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Paul Gertner

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Paul Gertner
BornPaul Joseph Gaertner
July 8, 1953
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania [1]

Paul Gertner (b. 1953) is an American close-up magician from Pittsburgh. He is best known in the magic world for his "Steel and Silver" book and set of DVDs.


Paul Gertner's interest in magic began as a child, loaning library books on the subject. He claims his interest in magic may have began with his father, who created "magical" home movies using special effects and a 8 mm video camera.

When he was sixteen, Paul worked nights at the Forks Hotel in Buffalo, NY, learning a great deal about how to interact with an audience and the psychological side of performing. His mentor there was the Forks' owner, legendary bar magician Eddie Fechter.

From the mid-seventies onwards, Gertner performed mostly corporate gigs and trade shows, and has worked for a variety of companies, including IBM, NASA, GlaxoSmithKline, and US Steel.

Paul Gertner has appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson three times. He has a wife named Kathryn and a daughter and a son named Beth and Bill.

Competition Act

Paul Gertner is famous for his competition act, which he used to win first place at the Las Vegas Desert Seminar $10,000 and first place at FISM, arguably the largest magical competition/convention there is.

The act consists of three different routines: That's Ridiculous, The Steel Cups and Balls, and Ring on Hourglass.

That's Ridiculous comprises coins appearing magically underneath playing cards placed on a table. This routine is fast-paced and energetic, with the rapid-fire production of six half dollars, two silver dollars, and finally an oversized giant half-dollar in only a few seconds.

The Steel Cups and Balls is Paul Gertner's approach to the classic cups and balls routine. Three steel ball bearings vanish and appear in and around three steel cups. The routine ends with several massive, heavy ball bearings being produced from the cups and dropping to the table with a large thud. Amazingly, one of the bearings is too big to fit in the cup, despite having just been produced from it.

Finally, a ring borrowed from a spectator that was vanished at the beginning of the act appears on the middle of a beautiful hourglass used to time the act. The glass of the hourglass actually has to be smashed with a hammer to make the removal of the ring possible.


  • Academy of Magical Arts Close-up magician of the year (1994,1995)
  • Academy of Magical Arts Lecturer of the year (1994)
  • FISM (1995)
  • Las Vegas Desert Seminar Sleight-of-Hand Challenge (1983)
  • Grand Prix of World Magic, Tokyo Japan (1978)
  • Society of American Magicians Competition, Chicago (1975)
  • IBM Competition, Miami (1973)

Published Works


  1. Magische Welt, Vol. 57, No. 3, Juli/August 2008, page 138
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