The magic world has lost another giant in the form of Patrick Page. Pat was a walking, talking encyclopaedia of magic. What he did not know probably wasn’t worth knowing. He was the most brilliant all-round magical brain I have ever encountered. He was a great performer, a brilliant author and a phenomenal teacher. He was all that and a whole lot more. He was not scared to voice his opinion of a performer and criticise their performance but not in a Simon Cowell “no substance” manner. He would give his criticism and then tell you what to do to make it better.
OK, personal experience story time. Last year, I was invited to the invitation-only FFFF Convention in upstate New York. All first time attendees are expected to perform at the convention – it’s one of the rules – and I was scheduled to perform on the Thursday afternoon. When I walked out to perform, the front row was a who’s who of magic. People who’s books I had read or DVDs I had watched were sitting watching me. It was a scary prospect. I did my act and felt pretty happy about the performance. After the show had finished, I stood in the hotel lobby when Pat walked towards me. My moments of worry were halted when he stopped in front of me and said “I really enjoyed what you did. Very good.” I thanked him and he walked away. I was very touched that he would say that and very happy that it was Pat that had said that he enjoyed the performance. But I could not help but wonder if he was just being nice to me.
A couple of weeks later, I told Paul Wilson, who knew Pat a lot better than I did, that story and asked him if Pat was the sort of person to say that just to be nice. He told me he was not and that if he had not enjoyed what he had seen, he would have told me. At that moment, Pat Page walking up to me at FFFF and saying that he enjoyed my performance was confirmed as one of the highlights of my life as a performer.
If I may, and I hope Paul does not mind me telling this story, I have one more wee story for you. Now, I will tell you now that I may not have all the exact details right but this story will give you an idea how generous Pat Page could be.
Paul and Pat would try to spend an hour or 2 talking together at any convention that the 2 of them were attending. One particular year, possibly in Eastbourne, Paul and Pat were talking about a particular effect and Pat mentioned that he had published his own routine in one of his books. After a few more moments of discussion, Pat asked Paul to keep an eye on the stand for a moment. Pat went from behind his table and walked round to another dealer. When he came back, there was a copy of the book in Pat’s hand for Paul. It turns out that Pat did not have any copies of that particular book in stock, so he went to another dealer who did have it in stock, bought a copy and gave it to Paul! Yes, he bought a copy of his own book from another dealer to give to a friend as a present! I know that Paul was very touched by the gesture and I hope he does not mind me telling that wee story.
(Photo courtesy of Robin Dawes)
Mr Page, you will be missed by more magicians and in more ways that you yourself would probably realise or acknowledge. Thank you for everything you have done for magic.
The Cardman 🙁