Showing posts with label Evelyn Matlin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Evelyn Matlin. Show all posts

16 March 2019

Sending healing thoughts to Evelyn Matlin

For those of you who don't already know, have a read of Evelyn Matlin's March 11th post "Who’s The Magician Here?" at the Perfect Magic blog.
So if any of you don’t know yet, and are wondering why I haven’t written anything since January, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the beginning of February. To make a long story as short as possible, I think you know that Phil broke his ankle in late December and was working at home all this time. I looked after the shop all of January. I was used to running up and down the stairs of the shop and would take parcels to send out at the Pharmaprix Post Office across the street. I thought nothing of it.

Then, in early February I noticed I was out of breath when I got to the top of the stairs.

Read more.

15 November 2018

Without Perfect Magic, there may not have been a JP Parent to fool Penn and Teller!

How many brick and mortar magic store staff are responsible for stories like this one from JP Parent ...

From the October 10th article "A Note from Montreal Magician Jean-Pierre Parent Who Fooled Penn and Teller" by Evelyn Matlin at Perfect Magic:
One goes about ones business everyday, doing what they do, but once in a while something happens to lift your spirits. JP Parent  who fooled Penn and Teller https://youtu.be/_-P4wjAROok took the time to write to me and with his permission I am sharing it with you. This is what he wrote.

“I love your articles you post !

The last one about being in heaven when you walked in the shop was my favorite. Ms Evelyn, you prob would not remember this if I told you ,but you where the first person to perform a magic trick for me in a magic shop.


Read more.

18 February 2018

Pro-tip from Perfect Magic

From Perfect Magic's February 14 blog post titled "What Every Magician Should Know":
The other day I got a call from an old customer, a good magician I’m told by those who have seen him perform, and he wanted a certain electronic device. We had it in stock. He took a long drive to get to our shop as he wanted it right away and he’s from out of town.

I got a call from him today asking if we had another one in stock. I said yes. He asked if we would try it out to see if it worked. We did and it did. He said his didn’t.

“Strange,” I said. “Did you put a battery in?”

“Of course,” he replied.

Read more.

20 December 2017

Isn't this how everyone picks a post-secondary school?

From the December 19 article "The Things We Do For Love (of Magic)" by Evelyn Matlin at the Perfect Magic blog:
So here’s the story. Before Christmas Stephane came to our shop for  supplies. He was talking to Phil at this point, as I was with another customer so I don’t know how the topic came up,  but I caught a bit of the conversation and later got the whole story. Stephane told us when he graduated from CEGEP, he was accepted by four Universities. He told his father he wanted to go to the Polytechnique  Montréal. His father said, “Why do you want to go there? You can go to any University, you can go to McGill!” and Stephane said he made up some excuse that he told his father and that’s where he went.

He said “Very few people know this but I chose it because ...

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13 August 2017

Canadians remember Eugene Burger

From Perfect Magic:
Eugene Burger was special, as a magician and as a person. The first and most important memory I have of him was when he came to Montreal to lecture for Magie Montréal. It was many years ago and I was not that into magic at the time, but I went to the lecture to help Phil and Vim Vermeys with registration, etc.  and stayed of course for the lecture.

Anyone at that lecture learned valuable lessons. I don’t rememberphil-eugene-and-tom one trick that he did. It wasn’t about the tricks, it was about performing. Every word was well thought out and had a reason for being there. His jokes were not to get a laugh, which they got, but as he explained, when you laugh you close your eyes for a second and that’s all the time he needed to do what he had to do in front of your eyes.

Read more.


From Derek Selinger's Facebook page:



From Lawrence Larouche's Facebook page:




From Ben Train's Facebook page:



From the Facebook page for Michael Close:



From Shawn Farquhar's Facebook page:




Visit the Eugene Burger Memorial Page, McBride Magic & Mystery School on Facebook.


04 August 2017

McCord Museum: Magic, music, and dance

From Perfect Magic:
If you haven’t been to the McCord Museum this summer it’s worth going to. Not your usual museum exhibition. It’s called ILLUSIONS – The Art of Magic and Luc Langevin is the ambassador of the exhibit. It’s the Allan Slaight collection, which was acquired by the McCord with the help of the Emmanuelle Gattuso Foundation.  A tip of the Top Hat to the people who designed it.. Phil and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

We were invited by magician Dr. Joe Culpepper, magician, scholar, consultant and friend and customer of Perfect Magic. Before the guided tour, we were treated to a magic show, in a lovely little theatre there, given by the young students, who attended the McCord Museum Camp, Abracadabra, who were guided and taught by Joe and the counsellors. The kids did a great job and they all knew how to take a bow when the applause came.

So what’s the link between magic and music?

Read more.

01 April 2017

Jeff says thanks to everyone for their support of the Browser's Den.

Special guest shouts out to: Kind of Magic's Phil Cox, Perfect Magic's Phil & Evelyn Matlin as well as past president of the IBM and head of the Canadian Association of Magicians – Joan Caesar.

From Len Cooper's family: Bernice, Len's wife, as well as his children Jack and Heather Cooper are here too! Len would have absolutely adored this!
Today's Zone performers: Al Grose, Arthur Poon, Morgan Pierce, Alex Boyer, Derick Finn, and Rosemary Reid!

21 January 2017

Making the world a little bit smaller

From Perfect Magic:
Sometimes I wonder what I will write about and a blog walks into the shop. That’s  exactly what happened yesterday.

A guy came into the shop with a friend. He was from out of town and seemed to know his way around magic. He had phoned in advance to see if we had certain items and we did so he got those items and others that caught his interest.

Read more.

09 December 2016

The Problem With Magic Instructions

Do you agree with Phil's advice below?  It sounds solid to me.  Although it seems that quite a few performers skip the "make it your own" step.  What tips do you have to offer for folks trying to make an effect "their own"?



From Evelyn Matlin's post "The Problem With Magic Instructions" at Perfect Magic:

Phil always said, “When you buy a trick, read the instructions first. See how the trick works and then forget about the instructions and make it your own!” I think that’s pretty good advice!

Read more.

28 October 2016

Quantity vs quality

I have to agree with Evelyn Matlin's observation about the sheer volume of magic effects brought to market these days.  The selection is far greater than I when I first dipped my toe in, *mumble mumble* years ago.  I wonder if the quality of the effects, over all, is higher, the same, or lower than back in the day.


From Perfect Magic:
As a magic dealer, I am overwhelmed by the new magic that comes out on a daily basis. Especially because I do the banners on our home page of Perfect Magic and edit the write-ups for our catalog. There seems to be no end to it.

I remember a time when Albert Goshman (think Sponge Balls – Magic by Gosh) came to Montreal to perform at Magie Montreal when we had our Conventions, back in the 80’s. He stayed in our home and we took him to the Brown Derby in the Van Horne Shopping Centre for dinner one evening. Unfortunately, neither Albert nor the Brown Derby are with us any more.

Read more.


02 September 2016

The devil is in the details

From the post "Where Magic Takes You" at Perfect Magic:
“We’re having a conference in a few weeks, maybe you’ll do some magic there.”

“Sure.”

So this fellow goes about practicing up on his walk around magic and one day his boss comes up to him and says, “By the way, just let me know what kind of lighting you need or tables, etc. Whatever you need.


Read more.

10 August 2016

From Perfect Magic: Phil Matlin vs Julius Caesar

From Perfect Magic:
If you’ve  been to the Perfect Magic Facebook site, then you know that Phil has a few gigs  playing piano for the Cote St. Luc Library on the first Tuesday of the summer months. A piano had been donated to Cote St Luc and it went to Rembrandt Park and was inaugurated by none other than Oliver Jones. The media was there, as well as the politicians and it was a big deal.

The first Tuesday of June came along. We had our plans but nature had other plans. There was a storm the night before and the tarpaulin didn’t do its job and the piano was ruined. But in the tradition of show business, the show went on. Some folks from the library came to our condo and carried down Phil’s electric keyboard and speaker and whatever else and he played. It was not his best show, a little trouble with equipment, and whatnot, but people came over after and said they enjoyed it thoroughly. The other day in the elevator, a lady said to Phil, “You’re the piano player. It was so wonderful.” and he said “If you enjoyed it I’ll be there again this Tuesday.”

Read more.

19 June 2016

How old were you when you got your first magic trick?

Click over to the Perfect Magic blog and let Evelyn know!

From Perfect Magic:
“I bet when Darcy Oake got his first magic trick, as a kid I presume, the furthest thing from his mind was that one day he would be going to London to visit the Queen. Get your kid a magic trick !”

Then I got to thinking that I got my first magic trick when I was 8 years old. My father went to New York  and went to Tannen’s  (I think that’s where he got it) and when he came home he gave me a Nickels to Dimes trick, made of brass. I can look back and see myself  sitting on the blue linoleum kitchen floor, banging away with that bang ring. I wonder if it left marks in the floor. I treasured it and found it amazingly clever, but I don’t remember performing it for anyone outside of the family. They did not have “Show and Tell” in school when I was in Grade 2. If they did, I surely would have brought that because it was something that none of the other kids would have had.

Read more and share your story.

09 June 2016

20 magical memories from Sorcerers Safari

Almost 20 years ago, armed only with the idea of making magic more accessible to kids who want to learn magic, "Magic Mike" Segal opened the doors to Sorcerers Safari Magic Camp.  Sorcerers Safari is Canada's only sleepaway magic camp, hosting up to 150 campers a year.

Words fail to adequately describe the phenomenon that is Sorcerers Safari.  Everyone comes away from camp with their own unique experience.  To mark their upcoming 20th anniversary, here’s a list of:

20 magical memories from Sorcerers Safari (in no particular order):
  1. My favourite camp memory would have to be when I first went to Sorcerers Safari. I saw all of my idols in magic and there were so many magicians that I had watched on TV and on YouTube. It was brilliant to see them perform and not only to see them perform but just to have a normal magic or even non magic conversation with them was amazing to me. It was literally like a dream come true!

    Brad B.
    Camper: 2014-2015


  2. The first year I ever attended I recall walking down a wooded path and seeing Michael Ammar talking to a group of campers who were seated under the shade of a huge tree.  Michael was talking about choosing magic as a career and I could see the look in all the campers eyes as I eavesdropped.  I knew in that very moment I would return to camp as often as I could as I felt something I’d never felt before.  Not sure how to describe it, but it was just so special.

    Shawn Farquhar (magichampion.com)
    Instructor: 2008-2013, 2015
  3. A favourite memory was making a card flourish duel that appeared in the 2013 camp video.


    Eric S.
    Camper: 2007-2014


  4. I was overwhelmed by the quality of instruction and the dedication of Mike, Jen and the entire board and staff. It was without doubt one the finest experiences I've had in my almost 40 years in the Magic business.

    Phil Matlin (PerfectMagic.com)
    Guest: 2014
  5. I would have to say that my favourite memory at camp would have to be after Brett C. and I performed the “cube in cube out” stage illusion. It was a huge relief that the whole thing went successfully and it was also the first routine that Brett and I created together.

    Holden L.
    Camper: 2008-2015

  1. Many of my favourite memories at Sorcerers Safari come from the late night jam sessions in the campers' cabins.  You never know what newest tricks or guest magicians you'll find.

    For example, a few years back, I witnessed Tyler Wilson sharing the longest and most entertaining card revelation I've seen. Over the course of about 45 minutes, the cabin filled with campers as they watched him attempt to find the card.  Pure suspense. Needless to say, he had no idea what the card was, and was playing us the entire time.

    The jam sessions offer a great opportunity to see the campers' talent and creativity.  In 2015, Philip B. and I posed an Ambitious Card challenge to the cabin.  They split into 2 teams to work together to create an Ambitious Card routine from scratch.  This impromptu competition went on for close to 2 hours and was a blast to watch!

    Sheldon Casavant (SheldonCasavant.com)
    Camper: 2003, Counsellor: 2004 and 2007, Instructor: 2015
  2. Trying to find only one Sorcerers Safari good memory is impossible because there are so many!  So let’s say that one of them is when Anders Bjorkman, Johnny Toronto, and I did a “fire trio act” together on the beach during the party night. I believe it happened in 2010. We literally had a blast!!!

    Loran, (LoranIllusion.com)
    Instructor: 2000 - 2015

  1. a) The first time (repeated over the years) that all the campers hit the stage on the final night to present their interpretation of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” ... (always a fun moment).
    b) Seeing the "shy and timid" take the stage for the first time in front of their peers and proudly present an effect they have learned at camp.
    c) The meal times with the table banging under the direction of Lee Asher.
    d) Seeing a camper on TELEVISION presenting magic... and only a few years earlier not being able to communicate...
    e) Year after year - the reunions. Campers emailing each other to make sure they would be in the same dorm.
    f) The chant of "we love Dick, we love Dick."

    Dick Joiner, (DickJoiner.com)
    Instructor: ~2001-2015


  2. Sorcerers Safari Magic Camp was the first time I ever went to camp. I'm in my seventies and it was fun and exciting. I loved the enthusiasm of the kids and their teachers, who were the best. We met old friends and made new ones. Keep up the good work and thank you Mike for inviting us.

    Evelyn Matlin (PerfectMagic.com)
    Guest: 2014
  3. I have so many wonderful memories of camp that it's near impossible to choose just one. But a camp classic that we continually reminisce about all the time happened on my first year when Rob 'Fish The Magish' Fishbaum secretly hid in the woods during the middle of the night, waited until I walked by, then jumped out making a loud squealing pig noise. I shrieked like a little girl, jumped into Steve Kline's arms completely terrified, and almost crapped my pants.

    It was an amazing moment. It's also when I knew these people would be part of my family for the rest of our lives. The best part, scaring the newbie staff has since become a long-standing camp tradition.

    Lee Asher (LeeAsher.com)
    Special Guest: 2001, Instructor: 2002-2015


  4. Lip Sync Battles


      

    Jeff P.

    Counsellor in Training: 2015
  5. When the whole camp did a one camera take lip dub! That was so exciting and EVERYONE had a part and nailed it! The video was a hit and definitely one to be remembered.

    Watch the 2011 Sorcerers Safari Lip Dub on YouTube:



    Lorena Watters (TrevorWatters.com)
    Instructor: 2010-2014

  1. a) I remember one night at the nightly stage shows in the Pinetages theatre:  the air was hot and thick… the performers were breaking a sweat after literally 30 seconds on stage.  And out of the blue we see Lee Asher come out and perform a trick (and a dance!) in a massive eggplant costume! It was epic.

    b) One year we decided to do a lip dub. It was amazing to see everyone come together and participate with such passion and precision. Check out the video it took us about a half-day to film. It was truly awesome.

    Eric Leclerc (EricLeclerc.com)
    Instructor: 2008-2015


  2. My favourite memory from camp was probably performing for Michael and Lisa Close's daughter on stage. I was able to use her last name to do a hilarious bit for the entire camp while poking fun of their last name.

    Chris Westfall (ChrisWestfallMagic.com)
    Instructor


  3. One of my favourite memories would be Eric Leclerc and a few of us attempting to scare RJ late at night with a bunch of scary halloween masks and then RJ wouldn't wake up. I have the video footage of it, but it is one of those bits that never made it into the annual Sorcerers Video, but was very funny to observe at the time.

    Chris Mayhew (ChrisMayhewMagic.com)
    Videographer: 2013-2015
  4. a) Performing on the camp stage. The first time I worked a stage, wore a mic, stood in front of the lights, and performed for a "big" crowd all came at camp. I'll never forget the love and support people showed me, and it's probably a major reason why I'm still getting up there today!

    b) Watching my campers grow up.  I still maintain relationships with campers I had a decade ago.  Some have become better performers than I would have ever imagined. Some are even better than I am... which is both awesome and infuriating!  One that stands out to me is Nathaniel Rankin.  I watched him grow from a cute, but shy, juggler to a world class magician performing on cruise ships around the world.  I don't take credit for his success -- that was all him -- but I'm glad to have been a stepping stone on his path to finding something that makes him so happy.

    Ben Train, (BenTrain.ca)
    Counsellor in Training: 2000-2001, Staff: 2002-2015

  1. This memory is from 2006.  For the end of the week camper show, Sami S. and I decided to dress up like veteran campers and counsellors, Kelvin and Dustin.  Every year, this eccentric duo would perform the “one-handed card trick” in which they are Siamese twins, joined at the hip where each only has the ability to use only one hand.  2006 marked one of the first years Kelvin was not at camp (but Dustin was) so we did not get to see their jubilant routine.  Instead, Sami and I dressed up like the duo and impersonated them and the one-handed card trick.  It was really goofy, not many people understood what we were doing.  But I distinctly remember Scott Hammell and Magic Mike in the audience laughing uncontrollably.

    This memory isn’t about the moment itself, but about the inside joke shared with the other veteran campers and staff that makes it stand out so strongly in my mind.  The inside jokes are what I remember now; nonsense jokes told around the campfire (knock-knock jokes will always be the funniest for me because of camp), and ridiculous one-liners.  There are moments with sugar shots, fruit stickers on our foreheads, crocket, fridge box racing, pushing Steve Kline in the lake and so many defining “coming of age” moments that bring me back to camp.  There are too many small memories to put one as the best, but the inside jokes between fellow campers and life-long friends are something I hold onto very dearly.

    Lauren Proctor
    Camper: 1999-2008
  2. My favorite memory is when Magic Mike told us that the visiting volleyball camp found an (invisible) deck, and not knowing what it was straightened all of the cards for us. I retell that story to magicians all the time.


    Jonah Babins (JonahBabinsMagic.com)
    Camper, Counsellor in Training, and Instructor


  1. Playing capture the flag with the kids during active time, then one of them realizing that I was the entertainer he watched on stage the night before! He was so excited, then I noticed a few more kids running around with me to beat the game!

    Trevor Watters (TrevorWatters.com)
    Instructor: 2010-2014



  2. I have so very many memories of camp, having been the guy who started it, and having attended every year, that it is hard to pick just one. There really are so many in the 20 years… but one stands out, and is particularly appropriate for this summer.

    I remember the summer 15 years ago when we switched our host camp after 5 years at another camp.  It was an amazing summer, as everything felt new again. The energy (which is never lacking at Sorcerers Safari) seemed to be ramped up that summer in everyone, staff and campers. Exploring the new grounds, and meeting new challenges really made everyone bring their ‘A’ Game. It was great.  The move was extremely positive, making me that much more excited to see what our move will bring this summer.

    Magic Mike Segal (SorcerersSafari.ca)
    Camp Director: 1996 - 2016

The 2016 season of Sorcerers Safari will run from Sunday August 7th through Friday August 12th, 2016.  For more information, or to register, please visit SorcerersSafari.ca

18 April 2016

Evelyn Matlin on "The Magic of Magic Conventions"

She's posted a fabulous photo of David Williamson, Mac King. Jean Boucher, and Carl Cloutier.

See what Evelyn Matlin has to say about the 2016 Browser's Bash over at Perfect Magic:
For Phil and me, the magic of Magic Conventions is not the magic. Its a place and time where people with a common interest, from all over gather. We get a chance to meet people we know and haven’t seen in years and we also get the chance to meet people who have been ordering on line who we never met personally.

The Browser’s Den Magic Bash was such a place. We spent time with Bernice Cooper, the late Len Cooper’s wife. Len was the original owner of The Browser’s Den. We used to visit them in Toronto and Bernice would be there behind the counter helping out as magic shop owner’s wives do. It was nice for her too, to see and speak to many people that used to come into their shop.

Read more.

02 April 2016

  • Jeff's looking more at home in his “trusty sweater vest.”
  • Welcome to Dan Morrissey (of Morrissey Magic) to the stage!  We’ve missed you Phoebe and Dan!
  • Welcome to Phil and Evelyn Matlin (of Perfect Magic, Montreal) to the stage!
  • Mentioning Joan Caesar, past president of the IBM and founder of the Canadian Association of Magicians! 
  • Added bonus:  Welcome to Len Cooper’s family! Bernice, Len’s wife, as well as his children, Jack and Sandy Cooper!

Talk about one big magic family!

19 October 2015

Perfect Magic interviews Spidey

Spidey must have been around 17 years old when he first came to Perfect Magic. His striking feature was his passion for magic. His enthusiasm was contagious and refreshing. He had plans for himself. Did I think he would succeed? It doesn’t matter much what I thought. He thought he would succeed. That, I believe, has a great deal to do with his success as a magician today. He didn’t just sit back and wait to succeed. He worked at it. Spidey was here the other day and I asked him If he would write a post for my blog.  And he did. I was most impressed with it. I asked him 3 questions to base his post on. How old he was when he started, what was his first trick, and if he had any tips for young magicians starting out. Here is his reply.

“Hey Evelyn,

so here are the answers :)

Read more.

20 July 2015

What tips do you have for new magicians?

Evelyn Matlin has a great post up at Perfect Magic Then and Now titled "A Few Tips For New Magicians."  It covers a lot of good points that newcomers to magic should think about as they start performing for others.

My favourite from the post:
  1.  Let’s say someone else or a magician comes to entertain you and you know the trick they are doing. What do you do and what do you say?
  2. Correct Answer: Nothing. Not even to your best friend. Even after the show. If you have to tell someone, tell your mother.

Of course, I think that answer applies to a lot of situations that kids can get into.  Always tell your mother!

Do you have any other pointers or general magic etiquette guidelines to add?


21 January 2015

So how do you know what's good?

When we opened Perfect Magic, before the internet, we bought what we thought was good from suppliers we trusted. There was not this smorgasbord of magic that there is today. Every single day we receive new items to consider. At one time there was Mak Magic, Morrissey Magic, Abbott’s, Fun and a few others that manufactured products here in Canada or the U.S.A and Supreme in England. Now very little is made here. It’s hard to compete with China or India. Some of the stuff is good, some is not. But when you read the write-ups, everything is the greatest ever. So how do you know what is good.

Read more.

09 October 2014

The importance of magic shops

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of brick and mortar magic shops.  Not only are they the first place many kids get bitten by the magic bug, it's also a place enthusiasts can go for encouragement and coaching by people in the know. A nurturing community is formed in a local shop, which can't be duplicated through the internet.
(You'll notice that two brick and mortar shops are invested in keeping the community of this site alive.  Please remember to thank them, the next time you're there.)
Don't have brick and mortar shop in your area? Consider supporting one through their online shops. (I direct your attention to two of the wonderful sponsors of this blog, Perfect Magic and The Browser's Den of Magic!)


The emphasis in the excerpt below, is mine.

From Perfect Magic:
As many of you know, magic shops are closing all over the place. Many shut down in the U.S.A. and some in Canada as well.  There were not a whole lot to begin with. It’s so easy to look up  what you want on line, find the cheapest price and order.  I can’t say that I blame anyone for doing that. But there may be a cost to the saving of money, especially in magic. 
Click through to read Evelyn's thoughts on the matter.