The next convention is set for
June 6 & 7, 2014
Registration Starts at $45 Until May 15th, Then $50!!!
The Famous Unknown Convention will be at a Brand New location this year due to reconstruction of our old facility.
Our New Event Location this year will be at:
Here are some things happened last year:
2013 New England Magic Competition!!!
Dealer / Magic for sale option to sell items out of your room!!!
Close-up Tables open all night!!!
Bring your own balloons, Balloon Twisting JAM!!!
Photography Sessions available with Chapman Photography! Limit of 5!
Friday Night's Event is an Evening with Glenn Brooks!
2013 Guests of Honor are:
Tom Craven & Hugh Turley
Here is the Complete Schedule!!!
Lecturers from 2012
Hall of Fame of Famous Unknowns
Wes Booth, Registrar,
955 Corinna Rd.
St. Albans, ME 04971
For more information please contact Alan Drew:
207-664-8077(cell) or 207-244-0538 (home)
Wes Booth: email@example.com Carroll Chapman: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phil Messina: email@example.com Ray Eyler: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Purpose and
History of the Hall of Fame
The Hall of Fame of Famous Unknowns is all about preserving the heritage of Magicians and Clowns who have contributed to the art and to the community, yet have not had the recognition they deserve. The museum that was located at Schuyler Lake, NY with many artifacts, pictures and displays signifying the life and times of those members who have given so much to the art. Since the passing in 2011 of "Chazoo" Charlie Zuis, the owner of the museum property, the museum is no longer open. Many of the items from the museum were sold or given back to their donators, although a remnant remains for historical reference behind the reasons of the convention. It was Charlie's last wish that the unknown convention continue after his passing which his friends have kept.
The Hall of Fame of Famous Unknowns
began in 1988, when Charles Zuis purchased the old Hendrick Herkimer Farmhouse
and Barn at Schuyler Lake, NY. Hendrick Herkimer was the brother of General
Herkimer of Herkimer NY, a revolutionary war hero in the battle of Oriskany,
NY.. The Schuyler Lake farmhouse and Barn is known as the second Herkimer Farm
and was originally built in 1776. The Barn, now a theatre was a bunkhouse and
kitchen/cook house for the Hop-pickers prior to Prohibition in the 19th and
early 20th Centuries. Zuis with the help of Willie (the Clown) Purdell from
Herkimer NY, who passed away in May 2002, and Alan Drew from Mt. Desert Maine,
set about creating the "Museum and Hall of Fame of Famous Unknown Magicians and
Clowns." As the years went by an annual Parlor Convention has been held with
Magicians and Clowns coming from all over the country.
The Parlor magic convention is held annually on the first Saturday in June.
Some of the Previous convention lecturers and happenings:
In 2011 the guest lecturer was
Society of American Magicians Dean George Schindler!
In 2010 the guest lecturers were
FFFF members Ray & Lee Eyler & 2009-10 SAM President Mike Miller!
Here's what happened in 2009
2009 Guest Speakers and Performers were: A Triad of Magicians
Bruce Kalver: 2009 S.A.M. National President
Vinny Grosso: 2009 S.A.M. Vice President
Andy Dallas: 2007 S.A.M. National President
Bruce Kalver President of the Society of American Magicians and other SAM Dignitaries were honored guests and the main attraction at the 20th annual Magic Hall of Fame of Famous Unknown Magicians and Clowns Magic Parlour Foray held on June 6th 2009 in Schuyler Lake NY. Kalver with Andy Dallas 2007 President and Vinnie Grosso, Vice President and many other magicians coming from as far away as Buffalo, Washington D.C. and Maine presented and all day program of Lectures, parlour, Close-up and Stage magic.
The Hall of Fame of Famous Unknowns, named after Chazoo and his boyhood pal Willie “The Clown” Purdell, was created to promote and preserve the heritage of the many magicians and clowns who performed shows in their communities for their friends and neighbors at non-profit clubs and community organizations for modest fees or for the fun of it. They did it for the love and fun of Magic and mystery, which they brought into the hearts of audiences. Many of them have long been forgotten but Zuis emphasizes that today’s magicians should do what they can to remember their mentors and compeers of the past.
Assisting Zuis were Alan Drew & Phil Messina who helped repair, paint and otherwise prepare the buildings for the Foray. A new close-up magic room was created under the direction of Alan Drew and was named the Karl Norman room in recognition of his outstanding participation in the annual event and for his 91 years of magical entertainment. (We determined that he came out of the womb with a deck of cards in his hand). Drew also hosted the main show.
Phil Messina better known as “P.T”, Mc’d the afternoon parlour show and helped to prepare the museum and the theatre for the weekend. Ray, Lee and Max Eyler from Annapolis Maryland (Father, son and Grandson) helped with reception, stage and other details. Others who also performed in the afternoon and evening shows were as follows: Clem Kinnicutt, Albany, Wes Booth, Maine; Glen Brooks, Syracuse, NY; Ray Cerio & Jordan Cerio, Syracuse, NY; Carroll Chapman, Maine; Matt Episcopo, Morrisville, NY; Ray Eyler, Annapolis MD; Mike Hilburger, Williamsville, NY; Shane Hillman, Binghamton, NY; Bruce Purdy, Syracuse, NY; Karl Norman, Buffalo, NY; Andy Wallace, Utica, NY; Ryan Wallace, Utica, NY; John Wolfson, Utica, NY; Dan Murphy, Bagpipe presentation; Cooks: Joe Schreck, Frankfort and Gregg Llewellyn, Herkimer.
Many contributions have been made by members of the hall of fame as follows: Wes Booth who painted and donated two murals depicting old time magicians performing parlour magic; Alan Drew donated a large number of clowns, Award plaques, posters, illusions and other magic items & created the Karl Norman Close up room; Ray and Lee Eyler gave Larry West artifacts, magical illusions and the stage light and sound systems; Willie “The Clown” Purdell Magic estate and other magical items; Andy Dallas, signed Magic posters, signed gold ball from his famous Zombie illusion; Bill Smith, magic posters; Ray Cerio a number of magical gifts raffled off for the benefit of the Hall of Famous Unknowns and assorted magical artifacts; Phil Messina, artifacts of the Binghamton Magic Club plus electrical and other repair work to ceilings walls and magical artifacts; George Becker items from his TV shows; Obie O’brien, 4 F’s posters; Ron Zinserling, a Zig Zag illusion; Ron Zollweg, Sound System; Bill Gilman, Circus items; Les Levines, Magic top-hat; Ms. Helen Shaw sister of Walter Cummings, desk, close-up table, pictures and magical artifacts; Clem Kinnicutt, illusion, Ted Raub, bottle production etc; Mark Alford, box illusion; Jim /Don Attle & Jeff Sterling-magic table; Mike Hilburger for his Hot Dogs and special mustard and finally last but not least hats off to: Carroll Chapman for setting up the Web Page. http://www.unknownmagiciansandclowns.com
Chazoo and Alan Drew presented outstanding wood and bronze plaques to the Honored guests, which read in part “For Contributions to the “Hall of Fame” Museum of Famous Unknown Magicians and Clowns”. Special and “super-duper” certificates were presented to members present who donated an item to the Foray or to the Hall of Fame. They are: Karl Norman, Carroll Chapman, Wes Booth, Phil Messina and Bill Smith.
(Please send me any corrections or additions. My magic mind is going fast!)
For information Call Charles Zuis at 315.360.7585 or Alan Drew 207.244.0538, Ray Eyler 410.798.1677 or Phil Messina 607.427.7241.
Here's what happened in 2008!
Mr. Bev Bergeron was honored at the annual Hall of Fame of Famous Unknown Magicians and Clowns Parlour Foray Held on Saturday, June 7, 2008
Upstate NY and New England Magicians and friends enjoyed the magic and clowning of Mr. Bev Bergeron renowned magician, clown, writer and world traveler from Orlando Florida at the annual Parlour Magic Foray on Saturday June 7th,
held in Schuyler Lake, NY.
The affair was billed as “A day with Bev Bergeron”, and began with a lecture on magic, theatre and entertainment. Later he presented segments from his close up Parlour repertoire and was the main attraction at the evening magic show featuring his long admired cigarette act, the world famous “Egg Bag” Routine and the six card repeat, along with many other magical illusions. He provided tips and insights into the performance of magic and how to entertain the folks. His “down to earth” approach to magic as it appeals to the public is his secret to a long career of performing throughout the world in all sorts of venues such as theatres, clubs, trade shows and intimate parlour magic. His wife and partner of many years Alouise assisted him throughout the day. Bergeron was later presented with a special plaque and membership in the Hall of Fame.
Mr. Bergeron was a television star in The Magic of Alakazam, headliner for Diamond Horseshoe in Disneyworld and in Sea World, Past President of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, and member of the renowned Magic Castle where he was awarded their life achievement award. Bergeron has published a number of books including the life story of Willard the Wizard and writes a monthly article for the Linking Ring, a publication of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.
Other honorees and special guests at previous forays were: Andy Dallas past president of SAM, Phil Willmarth President of the IBM, Karl Norman, Larry West, Ray Eyler, Alan Drew and Charlie Zuis.
Special recognition was given to Mike Hilburger, Buffalo and Wes Booth, Maine for their outstanding contributions to the Hall of Fame of Famous Unknowns. Wes hand painted a beautiful mural of an old time parlour magician performing and presented it to the Hall of Fame. The Mural is 4 feet wide by 10 feet long. Mike has been the catalyst for bringing in folks from the Buffalo area including two great unknowns Karl Norman and Jim Maloney and he has also been responsible for bringing the fantastic Buffalo NY hot dogs. The Award in part reads, “The recipient has performed in a special super-duper, outstanding, prominent and distinguished manner in all matters relating to Magic Etc.”
The setting for the magical get-together was the Historic Herkimer Home on Route 28 in Schuyler Lake, near Cooperstown, NY. The front part of the house was originally built in the 1770’s around the time of the Revolutionary war. The Barn was used as a bunk and cook house for Hop Pickers in the 19th and early 20th Century. Hops are used for the making of Beer. The farm built by Hendrick Herkimer, brother of General Nicholas Herkimer is sometimes referred to as the second Herkimer Home. The General’s house is located in Little Falls.
Magicians from Utica, Rome, Syracuse, Buffalo and Maine performed for the magicians and guests during the day. Some of the magicians who performed were: Mark Alford, John Bart, Wes Booth, Glenn Brooks, Ray and Jordon Cerio, Carroll Chapman, Gene Doane, Dave Gubbins, Mike Hilburger, Karl Norman, Jim Maloney, Andy Wallace, John Wolfson, Masters of Ceremonies for the day were, Charles Zuis, Alan Drew and Phil Messina. A Friday evening program of close-up and restaurant magic was also held at a nearby restaurant. Also, a swap and sell meet was available during the day on Saturday along with plenty of food and beverage.
The Hall of Fame of Famous Unknowns is dedicated to preserving the heritage of the many magicians and clowns who never made it “big-time” but who performed shows for their friends and neighbors and non-profit clubs and organizations for modest fees or in many cases for free or for the fun of it. They did it for the love of the business and the fun and mystery they brought into the hearts and faces of their audiences. They did it for the love of the art of Magic and entertaining.
The owner and magician curator is Charles Zuis, also known as Chazoo and performs for institutions, families, clubs and organizations in the local and regional area. Originally from Herkimer and Rome, and after traveling all over the country, he settled on Schuyler Lake and purchased the Old Herkimer Home in 1988 and converted the old Hop barn into a magic Theatre and Hall of Fame of famous Unknown Magicians and Clowns. In recent years he has expanded into the old house and with his old friend Willie the Clown created a museum for magical and clowning artifacts of old time magicians and clowns from all over the country. Other members have contributed more artifacts as the Hall of Fame grew. Membership is available to Magicians and Clowns.
The Hall of Fame is open by appointment only. Next year’s “Parlour Foray” will be held on June 6, 2009, the first weekend in June. Big show to be open to the public. Food and beverage is provided all day Saturday. A night before session is held for the early birds. Donation for the weekend is $25.00 if paid in advance by May 1st, 2009, thereafter and at the door it will be $35.00. Hotel rooms are available upon request. For more information on the event, membership and tours call Zuis at 315.858.2576: Alan Drew at 207.244.0538: Phil Messina at 607.427.7241 or Ray Eyler at 410.798.1677.
Here what happened in 2007
The June 2, 2007 magic convention was the best, great
attendance and super shows.
Chazoo & Willie the Clown's Magic Museum and Hall of Fame of Famous Unknown Magicians and Clowns held their annual Parlor Magic convention on Saturday, June 2nd, 2007 at the old Hendrick Herkimer Homestead on Route 28 in Schuyler Lake, NY. Dozens of magicians, clowns and friends gathered and enjoyed the entertainment of lectures and magic shows.
Highlighting the Day were the attendance of both the President of the Society of American Magicians, Andy Dallas and his wife Barbara from Champaign, Illinois and Phil Willmarth, incoming President of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, from Durham, North Carolina. Each man presented a special Magic Lecture and participated in the Big Magic Show on Saturday night. Andy Dallas on behalf of the National Society of American Magicians presented Presidential Citations for outstanding service to Magic to Charles Zuis and Alan Drew as co-founders of the Museum and Hall of Fame of Famous Unknowns
Charles Zuis, Founder and proprietor of the Magic Museum said "this is one of the biggest national events held in our area, and it is the first time that we have had Presidents of two national organizations attending our convention." Special awards were presented to the two guests. Also outstanding "Unknown" Awards recognizing special achievers in the field of Magic were given to Ron Zollweg, Leon Etienne, Alan Drew, and Phil Messina.
The Award reads as follows:
"Be it known to all past, present and future "Unknowns" and the world over that the person named above has performed in a special super-duper, outstanding, Prominent and distinguished manner in all matters relating to magic, prestidigitation, legerdemain, entertainment and etc. and is hereby awarded this certificate in recognition of his outstanding and proficient deeds."
New members were inducted into the Hall of Fame for their outstanding contributions to Magic. They are: Carroll Chapman, Wes Booth, Geoffrey Miller from Maine, Jim Maloney, Mike Hilburger and Karl Norman, Buffalo, Bruce Purdy of Syracuse, Robert Hinman, Binghamton, Gene Doane, Syracuse and Ross Deater, Utica.
Other members participating were, Alan Drew, Wes Booth, Geoffrey Miller and Carroll Chapman from Maine; Shaun Robison, Ross Deater, and Jeff Sterling from the Utica area; Raymond Cerio and Bill Smith from the Syracuse area; Karl Norman, Mike Hilburger, and Jim Maloney from the Buffalo area and Phil Messina and Robert Hinman from the Binghamton area; Matt Episcopo from Morrisville with Charlie Zuis and Phil Messina MC'ing the lectures and performances.