Magifest 2022 Performer Spotlight | Paul Gertner
By Vanishing Inc. - Tuesday, December 14, 2021
It’s such an honor to have the incomparable Paul Gertner lecture at Magifest 2022. He plans to discuss a ton of incredible material, including pieces from his latest Penn & Teller: Fool Us appearance.
Until then though, we pass it off to Paul to share a bit more about himself...
What Is your favorite convention memory?
My favorite MagiFest Convention Memory would be from 1974 winning the adult Stage Contest with my Silver Stick Act. That meant I got to perform it on a real stage in the big theater again on the final night of the convention. It was also my wife’s very first magic convention. So, it was quite the memory.
What legacy do you hope to leave on the magic world?
I think it would be the legacy of the value of creating and continuing to create new material throughout a total career and the importance of practice and dedication in order to achieve excellence. There is alway another level and additional layers that can be added to your performance if you look for it. I like to think at times I have achieved excellence and that will serve as an example that we should never stop learning well into our 60’s 70’s and beyond.
What excites you most about the future of magic?
That there is always something new, and someone new who is ready to blow me away. I am fascinated when I see the creativity of both performers and the inventors alike. The ideas are still out there waiting to be discovered by anyone who is willing to put in the work. I’m looking forward to being fooled again and again and each time it happens it’s like the very first time.
What’s one mistake in your career you encourage others not to repeat?
Don’t miss the birth of your children. I did not… but it was a very close call. I left for an out of town show the day after my first child was born. Not recommended. The solution is, when your wife or partner has a due date, block 3 weeks on both sides of that date and DO NOT schedule any out of town dates. And if you are already booked like I was…call the client and explain you have to cancel the show because you have a major conflict… something I should have done, but did not. Fortunately, it all worked out but it could have been something I would have regretted my entire life if I missed my daughter’s birth.
What do you consider to be “real magic”?
Any effect that connects with the audience from both a story and performance standpoint has a reason for existing, a powerful finish and that leaves the audience with an emotional reaction.
What is the wildest event you’ve ever performed at?
Cutting my wife in two and lifting her up in the air 30 feet high on two forklift trucks during a trade show in Chicago’s McCormick Place Exhibition Hall. What made it wild was that the boxes of the thin model sawing illusion were NOT secured to the forklift trucks in any manner. If they had jerked, or had an operator malfunction, Kathryn would have come crashing 30 feet to the ground while curled up inside the box. OSHA would not have approved.
What’s your favorite fun fact?
The rule of 72. That if you divide your return on investment into 72 you will know how many years it will take to double your money.
What are some other fun things or interesting facts about you?
- I used to go to Johnny Carson’s home to teach him magic.
- I’m a grandfather of 4 little girls.
- I currently have the Number One show (on TripAdvisor) in Boston.
- I have a very large family, 54 first cousins.
- I make a mean pot of chili.
If you had Josh and Andi over for dinner, what would you cook?
Pasta Primavera…a special recipe of Darwin Ortiz that we learned from him 40 years ago.
Here’s a Quick Teaser of Some of the Fool Us Material Paul Plans to Discuss
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