Patrick Martin Feature

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Postby Fredrick » 04/15/08 11:25 AM

I have not finished the entire feature yet, but I wanted to post my gratitude for the focus on Patrick and his work. He is a wonderful magician and human.
I had the opportunity to spend a couple of hours talking to him about his work at the Legends of Magic Conference in 2001. It was one of the highlights of a conference with many highlights.

All the best,
~ Fredrick
"Try to find the humanity in the magic..." ~ Michael Moschen
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Postby JimChristianson » 04/24/08 07:09 PM

One of the absolute BEST definitions of magic I have ever read is at the end of the side-box regarding the monks. I'm deliberately NOT quoting it here, and I'll throttle anyone who does.

This issue of Genii is worth buying for that one sentence alone.
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Postby castawaydave » 04/24/08 07:42 PM

Patrick Martin is a true gentleman who could have been on the cover of Genii at any time since the 1970s. He's f---ing Great. Pretty much a "real magician".

Growing up as a magic kid on the Penninsula WAY back in the '70s-'80s (South S.F. Bay--Silicon Valley), Patrick Martin was our HERO--the local superstar we could put up against anybody!

The only official "magic lesson" I ever had was at Patrick's house in San Jose, where he taught me Han Ping Chien.
And before we left, he showed my mom his legendary paddle routine where little hand-painted apples appeared and disappeared at the tips of little sticks, to the story of "Hansel and Gretel".

Other than Teller's "Shadows", I believe THE most amazing trick I have ever seen to this day, was one year at the annual Houdini Seance on Halloween in Palo Alto, when Patrick borrowed a gold wristwatch from a chap in the audience, dipped his empty hand into a snifter of water and sprinkled/flicked a few droplets toward the watch.
He said, "I should have asked...Is your watch waterproof?" The crowd chuckled.
He let go of the watch, dropping it into the snifter of water, where it changed into a live goldfish.

That was one of those moments, when you so expected to see a watch drop from his hand that it really seemed to visibly change into a fish as it hit the water. BAM! Like it was yesterday. I am getting verklempt thinking about it NOW, even after 30 years.

Viva Patrick Martin. A seriously hard mentor to live up to.
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Postby Rennie » 05/04/08 12:14 PM

Being from San Jose I also remember Patrick from years back. I first saw him demonstrating at Larry's Costume & Novelty Shop in San Jose. Two of his effects I really liked were a coin routine he invented called "Adagio" as well as his likeable "Clones"
Of course I also remember Patrick when he had very curly(frizzy) hair.
Glad to see he is doing great, nice guy.
Rennie
The effect is the important thing, how you achieve is not !!
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Postby Andy Moore » 05/15/08 01:28 PM

As the co-owner of The magic Touch, in San Jose in the 80s, my partner, Steve Dawson and I sponsored Patrick to many conventions where he won some of the most prestigious awards. He was the most original, innovative, talented magician I have ever seen. It is quite an experience, when you are an experienced magician, to see someone do something that looks like "real magic". Patrick did that over-and-over again. He would say, "Hey, I've got a little something I've been working on, see what you think and offer any suggestions you have", and then commence to completely blow us away with a completely original effect! I would stand with my mouth gaping open and he would say, "Any suggestions?". How can you answer when you have just seen the finest. Each effect was new. Each one based on a sleight that was completely fresh, or a fresh approach to a little-used move. I still get chills when I think back to those days in the shop watching Patrick do "real magic".
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Postby Jeff Haas » 05/15/08 02:25 PM

Andy, nice to hear from you! How is Steve doing these days?

The Magic Touch was a great shop. It was a nice surprise when Steve used my finesse on a trick in your newsletter.

Jeff
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Postby Rennie » 05/16/08 12:42 AM

Jeff,
From what I know about the Magic Touch is Steve and Andy had went seperate ways years ago. Steve had the shop (in the back) of El Paseo Shopping Center, not the one he & Andy originally opened. Steve then opened another in Milpitas. Which had closed many years ago. I actually obtained the remaining stock from Steve. I have contact information if you would like to get hold of him. Steve Dawson is one fine gentleman and a super guy to know !
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Postby Andy Moore » 05/16/08 09:19 PM

Rennie - You are right. Steve is one of the greatest guys I have known. We went our separate ways because it is hard enough to make a living with a magic store for one person, let alone with a partner. I knew Steve was much more dedicated to having a retail outlet, so I stepped aside. That's when Steve moved the shop to a smaller location in the back of El Paseo - and the rest is history, as they say. Those days in the original store were golden, though. We had guys just starting out like Patrick Martin and some little pain in the ass called Daryl Martinez (just kidding, guy) hanging around. Both of them turned out to be genius-level magicians, so I am proud to say Steve and I were able to encourage them at that period period in their careers. We had a ball. Now, I'm just an old has-been shuffling through life (sob) NO, that's sob, not S.O.B.! But I'm still boring audiences regularly with my magic. Having a ball doing Western Shows, both live and on TV. I was in Deadwood and Wild West Tech, so I still have my hand into Show Biz!
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Postby Rennie » 05/19/08 10:58 PM

Andy,
Great to hear from you. Never knew what happened to you. I remember the Touch from the good days. Nice shop and I know what it is like for one owner, let alone two trying to make a living from a magic shop.One of the biggest complaints I got from magic shop owners was, "The Magicians Don't Support Us". Had to rely on new customers and joke novelties, too bad. The good old magic shop days are history, now it's all internet.
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Postby Andy Moore » 05/20/08 02:20 PM

Yeah. The sad fact, even in the "good old days" is that most "magic" stores only devote about 20% of their shop to magic. The rest, by necessity, is gags, novelties and Halloween stuff. there are exceptions, but by and large that is the way it has to work. At the Magic Touch we made 90% of our yearly income in the 2 weeks before Halloween. I always tried to provide a nice atmosphere for magicians to "hang around." Kind of a clubhouse for guys to shoot the bull and try out new stuff. In any niche store it is very important to keep you clientele close, even if they're just hanging out. Then, when they're ready to actually buy something, they buy it from you.
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Postby castawaydave » 05/20/08 03:37 PM

"The Magic Touch" had a great atmosphere--I can still picture it: a cool green oasis. Steve was always so nice. (I regret I don't remember Andy...Sorry.)

I wish I had a nickel for every time we begged our moms to whip us down 280 (from Mtn. View & Sunnyvale) to "The Touch".

I saw Daryl do "Cardboard Chameleons" there (resulting in serious eye poppage & jaw droppage)...John Kennedy and his coins to glass...H.P.Lovecraft's first (and only?) lecture...Patrick Martin would come blowing in, say hi, pick something up, and blow back out on the way to some show...

--Does anyone remember the guy who worked there a bit named Mr. Black? His wife was always there with him--The 1st carnies I ever met...we thought he was hilarious (unintentionally maybe, but still hilarious)...

"The Touch" is 2nd only to Davenport's of London in my "all-time magic shop fondness rankings",..You guys did a really good job, and it is much missed.
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Postby Rennie » 05/21/08 02:20 AM

castawaydave wrote:--Does anyone remember the guy who worked there a bit named Mr. Black? His wife was always there with him--The 1st carnies I ever met...we thought he was hilarious (unintentionally maybe, but still hilarious)...



I remember Mr. Black very well, Steve always called him "Blackie". Unfortunately he past away, way too young. As I recall it was Cancer. He was funny and very knowledgeable about magic.
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Postby Andy Moore » 06/02/08 06:16 PM

I'm glad we left a positive lasting impression with "the Touch". Steve was really the heart of the shop. Steve had the shop long after my involvement ended, so many of his customers don't remember me.

I think that every city should have a magic shop. Unfortunately, with today's economics, it is almost impossible to make any money. The internet is where it's at now. But I still drive all the way over the Burt Easley's Fun Shop in Phoenix just to keep that connection alive. I bought my first trick there when I was 10 years old. It engendered in me a love for magic that has lasted to this day. I moved to Northern California in 1968 and just moved back to the Phoenix area 2 years ago.
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