|Born||Roy W. Mayer|
November 3, 1906
St. Louis, Missouri
|Died||February 12, 1991 (age 84) |
Roy Mayer (1906-1991) served as President of the St. Louis Assembly No. 8 of the SAM in 1947 and introduced magic to thousands of kids throughout the United States by hi program presented in their school auditorium.
Mayer began his magic career at the age of eleven, performing along the curbside near his home. By twelve, he was performing for his Scout Troop, expanding to other Scout functions and church socials. Mayer would become Will Lindhorst's assistant, who lived near him. While assisting Lindhorst, he continued to develop his own act and by the age of seventeen was performing at small clubs, theaters and banquets.
Magic continued to be a sideline until 1931 when, working as a candy salesman for the Beech Nut Packing Company, he came to the attention of operators of a chain of St. Louis movie houses. They hired Mayer to perform magic at the "live" portion of their movie programs, passing out samples of Beech Nut candy after the show.
His magic career was becoming financially successful until the depression struck. Mayer lost his regular job and took on various jobs, even operating his own a booking agency, the "Mayer Lyceum Bureau". In 1934, Mayer began doing shows in churches, schools, orphanages and "old-folks homes" under the sponsorship of the Weil Clothing Company.
World War II brought an economic rebirth to the entertainment business and Mayer was back playing night clubs in the St. Louis area.
In 1948, he auditioned for an Ohio Lyceum Bureau and signed a four-year contract with the University of Kansas Extension Bureau. At 42, Roy finally became a full-time professional and hit the road, with his wife Bernice at his side, touring the central and eastern states. They averaged three to four shows daily. In the thirteen years they traveled the school circuit, it is estimated they averaged 500 performances a season.
Then, in 1961, friend and fellow magician, Gabe Alberici, owner of the J.S. Alberici Construction Company, offered Roy a job as safety engineer. Roy continued to perform his magic, even after he retired from the Alberici Company in 1973.
He was active in the Society of American Magicians, which he joined on January 10, 1925, and the International Brotherhood of Magicians. His S.A.M. membership card, No. 1238, was signed by Harry Houdini who was national president at that time.
- St. Louis Magical Heritage Award (1995, posthumously)
- ↑ The History of S.A.M. Assembly No. 8 1921-1996 by Monti, Trudy; Monti, Harry, eds. (1996)