Martin A. Nash
1933 - 2009
Sunday, August 23rd, 2009
The Palace of Mystery
at the Magic Castle
After a long illness, Martin A. Nash passed away on July 20, 2009. Best known for his remarkable card work-which has been well-documented in the printed and visual record - Mr. Nash was also knowledgeable in virtually every facet of magic. He performed dove magic (he invented the invisible harness), card and billiard ball manipulations, and grand illusion. But a performance by Harry Lorayne in 1963 changed Martin Nash’s life and led to him leaving his own indelible mark on the art of close-up card manipulation.
Martin Nash was a consummate entertainer. He took his audiences on a journey through a theatrical version of the world of card cheating. Using his considerable skills—both technical and acting—the audience became willing participants in what he always called “plays.” It was the work of Shakespeare that inspired Nash’s construction of his various acts, none of which were more famous than “Ovation.” This act acquired its title because of the standing ovations he would receive after each performance in the Close-Up Gallery of the Magic Castle; the venue for which it was designed.
His character, “The Charming Cheat,” was more than just a persona seen only during his performances: Martin Nash was charming, charismatic, and a true gentleman. He was always immaculately groomed and dressed. He sported sapphire and diamond rings, cufflinks, and collar studs. His gold bracelet wasn’t just a beautiful wardrobe accessory; it was a secret reminder for a technical aspect of his work.
His performing took him around the world, appearing in tradeshows and on television. Besides being a fine entertainer, he also shared his knowledge of deception with law enforcement agencies. He consulted with police departments across Canada and the United States. He worked with the FBI and testified before the US Senate. His work in this area garnered him an honorary membership in the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
And, of course, he shared his technical skill with magicians around the globe. His generosity to the magic community is as celebrated as his skills. Written by Stephen Minch, the trilogy of books that captured his material, Ever so Sleightly, Any Second Now, and Sleight Unseen, is highly regarded and sought after.
Martin A. Nash devoted his life to magic and magicians. It is because of that devotion that he is survived by a community that will never forget him