Stan. Denise came right over but Stan looked like he was reading something in a showcase. I figured he was looking at the menu, but they do hand them out at the tables so what was he looking at? He told me to go over to the showcase and look. I went over and saw two white dinner plates on stands with writing in thick black marker on them. One was signed “Best Wishes, Jacques Demers, 1993 Stanley Cup” which is the vied for trophy for all Canadian hockey fans; the other plate was signed “ Gary Kurtz, 2010.” Go figure!

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Filed under Magic, Magic Conventions, Magie Montreal

A Man And His Scissors – Gene Anderson, Who Else?

I don’t remember when or where I first saw Gene Anderson perform, but I remember loving it. I was thoroughly entertained, and when it was over I wanted more. What I do remember was a NYCAN Convention  in Syracuse. They had an organ player to back up the show who was not the best. Romaine and Gene were walking along side us as we went back to the convention hall after the show and Gene said to Romaine, “Where did they get that organ player from?” and Romaine, who was going to perform the next evening said, “Yes, he’s awful, I’m not using him. I’m using my tapes.”

The man  in back of us, who I believe had something to do with organizing the convention piped up, “Hey, that’s my son you’re talking about.” So Gene said, “He can’t play. Why did you give him the job?” and the guy said, “He’s has to start somewhere!”

The son was there as well. I remember Gene going over to the kid and said “I want to talk to you.” He put his arm around the kid’s shoulder in a gesture of friendship and said,” Listen kid, you gotta get good…..fast!”

That’s the way I remember it. I phoned Romaine to make sure and we both had a great laugh.

But I digress. We knew we had to have Gene at Magie Montreal and we did in 1989. He did not disappoint! He was the M.C., he did his act, and gave a wonderful lecture called the Part Time Pro. He stressed that just because you were not a full time magician did not make you an amateur. You could be a professional magician if you went about your magic in a professional way, even if it was only part time.

In his book, Newspaper Magic that he wrote with Frances Marshall of  Magic Inc in Chicago, he shares his stuff with the magic community. After more than 20 years later he’s still at it as a sought after entertainer and a lecturer.

When we had our Sunday night party  at our home for the out of town entertainers and dealers after Magie Montreal 1989, he liked to hang out in the kitchen.  We had a large kitchen. He said that was always where the real action was. He’s a real down to earth guy, who happens to have a lot of talent. Here are some photo’s from 1989 Magie Montreal. Were you there? Do you remember? Enjoy!

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Filed under Gene Anderson, Magic, Magic Conventions

Hank Moorehouse

Hank Moorehouse died in Bejing July 2, 2011 and his passing had saddened us and many others greatly. Our hearts go out to Jackie and his family. His career is wonderfully documented in  the MUM link, so I won’t go into that as it has already been done but I can tell you about our relationship with him. He was with us when Perfect Magic opened its doors 35 years ago. Phil called him for something and mentioned he was opening a store. Hank wished  him luck and asked if he wanted him to come down to do a lecture to kick it off. No charge, just to give us a boost. That was the kind of guy he was!

Hank introduced us to his lovely bride Jackie in Toronto at a Passport To Magic Convention. I say bride because they were on their honeymoon. They had a booth  there and Jackie laughed about it. “What new bride would go to a magic convention on her honeymoon!”

From the left, Jackie & Hank Moorehouse, Dave Cresey, Phil Matlin

Phil says that without Hank there probably would not have been “Magie Montreal”, the  magic  convention that took place in Montreal for 19 years, thanks to Phil and his partner in that endeavour, Wim Vermeys. When Phil needed advice regarding acts, who was good, who was reliable, etc,  Hank always gave it to him straight.

Many years ago Phil and I were on our way to a Convention in the States not far from where Hank  and Jackie lived. We phoned them and said we would like to meet them for dinner in Kalamazoo and they said no, if you’re so close you’re coming to our home. They insisted we spend the night there, which we did after we all went to a lovely restaurant in Three Rivers for dinner.

Many of you probably met Hank at Magie Montreal.

Hank at the close-up table

Hank entertaining

He had been there a few times, when his busy schedule permitted. I have posted some of the photos of him and you’ll notice how much fun his volunteers are having with him on stage. He knew how to make people feel at ease, young or old. Enjoy the memories!

Hank

Phil Matlin, Hank Moorehoue and Wim Vermeys

Hank's world famous escape act.

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Filed under Hank Moorehouse, Magic, Magic Conventions, Magie Montreal, Perfect Magic, Phil Matlin

A Superb Tip from David Acer. Comedian, Magician, TV Star, Author….

David Acer sort of feels like a third son to us. All our kids (4) worked at Perfect Magic Shop when they were growing up and so did David when he was 14 years old. That would be in the 80’s.

Last week,  some 30 years later, and many times since, he came to pick up a few things. We reminisced about Al Goshman. David remarked upon the fact that this chubby older man was not the person one would look at walking down the street and say, ” There goes a magician.” And yet he was amazed that when Albert performed, he was transformed and his fingers danced in a way one wouldn’t believe unless you saw him.

And why am I telling you this? Because while David was here I asked if he could write something for our readers as to what got him into magic as a career and what word of advice would he give to aspiring magicians. Last week Michael Ammar wrote something and I thought my readers would be happy to hear what other people who were successful in magic had to say.  He immediately agreed. That sent me on a hunt for photographs of David. By sheer coincidence the first photo I came aross of David was one of Albert sitting behind his booth at a Magie Montreal 1988 Convention.

In any case here is what David had to say:  While you’re at it, Check out David’s best selling book “GOTCHA! 18 Amazing Ways to Freak Out Your Friends” http://www.davidacer.com/david-acer-magic-catalogue-Gotcha.html .

Q: What was the first trick that made you think this is what you want to do?

A: Well, I’m still not sure this is what I want to do, but assuming  it isn’t just a decades-long phase I’m going through, I’d say the trick  that pulled me in was the old broken-and-restored toothpick in a  handkerchief. I remember fooling my mother and step-father with that – I  mean really fooling them – when I was nine or ten, and that started me  on the path to deeper mysteries.

Q: What advice would you give aspiring magicians?

A: Never iron flash paper. Also, try to be yourself when you’re doing  tricks. That usually means presenting them in a way that makes you care about them. Talk about your job, your family, your life, good, bad or weird. If you care, other people will care. But if you have to invent a reason to care, maybe it isn’t the right trick for you.

Thanks, David, for the tips. I hope the readers enjoy it as much as I did!

Enjoy the photos

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Filed under Albert Goshman, Evelyn Matlin, Magic, Magic Conventions, Magie Montreal, Perfect Magic, Phil Matlin

A Tip on Performing from Michael Ammar – Superstar!

Michael Ammar and Johnny Carson - Then

Michael Ammar and Johnny Carson - Then

Michael Ammar Superstar - 1995

Phil Matlin, owner of Perfect Magic Shop, first met Michael Ammar when they were both relatively new in magic. It was in Evansville Indiana at an I.B.M. Convention. Michael was still sowing his wild oats. We got to know Michael well over the years. He stayed at our home when he came to Montreal. When we first met his wife Hannah, Michael introduced us as Phil and Evy from Perfect Magic in Montreal, who know me from way back when…. He said we knew that things about him that very few people knew. And she said to us, “I know everything about Michael, don’t worry!” We had a great laugh.

Card Thru Hank - Magie Montreal Lecture

Michael’s magic was always impeccable. When he came out with Easy to Master Card Miracles 1,2 and 3 in VHS  magic dealers

Michael lecturing at Magie Montreal

rejoiced! They were hot and still are but now in DVD form! His teaching methods are clear and exceptional. It’s rare that I  push a product, as I am well aware of the fact that everyone has their own taste and what I like someone else might not, but when someone tells me they like cards I still direct them towards Michael Ammar.

Many of the younger generation never heard of him and they thank me after for introducing them to his DVDs. Of course many more followed, Easy to Master Card Miracles, 4,5,6,7,8 and 9. His book and DVD’s on Cups and Balls are for anyone who really wants to learn them. Then there was Easy to Master Thread Miracles 1,2,3, book The Magic of Michael Ammar and the list goes on. Just click on his link for the complete deal. When we sell his stuff we are confident that the customer will be satisfied, regardless of what it is!

I wrote him the other day to tell him I was writing a blog on him and asked  what hooked him into magic and what advice he would give to an aspiring magician. This was his answer.

Hello Evy,
How nice to hear from you and to hear all’s well with you and Phil….

The first effect that really resonated with me was the one where you seem to rub a coin or small piece of paper into your arm.  Showing it has vanished, you then produce it from your ear or elbow.  The method, as I’m sure you know, is that you accidentally drop the coin and in picking it up, you simply fake putting into your other hand so it can seem to vanish.

I knew several typical card tricks up to that point, but I could tell something different was taking place here.  Not only did this involve acting, but it also involved true sleight-of-hand.

This meant I had to practice a bit to get it right, but I felt so empowered knowing the reaction I was getting was because of something I did; not because they just didn’t know how I had stacked the deck, or whatever.

Having to practice a little to learn that effect made me realize you can get an amazing reaction based purely on your own efforts.  I decided to see what would happen if I put even more effort into something.  Then I began to notice: the more effort I put into learning something, the better and more satisfying the response was.

Up until then I thought you had to be born a magician.  This experience made me realize it was up to me; I could be as good as I decided I’d be; success wasn’t a matter of divine intervention, luck, or whatever.  It was an epiphany; It’s up to me, if it is to be…

If I were to give just one tip to someone regarding magic, it would be to perform as often as possible, then reflect back on the performance to see how much data you can mine from the experience.  I think you learn more from 1 live performance than you can from weeks of just thinking about it.  So perform as often as possible.  There’s an old saying, “Everybody needs someplace to be bad.”  Find someplace that’ll tolerate your evolution, then start to build intelligent experience.

Hope this helps!

Best wishes always,
Michael

 

A typical sellout crowd at a Michael Ammar lecture.

So there you have it. I thought it was wonderful advice and hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

 

Thank you Michael.

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Filed under Evelyn Matlin, Magic Conventions, Magie Montreal, Perfect Magic