Tuesday, January 30, 2007

How Did You Become a Magician?

One of the main questions that I get asked after my performances is, "How did you become a magician?" If you have seen any of my reading shows, then you already know the simple answer to this question, but for those who have never seen me, here is the story.

During my last year of college I was given a gift certificate for a book store, and one day I decided to go into the local bookstore and use it on something different. When I say different, usually I got a fantasy novel or some other work of fiction, but this time I wanted to get something that was not the usual fiction book. So, I went searching and found the hobbies and games section, and there on the shelf were a few books about magic. I thought back to when I was a child and my parents bought me a set of linking rings on a trip to Gatlinburg, TN, and I also remember not being able to do the trick very well at all. So I decided to get one of the books and learn a few tricks. The book that I ended up getting was called Mark Wilson's Cyclopedia of Magic, one of the best general books on magic there is - although I didn't know that at the time.

I ended up paying .60 in tax for the book, and it ended up being the best magic purchase that I ever made. I then went on a mission trip to Savannah, GA and we spent the day picking up kids from the projects whose parents kicked them out and told them not to come back until dark. We took the kids to the local Baptist Center and played with them, gave them something to eat, and really tried to be their friends - the Baptist Center was a safe place for them, and many of them came to the Sunday services also. However, some of the children would just sit against the wall and not say anything to anybody, so I got the idea of performing a magic trick for them to see if they would open up a little. Some of the youth and I begin reading the book and learned a few simple card tricks and showed them to the kids - their eyes lit up and they were instantly our friends. That was the hook - I new then that I was going to learn more magic!

To end the story, I kept reading that book, learning new tricks, and eventually found a local magic shop when I moved back home near Augusta, GA to start my new job of Middle School Science Teacher, and that was that. Pretty soon I was performing for birthday parties for families of teachers that I worked with and now, I perform my educational shows in schools and libraries all over Georgia and South Carolina.

But one thing remains the same, in every educational show I do, and every time that someone ask me how I got started, I bring out that little magic book that I got for .60 several years ago and tell them very simply, "I read this book." Reading - you gotta love it.

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