Ottawa Citizen
Thursday, September 12, 2002

Now here's a trick: A magician will make a lawyer disappear

Dave Brown
The Ottawa Citizen

Magician Ian Quick is entering the local entertainment scene full time at the end of the month and his first trick is going to be a doozy: he's going to make a lawyer disappear.

He says he can't reveal the name of the lawyer because of possible problems with the Law Society of Upper Canada, but identifies him as the man he used to be. The 30-year-old Mr. Quick (a stage name) graduated from University of Ottawa's law school, class of '98, and was called to the bar in 2000. He has been working in the field of estate law, and doing corporate and commercial work.

The problem is he still has some of that work to clear before he withdraws from the profession at the end of the month, and has some loose ends to tie up with the law society. So he doesn't feel safe in identifying the part of himself that will disappear from the practice of law.

Becoming a lawyer isn't easy. Why give it up after such a short trial?

"If you're not happy doing something,'' says Mr. Quick. "Don't do it.''

During the lean years on his way to his legal licence, he worked at many jobs, including as a magician. It occurred to him recently that of all the jobs he's done in his lifetime, the one he most enjoyed was being Ian Quick, magician. He was booked for many children's parties and then moved on to banquets and trade shows. Company parties started to come along.

Little more than a year ago, the bilingual Mr. Quick played a one-night show and the paycheque for the evening was $5,000. Wow, said the magician to the lawyer, that's more than you can make. Wow, said the lawyer to the magician, if you can support us and have so much fun at the same time -- over to you. The lawyer/magician consulted a lawyer. His wife also practises law. The lawyer/wife reminded him life is not a rehearsal.

He has always been in love with magic. "Every time I watched a magician I had to find out how the trick was done, and master it.'' He studied law because he had to make a living and he knew he had the brainpower to make the grade. After graduating, he discovered there were similarities between show business and the practice of law. In both there are stars who get wealthy, but the majority struggles or starves.

"If you want to make the big bucks, you have to put in 60 to 80 hours a week. That's not living. That's not healthy.'' And without an audience, where's the satisfaction?

The lawyer lost his purpose and the magician's grew stronger. He does a comedy- based show and says he has two main purposes. "I want you to leave having had a good laughing workout, and I want you to leave asking: 'How the hell did he do that?'''

Although most of his lawyer friends know who he is, he won't identify the soon-to-disappear lawyer until after the trick is completed at the end of the month. Meanwhile, Ian Quick is looking for bookings. Call 860-4747.

Playing It Cool

An Ottawa fire department pumper truck rolled into a soccer park off Conroy Road at noon Sunday and opened its hoses on girls' soccer teams taking part in an international competition. It also turned loose on spectators. Everybody was happy for the soaking.

"It was dangerously hot,'' said Elaine MacDonald, coach of the eight- and nine-year-old London Terrace Devils. "There's no shade around there. It was 33 degrees.''

The decision to make the cooling run was cleared by Lieut. David Thompson at No. 8 station. "Relief was needed. We hooked up a couple of inch- and-a-half lines and opened with a fog spray. Anybody who wanted to run through it was welcome. Almost everybody did.''

But the water cannon on top of the truck was also used. "That's a deluge gun. Some women were staying out of range of the water and taunting the crew. The guys wanted to surprise them. So I authorized a short shot.''

That "gun'' throws 200 gallons a minute and can empty the 1,000-gallon truck in a hurry. It can soak a fire in a flash. It can surprise the heck out of a group of soccer moms even faster.

Bottom Line

While watching the United States seek support for aggressive action against terrorism, a line keeps running through my mind. Can't remember where I heard or read it.

"An appeaser is someone who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.'

© Copyright 2002 The Ottawa Citizen