A Tribute to a Friend – Julio Lipan (Mark Stevens)
November 4, 2009 was not a good day for anyone that called Julio Lipan Sr., a friend; this was the day of his passing.
Immediately upon hearing this news I did a retrospective, and it is one I would like to share with my friends and clients. For those that would like to read it – it is located below.
But first, we would like to use our site to offer the family of Julio Lipan help in their time of need. About two years ago Julio suffered a severe stroke. He had just finished a show – sadly his last. Julio continued to have serious medical set backs, and the family has suffered greatly with the financial burdens associated with carrying for someone who required complete attention, coupled with the loss of income and now additional expenses for the funeral.
If any of you are interested in providing a donation to help the family with expenses, (many of our readers and clients also got to know Julio in the many times he came to Las Vegas). Any gift is appreciated and you can make donations by:
A Tribute to a Friend – Julio Lipan (Mark Stevens)
Time Line: October 5th, 2000 – Wichita Kansas, Estaods Unidos.
My father Joe tells me to go to the airport to pick up a magician from Brazil that is bringing in a “great” illusion for our photography session at Christopher Clark Photography Studio.
One the way out the door Joe told me his name – Julio Lipan, and that Julio didn’t speak much English. At the time I didn’t speak any Portuguese either. This was going to be a challenge I thought.
I met Julio at the terminal, and he had a nice carry on bag. This was Julio’s first visit to the United States; he was excited, and had boundless energy radiating from his core, which is surprising after an 11-hour flight.
As we were walking I gently motioned him over to the baggage claim department, but he replied in Portuguese, “Não Neccessario!” I didn’t understand – well, actually I was able to understand what he was saying, but I didn’t understand how he couldn’t have any luggage? Surely he has baggage? This “big” illusion my father is excited about – illusions don’t fit in carry on luggage. “Joe is going to blow a gasket when he finds out Julio didn’t bring the illusion for the photo shoot.”
I drove Julio directly to the photo shoot; we attempt to communicate – which was an exercise for sure. We arrived at the photo studio before Joe, and I go into the office to speak with the photographer, Christopher Clark for about five minutes. When I stepped out of the office, I experienced one of the greatest magic effects I have ever seen, Julio was in the process of floating a person. Mind you, the effect is awesome, but I was more impressed and shocked as to where the heck he was able to produce this illusion, since he didn’t have any baggage to speak of! That’s when I learned about the Portable Asrah – an item that continues to be the most amazing portable illusions I have ever seen.
During this photo shoot, Julio served as our “celebrity magician” for other products we were shooting for the Fall/Winter 2000 catalog; Joe and I realized Julio Lipan was a consummate showman and performer. He had pizzazz, flair, and boundless energy. He knew timing, choreography, how to control the moment.
What I didn’t know at that time, there was even bigger magic ahead, but like a fine wine, it had to age a little. As the years went by Julio would come to many World Magic Seminar’s to work in our booth and we were always excited to see his latest creations.
Julio’s English got better and better, but his sub-text and body movements are what I found the most amusing. Also his energy – he had on speed – Rapido!
Then four years later, in 2004, Julio was instrumental in helping us get invited to Congresso Brasilero De Magicos. WOW! A chance to attend a magic convention in Brazil – great!
Preparations were made for the family, but due to delays in visas for Joe and Martha, I ventured 6,500 miles south to arrive in one of the largest cities in the world – São Paulo, Brazil. Julio made sure I had someone to pick me up – his son and fellow magician Lipan Jr., who showed me the city, and provided me with warm hospitality. I remember after flying all night on a full plane, we were driving away from the airport, Lipan Jr., (as he is called), ask me if I would like a therapeutic massage for my back? I said, “sure!” So, he turned on his stereo, which had huge speakers behind the seats of his Dodge Ram pick up truck (something you don’t see much in Brazil). The music was so loud the seats actually vibrated! I’ve arrived! HA!
I attended the Congresso, found Brazilian people and magicians to be exceptionally warm, wonderful and charming…. And while I was working that convention closely with Julio, I witnessed the most beautiful woman I had ever seen in my life. She was working in an administrative capacity for the Board of Directors of the Congresso.
When I say beautiful, let me be clear, I don’t just mean physical beauty, but magical charm, sweet and charismatic disposition. She was/is exceptionally humble despite her beauty, and is charismatic, and intelligent. Her name was Cilene De Souza Alves, (Ce-Lane-A).
If it weren’t for Julio Lipan, I wouldn’t have been in Brazil at that time… I wouldn’t have ever met Cilene… Wouldn’t have ever had the chance to get to know her better and see her the many times (17 in all), I returned to Brazil for business and/or fun, or to see other family members that live there.
In fact, if it weren’t for Julio Lipan, Cilene’s last name wouldn’t now be Stevens. That trip and my relationship with Julio changed my life – it enriched me beyond measure.
The last time I saw Julio and his lovely wife Sylvia, and daughter Natalie was March 25, 2007… It was in Alphaville, Brazil where he attended and performed at our wedding (Cilene & Mark). Julio was so proud that day, as he knew he was the catalyst that caused this day to happen – and he was right!
Julio – so long my friend …we are all deeply affected by your passing… Thank you for coming into my life and you will be missed greatly by all your friends in magic.