Tim Conover Has Taken His Life

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/02/11 10:55 PM

Magician Tim Conover took his own life today--just heard the terrible news from Tabby Crabb.

What an incredibly talented guy he was. A fantastic magician. But he suffered from personal problems in recent years after his divorce.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 21625
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Jonathan Townsend » 02/02/11 11:11 PM

What a huge loss.

Have a look here at what's happening at the 3 minute mark.


Goodbye Tim. Only heard good things about you and your magic.
Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 6915
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Westchester, NY

Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/02/11 11:32 PM

I should add that I hate to be the bearer of bad news. I don't think of these sorts of things as a "scoop." Would much rather never have bad news to report.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 21625
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Frank Yuen » 02/02/11 11:33 PM

What a terrible loss.
Frank Yuen
Posts: 552
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Winfield, IL

Postby Tabman » 02/02/11 11:38 PM

Sorry Richard, but I thought somebody in magic should know. My wife went to high school with Tim and the news came in from their friends network from Tim's brother. R.I.P.
User avatar
Posts: 917
Joined: 03/17/09 02:25 PM
Location: TC and KOZ at the Funny Bone

Postby Magic Newswire » 02/02/11 11:40 PM

Yet another terrible loss.
User avatar
Magic Newswire
Posts: 2489
Joined: 03/29/08 12:32 PM

Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/02/11 11:41 PM

Tabby, I appreciate the news, even if it's bad.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 21625
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Barefoot Boy » 02/03/11 12:01 AM

Rest peacefully, Tim.. Thanks for being an inspiration to me.
Outward sunshine; Inward joy,
Blessings on thee, Barefoot Boy.
User avatar
Barefoot Boy
Posts: 96
Joined: 03/31/08 01:59 PM
Location: Toronto, Canada

Postby Mike Rubinstein » 02/03/11 12:46 AM

How horrible. I will never forget the wonderful time we had together sharing magic back in the 80's when I went down to Maryland. He came to our Coin seminar a few years ago just to hang out, and he showed the guys some incredible coin stuff. He gave a memorable performance, doing Goshman's salt and pepper shakers, the cylinder and coins, and a few other things that were totally amazing, and a real privilege to watch. I knew he was having problems, but never dreamed it would come to this. He must have been in deep pain. The magic world will miss not only a wonderful performer, but a great guy as well.
Mike Rubinstein
Posts: 159
Joined: 08/20/08 08:19 PM
Location: New York

Postby Paul Green » 02/03/11 02:09 AM

I am saddened by the loss of such a talented member of our community.

Paul Green
Posts: 297
Joined: 03/15/08 08:29 PM
Location: California

Postby John Carney » 02/03/11 03:09 AM

.....speechless......and very, very sad. I loved that guy. Great magic and enthusiasm....... a joyful manner.......so sad that it did not end joyfully. I will miss you my friend.
John Carney
Posts: 226
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Los Angeles

Postby Dustin Stinett » 02/03/11 04:09 AM

Very sad. And the video posted by JT shows a true entertainer at work: A man who makes the show about his audience, not the "guy who does tricks." Thanks for finding that Jonathan.

User avatar
Dustin Stinett
Posts: 6205
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby Matthew Field » 02/03/11 06:44 AM

What a sweet and talented man. I was able to spend time with him at a Second Deal convention seven years ago, and saw him work doing his trade-show act at a British Ring convention several years ago.

This is a tragic loss.

Matt Field
User avatar
Matthew Field
Posts: 2584
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hastings, England, UK

Postby Eric DeCamps » 02/03/11 07:46 AM

[font:Book Antiqua][size:14pt]I am shocked and overwhelmed with the news that my old friend, Tim Conover, has passed. I have many wonderful memories of the times we spent together. He was an amazing force in magic with unparalleled enthusiasm for the art. I was inspired by his work and learned much from him. I will miss him very much.

Eric DeCamps

Eric DeCamps
Posts: 305
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Forest Hills, NY

Postby Dick Christian » 02/03/11 09:03 AM

Like many others in the DC area, Ive known Tim since he was a teenager. Not only an exceptional thinker, creator and performer, but a true friend and a gentleman in every sense of the word. His passing is not only a devasting loss to all who had the pleasure of knowing him, but to our art. R.I.P.

Dick Christian
Dick Christian
Dick Christian
Posts: 209
Joined: 08/18/08 11:03 AM
Location: Fairfax Station, VA (Metro DC)

Postby Joe Z » 02/03/11 09:40 AM

Like Dick, I first knew Tim back in the early 1980s when we were both members of the Washington D.C. area SAM and IBM. We both shared an interest in performing closeup magic, especially Slydini, and he quickly learned and reached a level of performance skill that was unsurpassed IMO. His performance of Ramsay's Coins and Cylinder remains the best I've ever seen.

As the years moved on, Tim developed an interest in mentalism. He was an incredibly fast learner in this field as well and he always was full of fresh ideas and enthusiasm. It is no wonder he evolved into such a strong and entertaining mentalist.

I am shocked and saddened by Tim's passing. The mystery community has lost yet another great.

Joe Zabel
Joe Z
Posts: 41
Joined: 09/18/08 07:40 AM

Postby Todd Karr » 02/03/11 11:26 AM

What a lovely man. So sad.
Todd Karr
Posts: 280
Joined: 03/13/08 09:03 AM

Postby Mark Phillips » 02/03/11 11:53 AM

I am heartbroken. I owe Tim so much in terms of both my magic and the career help helped me to enjoy. There was a stretch of several years in the late 80's and early 90's that Tim, Bill Goldman, Harrison Carroll and I worked at the same tradeshows maybe twice a month. We always spent the evenings together; laughing, joking, and fooling each other. Tim may have known and performed more excellent magic than the other 3 of us combined. He was a loyal, honest, caring and devoted friend to many; I am proud to have been his friend and to have so many wonderful memories. I am so sorry for the pain you suffered Tim, and wish you rest and peace.
Go practice.
Mark Phillips
Posts: 64
Joined: 02/06/08 01:00 PM
Location: Rockville, MD

Postby Bill Wells » 02/03/11 11:54 AM

There are simply no words to express this devastating loss. Timmy was a dear friend since his teenage years and one of Magic's very, very best. I can only hope that he has finally found some peace. R.I.P. old friend.
Bill Wells
User avatar
Bill Wells
Posts: 299
Joined: 01/21/08 01:00 PM
Location: Lexington, VA

Postby Eric Anderson » 02/03/11 12:24 PM

I'm sadden and shocked by this - During the past couple of weeks I had a few conversations with Tim and he shared some of changes that have taken place in his life, but I never thought for a second that this could be the outcome.

Tim was truly one of Greatest Magicians / Mentalist that has ever lived. His thought process & performance skills were Top Notch!

I remember when he created a number of memorized stacks and finally decided to learn the one he thought was the best of the ones he created. He sat me down and went through some of the benefits of his Infinity Stack and I was hooked. I made the decision to unlearn a stack I created and had lived with for a number of years and relearned his stack and have used it ever since. It's Simply Brilliant!

I'm blown away by this very sad news, I just talked with him.

Tim Rest in Peace

Eric Anderson
Eric Anderson
Posts: 14
Joined: 07/12/08 11:33 AM

Postby erdnasephile » 02/03/11 12:53 PM

Regrettably, I never had the privilege of knowing Mr. Conover and to my deficit, didn't know a lot about him.

However, after reading these tributes and taking the time to view more of his work, I can plainly see he was a beloved friend and a unique, powerful entertainer.

For those who didn't know him but wish to know more about Mr. Conover, there is a good article in Genii Vol 58, pg 653-ff (July 1995)

Here is some more video of Mr. Conover in action: http://www.mentalist.net/video.html

Finally, the characteristics of the stack Mr. Anderson references above are mentioned in Genii, September 2004, pg 89.

My sincere sympathies to his family and to you, his friends.
User avatar
Posts: 2288
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM

Postby Jonathan Townsend » 02/03/11 01:21 PM

erdnasephile wrote:...For those who didn't know him but wish to know more about Mr. Conover, there is a good article in Genii Vol 58, pg 653-ff (July 1995)...

http://askalexander.org/displaypdf.cgi? ... 94&pgnum=1

For the stack mention: http://askalexander.org/displaypdf.cgi? ... 89&pgnum=1 was this item published?
Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 6915
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Westchester, NY

Postby Bob Cassidy » 02/03/11 01:24 PM

Tim was on of the best. He will be greatly missed and always remembered.

RIP, Tim

Bob Cassidy
And remember, my friends, future events such as these will affect you in the future.-Criswell
Bob Cassidy
Posts: 18
Joined: 08/16/08 03:06 PM
Location: Seattle, Washington

Postby Danny Archer » 02/03/11 03:35 PM

Sad to hear that Tim is gone...

my heartfelt condolences to his friends, family and loved ones...

he was a great performer and thinker and the flame of magic will burn a bit dimmer today...
Producer of MINDvention
mentalism convention
Danny Archer
Posts: 595
Joined: 02/29/08 01:00 PM
Location: Denver

Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/03/11 04:32 PM

After receiving a sage request from Quentin Reynolds, I'm going to change the title of this thread to something less charged.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 21625
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Tabman » 02/03/11 05:09 PM

One of the wonderful things about magic is its ability to remember us for our magic and little else. I will always remember the Tim I met back in the 80s at a family wedding and the fun we had with a deck of cards that afternoon. I remember watching him handling a deck of cards. He had a lot of love in those hands, you could see it.
User avatar
Posts: 917
Joined: 03/17/09 02:25 PM
Location: TC and KOZ at the Funny Bone

Postby Harrison Carroll » 02/03/11 05:24 PM

Tim was 17 when he showed up at the Forks Hotel one Friday night back in the 70's. Through the years I continued to admire his passion for magic and his honest soul. The news of his death is crushing. Tim called Mark Phillips, Bill Goldman, Himself and me, the "Junk Yard Dogs." We lost the Top Dog and it is heartbreaking. God Bless You Tim.
Harrison Carroll
Posts: 7
Joined: 07/03/08 02:25 PM

Postby Brad Henderson » 02/03/11 05:45 PM

I dont know Quentin's position, but I think it does all of us, and Tim, a disservice to ignore the fact that he was very much in pain. This past weekend, Lisa Menna and I were reminiscing about seeing Tim at the ft worth taom. He was in a very dark place. You can imagine my shock upon hearing this terrible news.

One of the greatest things about our art is that we are, in our best moments, a family. Sure, we fight, have crazy uncles, and often enable others to keep the zombie in the act, but I truly believe that any of us would lend another a hand in their most dire times in spite of heated words exchanged on forums or tricks believed to be stolen. Once you're in, you're in. Gooba gaaba.

I think many magicians/artists/performers wrestle with these dark places. Yet these struggles remain private. There are places for magicians turn in the event they are struggling with physical illness and medical bills, but our mental and emotional well being remain our closely guarded secrets. Sure, we see the symptoms in some- drinking, reclusiveness, drugs - while others suffer silently.

Maybe we should consider something that the Austin music community has built, a mental/emotional health program to help those in our art in need.

I know tim's friends gave their support, and maybe nothing could have prevented this outcome; but maybe this tragic loss can encourage us to move beyond the stigma associated with mental and emotional health issues and help those struggling in their dark places.

Tim was a great person, an amazing magician, and an even more impactful performer. To have seen him in his quiet moments revealed someone who was hurting deeply. I am selfishly saddened by his departure, but hope beyond hope he finally achieved the peace and freedom he did not find in life. No one should have to live in pain.
Brad Henderson
Posts: 2699
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: austin, tx

Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/03/11 06:10 PM

Brad ... baloney! I think "Taken his Life" gives the full meaning.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 21625
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Frank Starsinic » 02/03/11 07:10 PM

very sad.
Frank Starsinic
Posts: 331
Joined: 01/23/08 01:00 PM
Location: Davis,CA

Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 02/03/11 07:29 PM

Magic, for Tim Conover, was perpetually a gift he gleefully opened again and again and again and always couldn't wait to share. He kept this flame ablaze for as long as he could. I was honored to write a long appreciate of him in M-U-M (May-2006), titled "Zing-Meister Magician & Mind-Bender" that embraced what Tim was all about. I used a formula to describe part of what he did: C=me2. This translates to "Conover equals miracles/energy squared," a formulation that partially defines a world-class phenomenon. Check out that issue, especially Tim's own observations on Misdirection that is included in that issue, along with effects. Tim was equal to the hype that surrounded him and often surpassed it.

RIP, Timmy.
Jon Racherbaumer
Posts: 830
Joined: 01/22/08 01:00 PM
Location: New Orleans

Postby StJ » 02/03/11 07:33 PM

What a great loss this is to the world. Tim was the best magican I have ever seen. He was a sweet and artistically curageous human being.

There are so many traits that are required for being a great magician. Most of the greats have a few. He had them all.
He may be the only person I've ever known that had it all.

Unique vision, Creative, Modivated, Courage, Intellegence, great Skill, Artistic flare, Strong work ethic, Energy,Personality, Good looks, Business acuman.

It all makes me so sad!
Posts: 1
Joined: 02/03/11 04:02 AM

Postby Rick Schulz » 02/03/11 09:04 PM

Tim attended several of the TAOM conventions here in Texas and was always very friendly and outgoing toward the attendees - a really nice guy. This is so tragic...
Rick Schulz
Posts: 177
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Ft. Worth, TX

Postby KirkG » 02/03/11 09:46 PM

I heard of Tim for many years. I am sorry I never got to see him in person and feel terrible that there was no one able to be there for him to prevent this terrible decision he made. My condolences to his friends and family on this huge loss.
Posts: 163
Joined: 08/26/08 08:10 PM

Postby Hank Miller » 02/03/11 09:53 PM

I to, was blessed to call Tim a friend. His performance was magical in every sense of the word. I would like to share performance of Tim's. We were both working a trade show in the 80s in Orlando, Florida. I went over to the booth that Tim was working and stood at the back edge of the 300+ crowd. After his performance I stuck around to listen to the comments of his audience on the mentalism show they just witnessed. One gentleman turned to his friend and said, "I don't believe in any of this sh*t, but if it is true... that guy does it." He was that powerful. Tim was one of the GREATEST, and I will miss him. Timmy, RIP my dear friend!!
I am a Magic GOD - at least I think so! :p
Hank Miller
Posts: 10
Joined: 02/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Colorado Springs, CO

Postby Brad Henderson » 02/03/11 10:43 PM

Richard, I was merely expressing the sentiment that mental and emotional health issues are equally as important and potentially debilitating as other medical conditions and are not to be taken lightly; and proposing the idea that we perhaps consider some vehicle to help those suffering like we have for other medical concerns.

I have no idea what the difference between "taken one's life" and "suicide" is. I don't know what is served by changing it, or "decharging" it. All I know is we lost an amazing magician, and more importantly, a wonderful person. When you saw Tim on stage you saw someone at the top of their game, filled with energy, exuding positivity. For most, his pain was invisible.

When one of our own is diagnosed with cancer, it seems prudent when posts remind us to look out for ourselves and each other.

Sorry for the derail, but I, like many of you, were moved by this loss. I saw Tim at a very low point. It's easy now to think, "could I have done something different, something more?"

That opportunity has passed. Since hearing the news, it has gotten me thinking - are there things can be done for the future.

That's how I feel.

Thank you for allowing me to express it,
Brad Henderson
Posts: 2699
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: austin, tx

Postby D. Andrus » 02/03/11 11:46 PM

Very sad news.

I was fortunate to have attended the World Magic Summit many years ago when Tim won the close-up competition. The large attendance at the convention had to be divided into sections making it necessary for the competitors to perform twice. A very impressive group of magicians, including Juan Tamariz, packed the room for Tim's second performance because everyone had been fooled so badly in the first performance. Needless to say, Tim's flawless performance left everyone just as puzzled.

Tim was also quite generous. When I decided to get involved with memorized deck magic, I was deciding on what stack to learn. Then I happened to read a review in Genii (Mnemonica) that mentioned Tim had a stack that would be published. I knew that his had to be well thought out. I just looked Tim up and emailed him. He did not know me at all. All I asked for was the stack itself and that I would be looking forward to the upcoming book as I memorized it. He ended up sending me the stack and all of his notes.....of course, I was sworn to secrecy. He also continued to email me with tips and tricks.

Though I did not know him well, I am confident in saying that he had an contagious energy about him when it came to performing, discussing and sharing his magic.

He will be missed......
D. Andrus
Posts: 20
Joined: 10/14/08 10:38 PM

Postby Paul Richards » 02/04/11 09:32 AM

I only had a handful of encounters with Tim. But he was the motivating reason for making a trek across the country to my first TAOM. He did not disappoint...I was fortunate enough to see him a number of times after that, including a very memorable afternoon here in Buffalo for the Buffalo Get-Together.

Those experiences always made me want to work harder at what I do.

He was, without a doubt, one of the best.

Times like this remind me that we should always go out of our way to tell people how they affect us. Dont wait for a eulogy.
Paul Richards
Posts: 46
Joined: 08/12/08 08:29 AM
Location: Buffalo, NY

Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/04/11 01:33 PM

At the suggestion of one of Tim's friends, I've done a little housekeeping on this thread. Please continue to leave your remembrances.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 21625
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Paulleemagic » 02/04/11 10:09 PM

Huge loss, very sad.

I have never met him but have heard good things, saw some performance clips and was very impressed.
Paul Lee
Posts: 10
Joined: 02/04/11 12:10 AM
Location: Chicago, IL


Return to Buzz