To be honest I never review a product that is below my expectations of what an effect should look and feel like. Only the strongest, most practical effects will be reviewed here. Close-up to street will be my focus.
Close-up (cards/coins/other), Easy to Learn (beginners / kits), Parlor Magic (magic for audiences larger than close-up and smaller than audiences for stage magic), Street Magic (magic typically performed close-up for random people on the street or other public place)
I was born in LA, CA and have lived in Houston for 23 yrs.
I became interested in magic over 30 yrs ago while working in a Jr. Church as a way to illustrate the principles, truths and stories of the Bible for children. I was in the U.S.A.F. at the time, and my roommate and I purchased magic books and tricks to read, practice and prepare for our Sunday performances. After the military, I moved to Chattanooga, TN. to attend and graduate from college, get married and start my family. About 2 years after the birth of my identical twin sons and shortly after the birth of my daughter, we moved to Houston, my wife’s home town. I worked for Exxon.
Magic had been shelved during my college days and wasn’t brought back out until my boys were about 7 for Cub Scouts. They asked me to teach them a magic trick as part of one of their scout assignments. I later taught their Cub Scout Den some magic and eventual taught and performed magic for the Cub Scout Pack. During one of these performances, a visiting Cub Scout Executive from the District invited me to perform for the Annual District Awards Banquet. Following the performance, I was given a number of business cards from attending Pack Cubmasters and asked if I was willing to perform for their local Pack Blue and Gold Banquets and they would pay me! I would now be a “professional” paid magician and had to spend more time practicing routines, preparing patter and purchasing or producing new props. I poured over books like Mark Wilson’s Complete Course in Magic, Tarbell’s Course in Magic, and Magic and Showmanship, A Handbook for Conjurers. I became a regular customer at Frankel’s Magic and Costume Shop and became good friends with the owner Lonnie Frankel. I subscribed to a number of magic periodicals, like Genii, Magic Magazine, MUM, and the Linking Ring.
I joined a number of the local magic clubs and began learning from the local masters, like Bill Palmer, who performed as Merlin for over 25 years at the Houston Renaissance Festival and Frank Price and Jamie Salinas, who regularly performed at Magic Island. I performed Blue and Gold Banquets for about 5 years and later teamed up with another magician and taught a course on magic for 4 years as part of the annual District Cub Scout Leadership Training Conferences.
After my boys got into High School, I started focusing my performances towards the corporations I worked for. At Exxon, I performed during their annual talent contest and company picnics. At Compaq, I performed during team building sessions in Munich. While working at Bechtel, I performed annually during their Document Management Users Conferences in Houston, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and London. One of my proudest moments was performing for my Boss’s 25th Wedding Anniversary. He and his wife were very pleased with the performance, so I knew I still had a job to go to on the following Monday morning. I also performed for a number of employee’s children’s birthday parties, including my all time favorite, when my sons asked me to perform for their 16th Birthday Party. Fortunate indeed, is the magician whose family actually enjoys watching him or her perform or the parent, whose teenager actually wants to acknowledge their existence to their teenage friends. David Copperfield may have walked through the Great Wall of China and vanished the Statue of Liberty, but few magicians have ever conquered the living room at my house as I did on a summer afternoon. One of my most humbling performances involved accidentally producing a pair of my wife’s panties that had clung to one of my pant legs during a corporate presentation. I love entertaining through magic and seeing the audience smile, laugh, gasp or shout out, “No Way!”
If I were to define "Real" magic, I would have to say “It is the look on a person’s face just after they've realized that something that couldn't possibly have happened, just happened.”
My favorite quote:
Be Yourself. Personalize your presentation. Entertain, not just perform. Have Fun. Learn from Every Magician you Watch
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