MyMagic eNewsletter #1,000
March 16, 2022
A few weeks ago, Lisa Menna pointed out that I was approaching my 1,000th newsletter and I should make it something special. Her idea was much better than what I decided to do here. What I decided to do is share some of the things I learned from my mentors and friends.
Harry Anderson: My formula for success is to wake up early every day and work as hard as I can and then get two sitcoms.
Gene Maze: Taught me that once you master a sleight, no matter how difficult it is, it becomes easy, and I should not be afraid to use it often within a single routine.
Dai Vernon: Always said that magic is intrinsically funny, and you should not mix jokes within your magic.
Slydini: Told me many times that nothing he says is funny, but people are constantly laughing during his shows. He explained that he prefers creating funny situations instead.
David Copperfield: Every piece of magic has flaws and your job is to find those weaknesses and either eliminate them or minimize them.
Herb Zarrow: One of Herb’s pet peeves is the use of too much patter, especially before the magic starts. He constantly urged me to edit what I say.
Jackie Mason: After seeing my finger act, he asked; Do people actually pay you to see that? Does your mother know what you do for a living?
Orson Welles: He said this to a friend of mine who would rather not be named. Never appear on a show with other magicians. One magician is special and has superpowers, if a second one appears on the show, it is no longer special.
Harry Lorayne: Harry always stressed that he wanted his audience to believe they are seeing the best card handler in the world and flourishes is the easiest way to accomplish that. I expanded the thought to mostly visual magic.
Lenny Greenfader: One of the things we had in common was we loved using sarcasm and Lenny often warned me to be careful about going too far because people can take me seriously and get offended.
Frances Marshall: She didn’t say this to me but its what I got from one of her columns; Before putting out a new product make sure it is substantially different in method or effect from what came before it.
Frank Garcia: I often wondered why one of the best sleight of hand artists would do simple magic when working for laypeople. Was always afraid to ask him. But I get it now. When you don’t work all the time it takes too much practice to get back into shape. The simple stuff allows you to have fun with the audience since your performance style is already established.
Juan Tamariz: Juan shared a version of the advice given to him by Frakson: Do what you love, do it to the best of your ability and success will come.
Ron Wohl: After he retired, he explained to me that if he had to do one thing over, it would be to let everyone know what he was accomplishing at work because the ones that bragged got all the promotions and raises, even though they accomplished less.
Sol Stone: A mouse who gives birth to an elephant is magic. An elephant who gives birth to a mouse is tragic. Don’t do tragic magic.
Eric DeCamps: Never laugh at your own jokes.
Harry Anderson: One of Harry’s favorite pieces of advice is something his grandmother told him: Don’t blame on malice what can be explained through stupidity.
Harvey Leeds: Every time I share an idea with him, he retorts; How can you monetize that? It is actually a very good question to ask yourself.
Herb Zarrow: There is no deal of a lifetime. Don’t be afraid to walk away if it doesn’t make sense.
Is that enough name dropping for one day? By the way, what I liked about all those people and why we were friends is their lifelong passion. Most of my close magic friends have that in common. We never stop looking for new things to experiment with, tinker with, practice, discuss, joke… basically play.
Most of the above is my paraphrasing of what I learned and not direct quotes. I of course, did not take all their advice, but it helped shape who I am. I hope it inspired you in someway and thanx for your continued support.
Stay happy, Meir
PS: I actually did more than a thousand of these newsletters. I used to forget changing the number when sending them.