NEMCON 40 HONOREE
Our NEMCON 40 Honoree is Jim Spinnato Jim began his love of magic in the 60s, he was a student at Norwich Tech and a guy named Dave Winkler was doing some cool stuff with cards and coins and Jim asked, how did you do that? From then on they were friends and Dave started teaching him. Jim would bother Dave in class and say how does this look, how does this look? Dave was a member of SAM 63 in New London and got Jim into the club so he could learn from others too, his other Magic Mentor was Dick Roy who was instrumental in teaching Jim many subtleties of magic.
Early on Jim started doing family shows and campgrounds, he even performed as Jimbo the Clown. He performed some shows with his daughter as his assistant. An important person in Jim’s development was an SAM63 member Russell Douton, he really taught Jim the business side of the magic and soon after Jim was a full-time performer. At one point Jim was on vacation in New Hampshire and he was reading a newspaper and saw an article about a magician and magic Store in Wallingford CT, he went there and became great friends with Tom Prete. Jim would stand behind the counters performing magic for customers, in hopes they would purchase something from Tom.
Tom Prete got Jim into performing at stags and more adult situations, Jim started a show at Merlin’s in New London in the 80’s and had all different magicians come in to perform, this lasted for years and years. During this time, Jim’s friend Frank Santos got him interested in performing with Hypnotism Entertainment Shows. This led to much larger shows at colleges all over New England.
In the early 2000’s Jim got involved with SAM63 again and helped them with getting more lectures and building their attendance. They have 3-4 lectures a year and even started a magic contest with prizes.
Jim has done a lot to promote magic all over New England, for years he performed at the Mystery Lounge in Boston. On one of the late drives back he said to Bill Hoagland (NEMCON Chair) “We can do this in Connecticut”. Together they started “Comedy Magic Monthly” in New Haven, this lasted over 5 years. He brought magic back to Ocean Beach, helping them hire local magicians to perform every Wednesday night in the summer for the last 20 years. He also started his hypnotist and magic shows at Comix Club at Foxwoods from 2010 to 2015. Comix moved to Mohegan Sun in 2015, and currently Jim performs at Comix at Mohegan Sun now doing 15 Magic Shows and 2 Hypnotist shows a month. Shows are Thursday through Sunday every week. You can check him out at spinnatomagicmatinee.com.
Over the years Jim has Spinnato performed magic for every age group possible, he helped people learn magic, and get them involved in local clubs. Jim is the perfect candidate to be the NEMCON 40 Honoree.