Dick Brooks (magician)
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|Born||New York City|
|Occupation||Mystery entertainer, skeptic, producer, writer|
Dick Brooks, considered a magician of renown by Focus Magazine, has been a professional performer since leaving school, was born in New York City.
As a teenager he joined a Department of Parks magic club headed up by the official magician of New York City, Abe Hurwitz (Peter Pan the Magic Man), who was also the father of the soon to be famous Shari Lewis with her puppet "Lamb Chop (puppet)". When Hurwitz left the Peter Pan Magic Club, the members wanted a more mature name after famous magician Carl Ballantine joked to the members, "I love your peanut butter!" Brooks, came up with the name F.A.M.E., which stood for Future American Magical Entertainers, and the club lasted for many years thereafter. This laid the foundation for the Society of American Magicians, who at first did not allow youngsters to join, formed the Society of Young Magicians (S.Y.M.) for youngsters in 1984. In 1952 Tootsie Rolls took over sponsorship of The Paul Whiteman Teen Club at WFIL in Philadelphia.As a teenager he was booked by Skipper Dawes, who would later manage Eddie Fisher (singer), who after a New York audition instead of booking him as a contestant booked him as a regular performer doing commercials for Tootsie Rolls on the Paul Whiteman TV show Teen Club in faraway Philadelphia. Bobby Rydel got his start on the same show as a young drummer, as well as a 12 year old Leslie Uggams. Without help from his parents he traveled there weekends, after getting the script by mail. He was replaced by young up and coming 23 year old announcer, Dick Clark. Clark would later do the Teen Bandstand, probably out of the same studios. In 1972 he appeared on The David Susskind Show about young comedians looking to get a break in Show Business. When drafted into the Army he was placed in Special Service, the entertainment branch of the military.
The Magic Towne House
According to William Dorflinger's book on magic history, The Magic Catalogue, "The Towne House is a discovery for magic lovers"... and Ray Carter (aka Dick Brooks (entertainer)) performs a wide range of magic effects also, and is well known for his demonstrations of ESP and mind reading."
Wanting a larger facility and a place to house his collection of Houdini memorabilia he opened The Houdini Museum  with Dorothy Dietrich in the Scranton- Wilkes-Barre-Pocono Mountain region of northeast Pennsylvania.
Imam would, after several years, break away and form his own competing club downtown in Greenwich Village. Dick Brooks along with partner Dorothy Dietrich resurrected Brother Theodore's career in the 1970s. Dick Brooks searched out Brother Theodore who he had seen perform in Greenwich Village years before, whose career had waned, to do several seasons of midnight shows at The Magic Towne House, and helped to bring him back to prominence that led to Theodore appearing on The Tom Snyder Tomorrow Show and a long series of TV and movie appearances. A picture of the Magic Towne House ad that appeared in local New York CityNewspapers such as the Village Voice and The New York post can be found at Shock Cinema Magazine at http://www.shockcinemamagazine.com/brother.html
Upon the closing of the Magic Towne House, performers who developed there, Michael Chaut and Peter Samelson along with others would later develop "Monday Night Magic" which still runs successfully in New York City.
Author and publisher Hocus Pocus Magazine
The Houdini Museum
He conceived and founded the Houdini Museum in Scranton, PA which was featured in the recent book The Hollywood Walk of Fame as a fun and mysterious institution.  It is said to be the only building in the world devoted to Houdini.
The Houdini Grave Site Restoration
On September 27, 2011 Dick Brookz of The Houdini Museum along with Dorothy Dietrich and Steve Moore, who later came to be known by the media as the Houdini Commandos secretly restored the missing statuary bust at Houdini's grave site that was destroyed by vandals in 1975. It was reported worldwide in a half page story in the New York Times.
Both TV and the press have utilized the service of Dick Brooks as consultant not including The Criss Angel show, hop, The Travel Channel, The New York Times, The London Times, Inside Magic and The New York Daily News. He appeared on the Travel Channel show Magic Road Trip, which played in the USA and on the CBC as well.
He has acted as magic consultant for The New York Shakespeare Festival, Woody Allen's "The Magic Light Bulb" at New York's City Center, and Radio City Music Hall. Because of his reputation he also manages to get exclusive interviews with hard to reach celebrities such as Uri Geller. He is an author and inventor of several books and magical effects.
Brooks has appeared in top venues such as Rainbow Grill at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC, The Americana Hotel in Puerto Rico for 3 months, held over, and returned and headlined Number One Fifth Ave in New York City (Barbra Streisand and Woody Allen also headlined there), the El Morocco in Montreal, repeatedly at New York's Living Room with Jack Jones, Lonnie Satin, and others, as well as Three Rivers in Detroit, Casa Seville in Long Island and a series of other top cabarets.
He has worked as an entertainer for major corporations such as Coleco, Pepsi, Frito Lay, Maidenform, First Boston, Yago Sangria, Pool Trol, etc., with shows written by him that revolved around the product.
His television appearances include Atlantic City Alive, Travel Channel's "Magic Road Trip", Biography Channel's "Dead Famous-Houdini", Evening Magazine, Good Morning America, Home Box Office, Canada's Deals From The Dark Side", twice as special guest on Travel Channel's "Mysteries At The Museum", as well as many local and news programs.
He has been hired for major society parties by Diana Ross, Brooke Shields, Carly Simon, Barry Manilow, John Lithgow, David Merrick, Stevie Wonder, multiple times for the Rockefeller family and others.
Brooks currently starring in Psychic Theater's production "HAUNTED! Mind Mysteries & THE Beyond! The show has been held over for the past ten years, runs up to 4 hours and has gotten excellent reviews. The Fall issue of the Pennsylvania Pursuits put out by the Pennsylvania Tourism Office of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania picked Brooks' Psychic Theater as one of the 10 most haunted places in Pennsylvania, placing it at number 9.
His schedule includes traveling for outside events.
- Pivovarnick, John (January 2003). "Ehrich Weiss AKA Houdini". Focus Magazine. Pennsylvania: 20 to 30.
- http://www.historicfilms.com/tapes/16045 04/02/72 COMEDIANS BERNIE TRAVIS, DICK BROOKS, RUSTY BLITZ,
- Dorflinger, William (1977). The Magic Catalogue. New York: E. P. Dutton. p. 242. ISBN 978-0-87690-272-1.
- Samantha Hart (2000). The Hollywood Walk of Fame. Crybaby Books and Entertainment. pp. 598, 599. ISBN 0-9665787-0-8.
- "Houdini Returns (Of Course!". New York Times. 2011-10-24. Retrieved 2011-11-24.
- "Dick Brooks TRAVEL CHANNEL". http://www.insidemagic.com. External link in
- Driehaus, Bob (2007-05-23). "Trial to Begin in Fire That Burned Houdini Papers". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-11-04.
- "Houdini consultants". The Times. 2006-07-30. Retrieved 2010-05-01.[dead link]
- "Times of London". http://www.insidemagic.com/. External link in
- Costella, Annmarie (2008-03-04). "New York Daily News". http://www.nydailynews.com. External link in
- "travel channel". http://www.insidemagic.com. External link in
- Christen Gruebel (2008). Pursuits Magazine, Top 10 most Haunted Places. Pennsylvania Tourism Office, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. pp. 56, 57, 58, 59, 60.