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.
Tag Archives: Albert Goshman
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
In my last blog I wrote about images that the word magician conjures up in our mind’s eye. But magicians come in all shapes and sizes.
When Perfect Magic opened in 1977 I heard a lot of talk about Albert Goshman. He was a baker in Brooklyn, making bagels. I’m sure they weren’t Montreal bagels but that’s another story.
Remember, this was before videos or DVDs. Either you saw the man in person at a lecture or convention or read about him in a magic magazine. His Salt Shaker Routine is legendary. I had dealt with Albert personally over the phone many times when ordering his famous Sponge Balls, as well as other Magic By Gosh products which are known world over, but I had never met him. He was a living legend. A master of close-up magic.
I don’t remember whose convention Phil and I were attending or where it was held but we were walking though the dealers’ room and Phil said to me, “There’s Albert Goshman!” Not what I expected. I saw a chubby middle aged man asleep in a chair beside his booth, his chin against his chest. I must admit it was a disappointment. But of course when one is sleeping it’s hard to see the twinkle in the eyes, the charm and sense of humour. And he did have a sense of humour, not to mention a sense of timing. Anyone who phoned him will remember his answering machine. His timing was so great he had you carrying on a conversation with it thinking you were talking to him. I don’t remember exactly but it went something like this,
Is that Albert?
Yeah, Who is this? (pause)
Oh, well. I can’t come to the phone right now….I’ll call you back. Leave a number.
It was longer than that but I can’t remember it all. He had you going until he actually said, I can’t come to the phone right now.
Albert was at our annual Magic Convention, Magie Montreal, twice I think. His name appears on 2 programs but Phil only remembers once and he was at Perfect Magic for a lecture. That we know for sure because I was one of the volunteers for the Salt and Pepper Shaker routine and I, who rarely gets fooled was fooled badly. When he produced that final jumbo coin from under the salt shaker I was in a state of shock.
And then he did a funny thing.
Totally unrelated to his act, he pulled out a deck of cards and as his finale he did a rising card out of a glass trick. That was the end of his show. Later on in the evening, at home, I asked him why he did that. With all his talent he ended with a store bought trick. Why? His answer. “Because its such a wonderful effect. I’m usually performing for a lay audience. They’ve never seen anything like it and in years to come they’ll forget all about the Salt Shaker but they’ll never forget that the card they chose rose out of a deck of cards in a glass all by itself. You gotta give them something they’ll remember!”
We took him to the Brown Derby in the Van Horne Shopping center. It was a popular Deli which is no longer there. No one got service when he was there as all the waitresses and waiters were huddled around our table, and some of the customers as well. He was doing the sponge balls over and over and using different methods. They never caught him. Neither did I. When the meal was over the waitress asked him how the food was. “Well, there was a lot of it and some of it was good!” Anyone who’s eaten there will vouch for that! We sure miss him and cherish the memories!