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Edd Patterson - A Lifetime of Magic and Art

by William V. Rauscher
S.S. Adams, Publishing Division (c) 2008

This is the story of Edd Patterson, The Magic Artist.

During his career his programs were endorsed by literally thousands of school administrators and parent teacher groups on the eastern United States. he probably presented live school stage shows for more young people than any other performer of his time on the American assembly platform.

With a record of more than 18,000 shows, he was considered an entertainer with an educator's point of view. His presentations won the unqualified approval of young audiences from Connecticut to Florida (and their teachers, administrators, moms and dads, too).

Apart from his life story, this book includes 33 of his time-tested routines for children's shows along with ideas and thoughts from his life as a master school show performer.

Published 2008 - S.S. Adams, LLC
8 1/2" x 11" - Hardbound - Color Covers
128 Pages - 210 Photos and Illustrations - 4 Pages in Color
33 routines - DVD Included - Edd Patterson on Stage

Price $39.95 - Shipping $2.77 (+ $1.75 insurance) in US $8.93 (+ $1.75 to Canada)
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E-mail: donna@stochard.com

Bill Rauscher wrote biographies of two highly successful magicians last year, but the subjects could not be more different. Both impressed the author as a young boy, but while Bill Neff was a master illusionist on stage and a terror to his family offstage, Edd Patter is an entertainer who truly love children - his own, and the over eight million he has charmed for sixty years!

Born in New Jersey in 1920 and inspired by a vaudeville magician, Patterson worked the school assembly show circuit after World War II. Often building his own props, and expanding his repertoire to include sand painting, chalk talks, and puppetry, he has well over 18,000 shows to his credit. Patterson's biography does not have the melodrama and scandal that has characterized some magicians, but his is the story of a dedicated, hardworking, and busy pro. Along with his contemporaries Loring Campbell, McDonald Birch, C. Thomas Magrum, J.B. Bobo, Dick Oslund, and others, Patterson kept magic alive in public schools and provided wholesome entertainment for generations.

Rauscher's tribute is generously illustrated with photos and publicity material and includes 33 of the subject's favorite routines, all of them road tested. Some of those effects can be seen in action on the accompanying DVD, which contains a delightful fifty-minute performance from the early 1990's It is an essential companion to the book, as it shows Patterson's humor, his carefully scripted routines, and his gentle command over an audience of youngsters.

If you have any intention of performing magic for children, here's a chance to learn from a master.

Michael Claxton - Magic magazine - April 2009

William V. Rauscher's new book about Edd Patterson is a great tribute to a great artist. Within these oversize and heavily illustrated pages, we learn of Patterson, veteran of over 18,000 shows for children of all ages. Patterson is an artist of enormous skill, charm and with a wink and a dash he'll presto change sand paintings, a ten foot stalk of corn made out of paper, or dream up three drawn pictures in one.

It's enthralling, completely clean American entertainment at its best with a story that is loving, spiced with the hard work ethic, and a feeling for the audience missing so badly in current mystery workers. Rauscher captures the essence of the friendly man who has endured through and through and entertained multiple generations of families largely over the East coast. You also get the bonus of learning Patterson's pet secrets, all well diagrammed for future use by those smart enough to really study and learn from this wonderfully educational tome. Highly recommended. OH, PS: the DVD included in this book for the sale price of $39, is worth well more than the price of both combined...a true bargain."

Ben Robinson, author of "The MagiCIAn: John Mulholland's Secret Life"

Edd Patterson: A Lifetime of Magic and Art

Edd Patterson was a school show magician who performed well over 18,000 shows for millions of school children. Most of the shows he performed were within a three-hour drive from his home where he had supper with his family each evening. His magic was his sole source of income and enabled him to own a nice home, put two daughters through college, support a wife as a mother and housewife after retiring from his shows, and provide a retirement income.

He did all of his own posters, brochures and mailings; booked his own shows; and wrote and designed anew show each year. his programs were educational long before that became fashionable or necessary. He was also one of the most original magicians you probably never heard of because, in addition to all the above, he also designed, built and decorated his own tales, apparatus, silk and all promotional materials.

From 1995 to 2000, Edd cut back to part-time performing with three months in the New Jersey area and three in Florida. As always, his shows combined magic, cartooning, and ventriloquism. Edd was one of the first to use recorded responses from his figures and puppets. He also included Troublewit, sand painting, and chalk talks. Art was always featured in his shows.

This book offers numerous examples of Edd's artistic skills in photos of cartoons, brochures, ads for his several shows, pages or recommendations from school principals, show themes, plus Edd's guidelines for his shows and his thoughts on performing for children today. There are over thirty tested and original presentations, routines, and tricks for the kid or family-show magician. In brief, this is a textbook on how to make a living from magic.

Highly recommended.

Phil Willmarth - March 2011 Linking Ring Magazine