Magic Musings

Magical Beginnings of a Boston Magician Part 4

Boston’s Adult Birthday Magician Joe Ferranti 339-927-4710                                                 

                                      Back into Magic:

Ten years have passed. I’ve been busy with other things and had no time for “magic.”

Around 1985, I had a renewed interest in sleight-of-hand magic. So I picked up where I had left off and continued my study. It was a private, quiet pleasure. I enjoyed practicing. Hours could pass, but it was not a chore. If you do not enjoy the “work” required to attain the skills necessary for sleight of hand, you’ve chosen the wrong hobby. Dai Vernon said, ” If it was easy,everyone would do it.” 

Learning Magic…in Boston, The I.B.M.

I was a member of the I.B.M. for a brief period until life took me into an entirely different direction. Being shy is a detriment to benefitting in a “club” environment. It did bring exposure to professioanal magicians. Steve Dacrai, a local kid, about  my age lectured at an I.B.M. meeting at Hank Lee’s Magic Factory on Lincoln St. in Boston. Steve went on to tremendous success. Unfortunately we lost Steve way to soon.

The other highlight of my time in theI.B.M. was seeing Dai Vernon on his final lecture tour. He was aliving legend, and rightfully so.

Learning Without a Mentor

As I mentioned previously, I never had a mentor, and that came at a severe price. Although I enjoyed my books, it was impossible to learn everything from the written word. However, videotape players were now common in nearly every household. In fact, there were two competing formats, but this is all history… suffice to say, the VHS format won the battle.

It wasn’t long for Tannen’s Magic to introduce their “Stars of Magic” Video Tapes. These featured well-known magicians teaching their material and some of the more difficult to learn sleight of hand. For the first time, the student could have a “mentor” with a video player and a TV.

When I combined my book library with some visual aids,(video tapes) my skills grew rapidly.

 Boston Magician Joe Ferranti’s   “The Birthday Card Trick”

Wild Reactions to Boston Magician The Best in Magic Entertainment Magical Beginnings of a Boston Magician Part 4 |'s "Birthday Card Trick"
The Big Surprise…The “Birthday Card!”

Who is your audience?

Performing was a whole unique challenge. Magic is a performance art. Ultimately, it needs an audience. This is the biggest problem for most amateur magicians. Our first audience are made of family and friends. Honestly, we’re not the best magicians and they’re not the best audience.

Our family and friends know us well. As friends, they feel entitled to interrupt a performance with questions, or grab our props for inspection. It’s a wonder that anyone gets past this hurdle to becoming a professional performer.

(It’s a two-way street, we also bear responsibility. Do we present our magic in a “challenging manner”? We can learn a lot when we finally perform for an audience of strangers)

The Internet and Magic

I can not remember the year, but I was searching for a “slot box” on the internet. (A slot box is a magic prop for holding coins.)

I found a supplier who apparently had what I was looking for. The company was Diamonds Magic, and I called to get information.

“Diamonds magic…” were the first words I heard. I learned I was talking to Eddie Gardner, and yes, he had what I was looking for. He asked me where I lived. I told him, “Wilmington”. At that point, Eddie suggested I stop by his shop in Peabody to see the prop. That was a big surprise… there was a real magic shop in Peabody? The only shop I was aware of was Hank Lee’s Magic Factory. Which was a well stocked, and a long established Magic Shop in Boston. My only hesitation with dropping into Hank’s was the Boston drive and, more so, the Boston parking.

So, I got directions and headed to Diamonds Magic.

In my next and final “Magical Beginnings” I cover the transition to performing as a semiprofessional.

Joe Feranti


Boston Magician

One More Thing…I forgot to mention that Both Hank Lee’s Magic Factory and Diamonds Magic are now closed. Alas, no brick and mortar shops in the immediate Boston area. There is a shop in Ludlow, I haven’t visited because of the distance, but here’s a link. RP Magic Shop


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