Tag Archives: Frances Ireland Marshall

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

Women In Magic

How many full time magicians in the world would you think  are women? According to Dennis Regling’s  article on Bella on line, the answer is about 50. I’m not sure when that article was written but it is a very small percentage.

The tricky word is full time. I know that some  male professional magicians sometimes have a day job as well. So I will define the female magicians as professional magicians as I don’t know if they have other occupations or not. We had a few women magicians at Magie Montreal, the Montreal Magic Convention run by Phil Matlin and Wim Vermeys for 19 years, and they were awesome. (the women as well as the conventions)! I am referring only to women that had their own act, close-up show or lecture.  Not that I am taking anything away from magicians’ assistants or magic teams, most of whom are excellent in their own right, but that will be in another blog. The dates below are approximate.

1981 Frances Marshall, then owner of Magic Inc.  lectured.

Shelley Carroll perform at Magic Montreal twice, in 1985 and  in 1991. Shelley Carroll and Derek Dingle were partners for 25 years. He performed close up and she had a stage act. Unfortunately Derek passed away in 2004. In the 70’s they founded The Magic Agency which is now being run by Shelley.

In 1986 Lucy Smalley performed on our stage. She was a professional manipulator taught by Neil Foster and was the first woman to win Abbott’s Magic Contest. I don’t think she is performing any more.

In 1988 June Horowitz, President of S.A.M.  (Society of American Magicians) who was being honored at Magic Montreal performed close-up.

In 1994 we had 2 women, Juliana Chen and Karla Baumgardner. Karla perfomed another year as well . Both are still performing as far as I know. Karla came into the Magic Shop not long ago. I am embarassed to say I cannot find the photos of Juliana Chen but click on the link. I had many and I can see them in my mind as she did her fabulous card production and card manipulation act and when I find them I will post them. They must be with the photo of Randi and Dr. Joe Schwarcz which is also missing.

In 1997 Lupe from Las Vegas performed close up.

There are others, however, who I know do this full time. They come into the shop, and have been coming in for years. Some of these ladies combine it with clowning and do face-painting. They are very professional and are busy. There are more young girls interested in magic as well, so guys, watch out. Times, they are a changing!


Filed under Bill Zavis, Juliana Chen, Magic, Magie Montreal, Phil Matlin, Wim Vermeys