I can’t recall the first trick or magician I had seen, but I do have vague memories of being a volunteer for a magic show performed by…the Burger King. Yup, the Burger King. I must have been about 11 or so and I had to pop balloons with my pointed fingers (in the shape of a gun), and then a dove appeared. Ooo.
The other thing I recall is getting a magic set handed down to me from a cousin og mine who didn’t want it (the cousin was a she, and generally girls aren’t into magic). It was a pretty fabulous set and I remember being fascinated by the secrets.
With this fascination, I was led to getting magic books from the library and I learned a few tricks – found I was more at home with cards than anything else. Although the only trick I can recall is a Do As I Do trick with 2 decks of cards. I killed with that one. Well, at least my brother was continually amazed by it, trying to figure out the secret during the numerous times I’d show it to him.
I actually even performed a mini-magic show for my 6th grade class, and all I can recall is messing up a liquid trick and I think that scarred me for life (at least it showed me the importance of practice). In high school, I believe I had also done a magic demonstration as part of a writing assignment that involved teaching. I wish that at the time I had grown my love of magic, but to me it was simply something I “knew”.
Fast forward to my mid-20’s and I was living in California. My folks came to visit and took me to a place called Wizards that had a live magic show performed nightly or something. They had asked them to display a “Happy Birthday” message on their projector, but they spelled my name wrong (not my folks, the projection people). Anyway, the show was not memorable, but I saw my first “professional” trick performed at the attached gift shop: The Invisible Deck. I didn’t buy it then, and my parents didn’t offer, but I did pick one not too long afterwards.
And it was that “not too long afterwards” that I wanted to start learning magic again – it was a combination of seeing a Copperfield special where he did an Ace assembly that I wanted to learn and also I had been living with cousins and wanted to show them some tricks I already knew, and began to visit a local-ish magic shop in Long Beach (Presto’s). That’s where I purchased the Invisible Deck, Michael Ammar videos, books, tricks, and absorbed some knowledge. I discovered something I truly loved to do: Amaze and entertain people. It was a kind of addiction.
Moving back to the Massachusetts, I ended up on regular visits to Hank Lee’s Magic Factory until it shut it’s store down a few years back (I think it’s been more than a “few” now), spending a few thousand dollars on more tricks and more books and more videos. Years later, I’ve slowed down tremendously in my spending, but my love has only grown as I re-read masters and re-watch videos of incredible magicians, and think deeper about performance and magic.
I still prefer cards, and rarely do I perform other styles of magic. But coins get mixed in, occasional silks, sometimes cups and balls, but always cards.
So I’d like to hear from all of you, how did you “discover” in magic?
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