“Wow bro, that was totally legit. Here, can you do it again for my friends over here? Hold ON! Let me get this on snapchat real quick. Dude, that is SICKKK!! You’re a fucking witch, I love it. Can you make my girlfriend disappear?”
These were all things I am used to hearing whenever I pull out my 52 friends. They always travel with me, so I am never alone. How could I amass such a reputation? It wasn’t easy. And I am no “boss” …..yet. In fact, I spent much time alone, with no social life (wow…) I felt like a loser practicing. That’s right, my deck of cards and I go wayyy back.
How The Hobby Began
Back in 2006 when I was just starting the most awkward years of our lives in middle school, I was watching world series of poker on tv.
DAMN ! I thought. That looks SO COOL I want to just play cards all day and make BANK! So I started to bring a pack of cards and headed my chunky self straight to the school library. As I got there, I found a few books on poker… but that’s not all I found.
There were also books on how to do “magic”…Or card tricks at least. So I thought, “Why the hell not? I ain’t got nothing better to do! After all, I’m just a freakin’ kid with no financial responsibilities or legal obligations”
I began reading and practicing from these books daily, alone at home, then with my friends in class. I soon learned that I was able to surprise and impress people with these beginner card tricks!
HAHA YES! I know something that they DONT! And it felt so good, believe me. It was like this hidden POWER that was being unleashed into the world and I was the wielder of this mighty gift!
A few years passed and by the time I reached junior year in high school I had a reputation for being the “magic man”. And I didn’t realize how useful my tricks could be until I had my first interview….
Magic Tricks and Job Hunting
I remember a buddy of mine told me about this new Greek restaurant that was hiring servers, and told me to go to the owners European auto shop to give him my resume. My 18 yr old self, with absolutely no experience, walked in COLD to the owners office. I SWOOPED in like an assasin. I was so confident walking from my car into the shop….and then I got a little intimidated. It was this cool auto shop/ office with all these vespas and porshes and collector cars. I noticed this older man sitting behind this nice, mahogany wood desk with brand new cigars he was going though. He was wearing an expensive looking watch, holding his iPhone (the iPhone was a rare sight to see at the time, us kids all drooled over seeing one in real life!) to his ear, with framed pictures of lambos and Ferraris behind him, and dark circles under his eyes.
I gulped. I was just some kid walking in, asking for work. Why would he even consider me, he looks like a total mob boss!
“So…” he said in this thick European accent as I handed him my resume and took a seat across from his desk, “You have…experience?”
“No, not really. I mean, I mow my parents lawn on the weekends and do household chores, but I don’t have any real restaurant experience….” I sheepishly replied. “Oh, but you are a magician it says here? Show me a trick. ” He demanded as he tossed my resume away and grinned.
I got him now, time to shine! I pulled out a deck of red Bicycle cards. I could feel this surge of energy going through my hands, my heart rate increased, and I was ready to show him what I could do! He was super impressed! He gave me the job, and always asked me to perform for his important clients and friends whenever they came by the restaurant. It felt good to know that these cards had started to pay off a little.
Card Tricks and College
It wasn’t until my freshman year that I had realized something that my friends were telling me for a LONG time.
“Dude, the girls love your tricks man. They keep talking about you over there! Did you see the look on her face? Damn, you got IT man! I wish I could do some magic tricks to impress the girls, you gotta teach me!”
I had refused to believe such words for the longest time as I knew that my hobby was viewed as a nerdy pastime, and girls being on my mind would only be a distraction to my art. But I would be lying if I said that magic tricks didn’t help me meet a large amount of people in such a short amount of time. And yes, I did impress a handful of ladies doing some card tricks here and there. But that was never my ultimate goal despite what other people say.
Later that semester, I got involved in greek life on campus and thus spent more time partying, socializing, and going to class. The card tricks became less and less of a priority for me throughout every semester. It wasn’t until recently that I started to feel bad for turning old friends and family down whenever they asked to see some tricks like old times. They actually REMEMBERED the tricks and loved it! I had forgotten why I even did tricks in the first place.
Performing for kids bday, 2011
A Few Things I’ve Learned
- persuasion/influencing skills. In business, as well as magic, you have to be able to persuade your audience in what you want them to believe/buy. Depending on your words, actions, body language, and presentation skills, your audience will either be swept off their feet or unimpressed and bored. 5% of the magic trick is the actual trick, the remaining 95% is selling the trick.
- people are always going to try and size you up, judge you, and rip you apart. If you want to show the world anything new, make sure you are good at it
- don’t be afraid to make mistakes. I screwed up hundreds of times doing tricks, but each time I learned how to avoid doing that again and perform better
- be true to yourself. Don’t try to copy another person’s style. It will come off as unnatural, and people can see through that.
- have fun. You have to have fun doing it, because if you aren’t, your spectators won’t be having fun either.
My main mission in performing these card tricks over the years has always been the same: to bring a spark of “wonder” to people of all ages again for a brief moment. I pretty much loved the “Holy FU*K how the HELL did you do that?!?” reactions, too.
This spark of wonder and amazement makes people throw out all doubts and limits of what is or is not possible. Yes, we all know there is some disappointing trick behind every piece of magic. But it is about creating a priceless feeling of unforgettable amazement for everyone, regardless of language, ethnicity, age, and social status. Magic, to me, is not about tricking people. It is about showing them that there is more than meets the eye, even themselves! It is about showing people that there is an unlimited potential in all of us, we just have to change the way we think and react to the world.
I always will have a spot in my heart for magic tricks, even though I may never go out and do it “professionally”. However, it is always an uplifting thing to see, it is always a great ice breaker, and it is always something that I will have that will allow me to stand out and reach new people.