October 2009

Magic. Memories. Teaching. Learning. And more memories. We enjoyed a great night of all of these when retired magic dealer from Washington, DC, Al Cohen came to speak to us. This gentleman of magic shared his years of working the counter at his magic shop only blocks from the White House, as well as his love of doing and sharing magic.

I literally got writer’s cramp from trying to just list the effects that he performed and taught over a two hour period. Al told us how he first went to work in a dealers’ room at a magic convention. He spent the whole time watching some of the old master dealers selling their effects. Over time, he developed into one of the best demonstrators out there. “The key is to do the tricks over and over. You work out the bugs, and know the trick inside and out,” Al said.

Where to begin?  Some of the highlights were his handling of the vanishing wand, a Six Card repeat with patter inspired by Senator Clark Crandall, and a super move to use during the Appearing Cane.

Al next talked about being able to perform magic at the dinner table, with absolutely no preparation or props other that what was on the table. He showed how to use a fork as a gimmick for a Glorpy-type effect, and a zombie-type levitation with a dinner roll.

Al masterfully demonstrated many effects using a thumb tip, matches, Styrofoam cups and tooth picks. A lot of the magic he shared can be done with simple items from a dollar store.

Al Cohen also related how he sometimes got an effect from a wholesaler, and developed a new routine for it, and had huge sales results. He told us about the Multiplying Bananas, and how he wore out the guys who were making the items for him with the orders!

Al’s magic and outlook on sharing magic with any audience gave us all a lot of ideas for our own magic. This is a lecture and demonstration worth booking.


DAVE KELLY, Recording Secretary

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