Welcome to the Calvacade of Magic Presented By Kirk Kirkham

My Father was the Magician known professionally as Kirk Kirkham, his real name was Charles and many folks called him Chuck. He lived from 1926 to 2001. He was an active professional performer from the time he was sixteen years old. Magic was the only living he ever had. He toured with the USO after World War II, did the spook show circuit and television extensively in the 1950's, did thousands of club dates, school shows, and more television in the 60's, continued performing in the 70's but also became a well regarded prop maker who produced equipment for other magicians and attractions around the country.

Currently, David Copperfield has the largest private collection of illusions in the world, but prior to his success and collection, my father may very well have been the previous holder of that title. He owned parts of Thurston's Wonder Show of the Universe and Mysteries of India. He acquired much of the core of his collection from Will Rock back in the early 50's but continued to add to it the rest of his life. He knew and worked with Harry Blackstone Sr., Percy Abbot was a mentor to him. Dante was a personal friend, and he owned famous illusions that belonged to all of them.

My goal is to keep his legacy alive here in cyber space, and provide some historical context to the Southern California Magic scene in the 60's and 70's. I have had virtually no contact with the Magic world since my Mother passed away in 1994. My Dad suffered from Alzheimer's in his last years and he could not write the book that he always said he would get to someday. I don't know enough about magic to write competently concerning history, practice and technique. I can however provide an historical context for my Father, a man who knew almost everything about magic during the 20th Century. He had a huge library, subscribed to dozens of magazines, and had met every important magician of the second half of the century. He was consulted by many of the experts that now make up the intelligentsia of the magic community. He was also a mentor to many fine magicians and scholars of magic. I hope to hear from some of those people as a result of this blog.

Welcome to the Magical World of Kirk Kirkham.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Nino and Tihany
One of the pleasures of this blog is remembering old friends. I have heard from several former associates of my Father since I started the blog but also since the article in Magic Magazine appeared. My Dad collected friends and adversaries with both hands. Sometimes they even switched hands. One person who was always on the "Friend "side was the magician known to me only as Nino. I'm sure he had a last name but we never used it and although we worked with him on many big shows, I never saw him billed with any other name.

Nino was a disciple of the great Senor Frakson, a Spanish performer famous for his cigarette magic.  Nino did many of the same cigarette effects and he used doves and silks in his very polished act. My Dad took me to his house once in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles, we must have been delivering something, but I can't remember what. Nino was always at the house helping out with some project my Dad was involved with. This is a picture that I found that is really only magically based because of the two subjects. There is no prop and I have no specific story. I just know that when Tihany was in town, Nino sometimes helped him navigate the L.A. area. Here are the two of them in what is simply describable only as a moment of exuberance. That may be Nino's truck and they were picking up something from my Dad. This is in the parking lot of the warehouse on Chapel in Alhambra.

One of the people who I have heard from since the article came out is Connie Keeler Mcleod, she worked many big shows with my Dad along with her husband Bill. She told me that Nino was still around and that she speaks to him on occasion. I hope this picture will bring back some fond memories for him if he gets a chance to see it, I know it brought some back for me.

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