People often ask me, “How did you become and magician, and why?”
Magic has led me on a path of travel and performing all over the world. But the origins of it started when I was a child. You might think that perhaps I got a magic set as a gift, but ironically it was because I did not get one. My parents bought a beautiful magic set as a gift to give to my cousin, and I was extremely jealous. I wished that I had been given the wonderful box full of props and secrets.
So I decided to learn about it on my own, and went to the library. The first book I ever read on the subject was titled appropriately “My First Book of Magic” and it would be the first of many to follow. But by the time I had mastered the secrets, and built by hand all of the various props I presented my first magic show.
As I pursued the art and craft of this entertainment in the years to follow, my mother realized that this was no passing fancy, and asked me one day what I hoped to do in my life. I told her that I wanted to be a magician. I am sure she would have preferred if I had answered a scientist or a doctor or something along those lines, so she asked my why.
I was probably about 14 years old at the time. I said to her that I thought the world could probably use some smiles and perhaps some laughs and I thought it would be a worthwhile thing to do.
I started charging 5 dollars per show to any group who would hire me, and one night a group insisted that I take 25 dollars in payment. To a kid this was really big money.
A few years later, when I was 17 years old, I had to go to the hospital for a minor operation. Knowing that I would have time on my hands, I took along several books on magic and a few props with which to practice.
One evening, some nurses came into my room and asked me to go with them. They said there was someone who they thought would like to see some magic. I went into a room and there was a young woman of about my age. I politely went into some of my magic routines and she reacted hardly at all except to smile.
I returned to my room and told the nurses that I didn’t think she liked my magic very much. Then they told me about her. She had just lost both of her parents to cancer, and that day had been told that she too had cancer and was fatally ill.
The nurses told me that it was the first time they had ever seen her smile.