On March 8th, 2019, at 10:34 am, minutes after I got the sad news of my mentors’ passing, I wrote the following on Facebook. I was encouraged to give it a more permanent home rather than social media. The photos to the left are from when I was ages 16 - 18, at Marshall’s home, various shows we did together, and my high school graduation party. The videos here include his WGN Morning News obituary, and the original TV ad that was seen by millions. I hope these videos, images, and writings give you an idea to the great inspiration this man had on me and my work.
This morning I lost my hero, mentor, and friend, Marshall Brodien. They say “Never Meet Your Heroes” but I met Marshall when I was 14, and he couldn’t have been kinder, nicer, or more giving & patient. He was always willing to give advice, & encouragement. He’d always introduce me to people saying, “Joe Diamond is one of the best performers I’ve ever seen” and it made me work harder. I met some of my closest friends in the industry through him.
He came to my Graduation Party, where he patiently explained to my dad & Aunt that Bozo’s Buckets was 6 buckets, not 5.
He’d often invite me to his Museum at his house to share stories, advice, as well as teach me mind reading stunts, hypnosis, his sideshow pitch and share business advice. When I interviewed him for a college paper, I asked him what he disliked about magic. He thought long & hard, and after a full minute, he finally said, “Nothing. I love magic with all my heart. It gave me this house, my family, all these pictures around us, it is here because of magic. I wouldn’t trade it or change it in the slightest.”
He loved magic, and it was good to him. He passed that love and passion of our art to the next generation as a whole, & he passed it on to me. He was a man of many talents and titles. He was a magician. He was a hypnotist. He was a pitch man. A salesman. An entrepreneur. A TV personality. He was a celebrity and a millionaire. Most important of all, he was KIND.
That was his “secret” and as we all know... it’s easy, once you know the secret.
Thank you for sharing, Marshall.