Mr. (and Mrs.) Electric

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Postby Bill Palmer » 02/21/08 08:48 PM

What a wonderful cover! What a wonderful article! What wonderful people!

Sometimes when I read an article like this one, I wonder if any of the things that are said about the people in it are actually true, because it is difficult to believe that anyone could be as brilliant, creative, generous and honest as Marvyn and Carol Roy. I probably wouldn't have believed half of it if I hadn't had my own personal experiences with them.

Several years ago, I was booked to work a series of boiler room shows with Marvyn and Carol as the opening act, my assistant and me as the middle act, and the late Alex Arizpe as the headliner. These shows were in the Rio Grande Valley, and had they been anywhere else, the order of the shows would have been exactly the other way around. However, Alex Arizpe (Alex the Great) was almost as famous on the Texas-Mexico border as David Copperfield is in the US.

I already knew what giants Marvyn and Carol are, but my assistant, Diane, had never heard of them. Diane was captivated by Carol. They formed an instant bond. Carol gave Diane a few pointers, and even showed her how to do the chandelier production.

The ideas that Marvyn and Carol gave me really added to my act. All I can say is that a couple of weeks on the road with these two was a post-graduate course in being a magician.

One evening, we had a little extra time, so Marvyn decided to do the "Electric Chair" routine. It was hilarious. Fooled the pants off Diane!!!

Figuratively speaking, of course.

Thanks for doing such a fine job.
Bill Palmer, MIMC
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Postby Christopher Starr » 02/24/08 07:42 PM

I agree it was a great read about a living legend of magic.
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Postby CHRIS » 03/10/08 04:02 AM

MARVIN IS THE BEST! WHAT A GREAT ARTICLE AND COVER JUST EXCELLENT.
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Postby Rubin » 03/14/08 12:46 PM

My congratulations on a fantastic article about two remarkable individuals. It brought back a fond memory for me and I thought I might share it here.

When I was 15 years old I began to construct a close-up act to compete at the IBM and SAM conventions. My ambitious plan included the animation of a lit firefly, a chop cup routine with a light bulb and the bare handed illumination of said bulb. Brad Henderson (a wonderful friend and teacher) suggested I contact Marvyn Roy for advice. I had never heard of "Mr. Electric" but the local radio shack salesmen were tired of my obscure line of questioning and I was eager for any help that I could get. If any of you have ever toyed with creating electronics from scratch, you know how confounding it can be. Somehow, I tracked down Marvyn's number and full of youthful ignorance, phoned a complete stranger looking for hard answers.

A bubbly woman answered the phone after the first ring. I introduced myself cordially and explained the purpose of my call. Moments later I was talking with Mr. Electric himself. He listened intently as I explained my concept and enumerated the technical problems I had encountered. When I finished, Marvyn paused and took a deep breath.

I didn't speak for the next hour and a half. I was too busy taking notes. Marvyn regaled me with tales of his past, technical tips on batteries, insulation and filaments and priceless guidance that can only come from a master performer. The warmth and openness I received that day have stuck with me. Not many magicians would have been so forthcoming to an overeager child but Marvyn offered nothing but kindness and enthusiasm.

I kept in contact with Mr. Electric and had the pleasure of meeting both Marvyn and Carol at Hank Lee's Conclave shortly after out initial phone call. The benevolent instruction I received from Marvyn left a lasting impression on me. Perhaps it is the reason I take such pleasure in teaching young magicians myself. I have never met a more inventive, magnetic and kind hearted performer than Marvn Roy. If there were more people in our craft like Mr. Electric, the world of magic would be a much brighter place indeed.
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Postby Bill Palmer » 04/09/08 03:07 PM

This is not intended to sound like I am trying to detract from Marvyn's significance in magic at all. In fact, completely to the contrary -- Marvyn is just doing for us the same things that were done for him when he was just starting.

Some magicians forget that when they needed help others gave it to them. Marvyn has never forgotten that. He really understands.
Bill Palmer, MIMC
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Postby Andy Moore » 06/02/08 06:25 PM

There a a few acts that instantly say "Showmanship"! The Mr. Electric act was one of those sterling sets that always made you feel like you had really seen "the real thing". Marvyn was suave and accomplished and, like all "assistants", Carol was much more than just eye candy. She was responsible for much of what the audience appreciated about the act. I have seen their set about 2 dozen times over the years and am always blown away by the level of professionalism and talent!
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Postby MagicBilly » 06/02/08 06:43 PM

I was fortunate to be introduced to Marvyn and Carol Roy at the 1999 PCAM in Anaheim by a dear friend of mine.

One discussion he spoke of his amazing wardrobe. I was struck with awe hearing that he wore a 50+ pound coat lined with asbestos for most of his career. He said he was scorched numerous times and stuck through performances to thundering applause. Carol laughed at the many times she squeezed (squoze???) herself into that lightbulb finale. What a wonderful couple to meet.

I was fortunate to see Mr. and Mrs. Electric perform that weekend and could only mumble to myself, WOW.

Hurrah for them and all other innovators of magic, you give me goosebumps.
Act Happy, Feel Happy, Be Happy with no reason in the World (D. Millman)
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/02/08 07:27 PM

Marvyn is indeed a wonderful guy. Still enthusiastic and loves magic. Carol is not well at all, so send her your best wishes.
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Postby CHRIS » 06/11/08 05:08 PM

Where can we send her flowers or just good wishes.
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