Vic Kirk [1942 - 2000]

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.

Postby John Pezzullo » 01/07/05 07:45 AM

From the 'odds and ends' that I have read over the years, I've gathered that Vic Kirk was a talented and experienced professional.

Shortly after his death in December 2000, the following tribute was posted on the internet:

"Magic has lost one of its greatest performers. Vic Kirk succumbed to cancer, December 30, 2000, after a fifteen month illness. He has been praised by many of the greats, including The Professor, Joe Berg, Slydini and Ricky Jay, just to name a few. And anyone who knew him, had great respect for him and his work. Vic Kirk was born in Long Beach, California on September 16, 1942. He began studying and practicing magic at the age of eight years. Not knowing anyone else in magic, he studied and tried everything in the classic books; Modern Magic, Greater Magic, and the Tarbell Course, in fact any and all of the books he could get his hands on. At the age of seventeen he went to his first magic convention in Vancouver, Canada. Mickey Hades (who had put the convention together) asked him to write a column in his magic magazine. Of course, Vic in his naive humbleness felt he was too young to tell other people how to do magic, so he declined. Vic perfected his skills performing weekly at the Monterey Postgrad school where he was for his four year stint in the Navy.

He performed on "Ted Mack Amateur Hour" on TV in 1960 and won the 12th Naval District talent show at Treasure Island, California, at about the same time...ask Dick Zimmerman about the date as Vic beat him out! He began working the Magic Castle yearly when the Palace of Mystery was still downstairs in the basement. According to "people in the know" at the Castle, he was nominated for awards every year he performed there... though he never won, fortunately he never put much stock in "winning". But he did put a lot of stock in doing his best. He will also probably go down as the only regular performer not to have his picture (caricature) done at the Castle.

Vic was always a favorite performer at the famed Magic Cellar nightclub of the 1970's in San Francisco, California. Also, a favorite performer at Magic Island in Houston, Texas. His performances were so popular, he became a full time performer in 1978 working private, corporations, cruise ships, and clubs. Vic and his wife Mary performed what is considered to be the best and most believable two person telepathy ever seen. Though he performed everything from illusions to mentalism to close-up, he was never found without a deck of cards in his hands.

While Vic's knowledge of magic was encyclopedic, he studied only to be able to constantly improve and to do the best magic possible. His goal in life was not to show how clever he was but to entertain with magic to the point of allowing the audience to believe they had actually seen "Magic". If you have ever seen any of his shows you know he achieved this goal time and again.

He is survived by his wonderful wife - assistant - partner Mary and countless adoring fans.

He is greatly missed."
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Banachek posted the following tribute on GeMiNi in January 2001:

"I am very saddened to have to announce the passing away of Vic Kirk.

Vic and his lovely wife Mary had what I considered to be one of the best two person acts in the business. The code was such that it appeared that no words were spoken, yet Mary always knew what article Vic was holding.

Vic really was brilliant. His thinking was often outside the box so to speak. A perfect example was his musical chairs, where the members passed
around a miniature chair instead of moving from chair to chair. His knife through coat is truly real magic. And his any card to cigarette is an
effect to be reckoned with.

His stage presence and voice was certainly among the top in the business.

Magic and mentalism will sorely miss him."
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I recall reading somewhere that he performed an excellent Miser's Dream routine and that he was a kind man who was willing to draw upon his extensive knowledge and experience to help others in improving their magic.

I'd like to learn more about the late Vic Kirk, so feel free to post any of your recollections about the man and his magic

I think he'd make an excellent subject for a feature article in "Genii".
John Pezzullo
 
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