Monday, August 28, 2006

The Other Side

Okay, now I want to talk about some magicians that I’ve never had a bad experience with and continue to purchase their products. As always, other people’s experiences may be different, don’t just take my opinion about it.

David Acer is a terrific lecturer, fun and still a decent guy.

Joshua Jay has every right to be arrogant. When I was his age, I was and I had one-tenth the talent he possesses. However, he is talented, knowledgeable, and down-to-earth. His parents raised him right.

Tom Mullica has been mentioned several times on this blog. He is my favorite magician of all time. The magic world is lessened without him.

David Williamson is just a regular guy who deserves all the good press he gets.

Bob Sheets love of magic oozes out of every pore and gets me excited about this stuff ever when I feeling down.

I saw Chris Capehart lecture only once. He lived up to all the buzz. Chris did one thing I have never seen. When he lectured in Chicago, he went to Michigan Ave. and did some street performing. Since this was the subject of his lecture, he went and “proved” it worked. Genius.

Jimmy Molinari was one of the more entertaining lectures, maybe because of all those great stories from doing magic in the seventies in Chicago. Just remember, you have to keep asking to get those stories out of him.

There are only a few lecturers I never miss, one is Docc Hilford. Yes, he is a bit of a conman. His books are generally overpriced and over-hyped. But, damn, if that material doesn’t look really cool when he performs it. Even if his material is not you kind of work, go see his lecture. He is one strong performer.

One of my first lecturers was Eugene Burger; he is continually engaging and thoughtful. I like to think of him as a friend.

Ross Johnson only did a few lectures, but they were great. Alas, he says he won’t do any more. Ross is a brilliant mentalist who is one of the few people that can fool me.

I never thought I would say this, but recently I went to a David Solomon lecture and it was one of the better lectures I’ve seen. Great fun and accessible material.

Pit Hartling is a nice guy. He is also one of the best magicians in the world. The Flicking Fingers as a group tend to over shadow him. But his material, and his performance of it, ranks as a don’t miss event.

There are other great lecturers and good guys in magic. I am sure I missed a few, but these are the ones that come to mind.

Now I want to talk about some people who have reached a high level of fame and esteem in magic. All of which have treated me as an equal, even though they didn’t even know me.

We know the late Bob Read was a great performer and lecturer. He was also very generous with his time and knowledge. He didn’t have to be, He just was.

Paul Daniels is treated like magic royalty when he comes to the states. He was/is a huge star in England. Once, at Abbott’s, we closed down the VFW. He sat with me and talked about magic and television. Comparatively speaking, I was nobody, but that didn’t matter to him. Twice he has stopped into the store at Navy Pier and both times, he didn’t act like a prima donna. He has been a class act.

Jim Steinmeyer may be one of the most important figures in magic today. From his illusion designs to his historical writings, he will influence a generation of magicians. He has always treated me as an equal, whether I deserve it or not.

The same could be said for Teller, the good cop half of Penn and Teller. Even though, he deluged with attention, his patience amazes me.

Famous for being a curmudgeon, Ricky Jay has been nothing but a gentleman to me. I only wish I could express myself as well as he does in his writings.

I want to publicly thank all of these performers for not only the example they set by how they treated me, but for their generous sharing of their talent and knowledge.

My life is better for it.

Okay, did we learn anything from this?

1 comment:

J. Tithonus Pednaud said...

Paul Daniels has always been a favorite of mine. I recall fondly his variety show as it aired here in Canada as well. His little Bunko Booth segments always tickled me.

Ricky Jay is a man I would love to meet. Someone one compared me to him due to my website - a comparison I do not deserve in the slightest - but it the greatest compliment I have ever received.