As a reoccurring feature of the Magic Messenger we will highlight a member and ask them to answer a few questions about themselves. This month the "Spotlight" is on our club Secretary, Karl Rabe.
Where did you grow up / where have you lived?
I was born in Detroit and lived in Ferndale MI until 1969 at which time my family moved to Sault Ste. Marie (or Sault Ste. Siberia as I like to call it). I went to college in the Soo and later moved to Midland MI, Iron Mt. MI, Dearborn MI, Belleville MI and finally Saline MI. So I've been in Michigan my whole life.
How did you get started in magic?
I always enjoyed watching magic. My Dad liked watching magic and he bought me Dunninger's Encyclopedia of Magic. I poured over that cover-to-cover. A friend in the SOO was from New York and he and his brother had the Tannen's and Abbott's catalogs. They had some real props and got me into it. I got the Abbott's catalog and price sheet (remember the price sheets?) and the rest was history. My Dad always made sure I saw magician's perform when possible and he took me to Romig Magic when it was in an upstairs suite on Nine Mile in Ferndale. He secretly bought me a Zombie for Xmas.
What type of magic do you perform?
I started out with a lot of close up. I really enjoy parlor magic and in particular inventing and creating my own props. I am almost always performing comedy magic. As many of you know, I perform comedy magic with my Son Bill as my "assistant". I like to design routines where I fail as the magician and Bill really does all the magic as the assistant.
What is your favorite magic book?
Tommy Wonder's Book of Wonder Vol I and II are fantastic. Tommy was very inventive and I really like and use his approach of imaging a routine (he calls it a Mind Movie) before figuring out how to make it happen. This pushes the creator to create the best magic they can.
Who is your favorite Magician of all time?
I'll name three. I have to turn to Tommy Wonder once again. I really admire René Lavand for his simplicity and brilliant execution. If you don't know, Rene has only one hand and can perform amazing card slights. Finally I really like Lennart Green. He is a great example of creating something unique and different from everyone else.
Do you have any words of wisdom for newer magicians?
I am going to turn to something I wrote when I was about 15 years old for a Magic Kit I put together for Grand Hotel on MACKINAC ISLAND.