Blain Harper, aka “The Amazing Blain” – April 13, 1972 – March 15, 2013
It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Blain, on March 15, 2013 at St. Michael’s Hospital in his 41st year. Blain brought humour and magic into the lives of everyone he met and will be sadly missed. Cherished husband to Sophie for 13 years. Adoring father to Kara. Loving son to the late Marilyn (1991) and Robert and his wife Susan. Loving and supportive brother to Jennifer. Devoted uncle “Goofball” to Willow. He will also be missed by his step siblings Alison and Warren Lawtey as well as by his aunts, uncles, and cousins. He was revered by his multitude of friends, neighbours, and colleagues at Yonge & Rubicam where he worked as an Associate Creative Director. Family and Friends may call at PINE HILLS CEMETERY & VISITATION CENTRE, 625 Birchmount Rd., Scarborough (north of St. Clair Ave. E., 416-267-8229) on Thursday, March 21, 2013 from 3-5pm and 7-9pm for visitation. A memorial service will be held on Friday, March 22, 2013 at 11am in the chapel at Pine Hills. In lieu of flowers, donations would be appreciated by the family and made to the Heart & Stroke Foundation or to Sick Kids Foundation. For more information please visit www.etouch.ca
May the force be with you, Blain.
Tribute by Lee Elliott:
Blain was an amazing person, great friend and wonderful magician. There are few people that you meet that make an impact immediately on you and your life, and I was lucky enough to have been part of Blain’s circle of friends. Blain, Jeff and I spent hours together putting together the magic show last fall, and hours more just talking about magic and life. His creativity and wit were always around in vast quantities and it was amazing to watch him work, thinking through how the audience would react to an effect or joke.
I have only known Blain for a blink of an eye compared to his many friends and family, yet he was such a force in my life. Almost daily for the past two years I would think “Blain needs to see this” or “I can’t wait to show this to Blain” and we would spend hours emailing back and forth. It’s difficult for me even to think of magic without thoughts of Blain, his smile and his humour.
He taught me a lot about magic, and life. He had a way of influencing people with a gentle hand that I have been trying to emulate. During the show preparation we would all be throwing out ideas and the ones that Blain did not like he always responded positively with a “Yes and…” where what followed the ‘and’ was either another idea altogether or the exact opposite of what had been proposed. But you didn’t care because he did it with a charming smile and a laugh that put everything right.
Everyone has seen Blain perform his favorite trick, “The four aces” or as it is known “McDonald’s Four Aces”. He was a master at handling those 16 cards, and his patter was perfectly delivered and designed to enhance the effect. He would spend hours practicing each effect to make sure he had everything exactly the way he wanted before he would perform.
One of the things that impressed me most about Blain was his love for his friends. While he spoke of all his friends, and often, he was really close with Randy, Dave and Jeff. His eyes would light up whenever he spoke of those three, typically because he had been up to some mischief with one or all of them. He would speak about trying to ‘one up’ Dave, like he did with his 2012 Christmas letter. Or how he would tease Randy with a multitude of items, from how magic tricks were done to Randy’s work. And he always had time to poke fun at Jeff for something related to magic. But it was all done with good humour and love. I have never heard him say a negative word about any of his friends.
Blain had great love for Sophie and Kara. He was so devoted to his family and it showed in his smile whenever he talked about them or they entered the room. Again, he never had a cross word to say about them, he only spoke of them in glowing terms and with love.
I was truly grateful for all the time, as limited it may have been, that I was able to spend with Blain. His creativity, wit, smile and enthusiasm were infectious. With Blain the adage is definitely true, he may be gone but will not be forgotten. He touched so many lives, made so many people happy and while the joy may be diminished with his passing, it will never truly go away.
Blain’s bio, as he wrote it:
If you’re looking for an accomplished performer with the allure of Houdini, prestige of Thurston, and talent to rival that of Copperfield, then well, keep searching. But if you’re looking for a run-of-the-mill, uninspired, and less than pedestrian magical-want-to-be, then well, Blain Harper will definitely meet with your expectations.
Having been a below average magician for almost his entire life Blain feels he has mastered the art of mediocrity. Recently, Blain was quote as saying: “It’s really hard work to neglect of one of your passions in order to achieve such levels of mediocrity. But I think I’ve mastered it. And my ignorance of the craft shows through every time I’m on stage!”
Although polish and finesse may not be part of his repertoire it hasn’t stopped him. “I’ve been guaranteeing mild amusement for years.”, says Harper. “And audiences seem to respond. I find soft booing and light heckling always enhance the show for everyone.”
The past decades that have seen him perform, uninvited, at birthdays, libraries, schools and for some reason, TV. His dream however is to perform live on radio.
Blain currently resides in Scarborough with his wife Sophie and daughter Kara. They put up with his magic while sporting upside down smiles