How It All Began
It all started in 2013. I was hanging out at Grandma’s house doing 8th grader things like play Xbox and eat food. Having ADHD, I walked around all the time while I ate and happened upon Grandma in her chair watching a video on Facebook. It had just begun and it was a TED talk by a man named Keith Barry. Not Urban unfortunately. He spoke about how the mind easily skips over things and is deceived. He demonstrated this by doing a weird hand gag exercise (linked below). He had the whole crowd do this exercise with him and went as follows: They were to follow his actions exactly as he did them, and at the end, told them to untangle their arms like he does… but he was the only one able to do it! Grandma and I were following along from her apartment. Needless to say, I was mind-blown. Never had I actually been interested in trying to learn magic. I knew I just HAD to figure this out.
After tirelessly searching for how the trick was done, I stumbled across a book called, “Magic for Dummies.” It contained the revelation of how Keith pulled off that trick. After practicing it a few times, I showed my parents, I ended up fooling them! This inspired me to learn more. Being an awkward 8th grader with no self esteem nor confidence, I also had no deck of cards except old, dirty ones that was used to play cards with the family, nor a job in order to buy decks of cards which I quickly learned was a necessity. After learning some simple, silly magic tricks, I saw that they had sign ups for the 8th grade talent show at the end of the year. I’m not sure exactly why I thought I should audition, but I was enthusiastic despite my shortcomings with esteem and confidence. After convincing my parents to let me borrow cigarette ashes, a dime, cup, and a can of coke; I would perform for the first time in my life.
My act consisted of two gags and two tricks. One gag being telling everyone to shake hands with the person directly behind them, and the other, the hand trick I saw on that video. While the tricks consisted of shoving a dime into the bottom of a coke can and revealing it is inside by pouring it out; and the other having a spectator rub ashes on top of their hand and turning it over to reveal it is in their palm. To say the least, it was a huge success! The gags made the entire auditorium to erupt with laughter, talking, and slapping the wall (since there was no one behind that person except a wall and I told them to shake hands). Sound was beautiful with the coke trick, so those in the back did not even need to see the coin being poured out, they could hear it inside. Afterwards, the whole school cheered and I even got a standing ovation. This would be the flame that not only motivated me to become Central High School’s magician, but the inspiration and love of magic that still thrives within me to this day.
Magic today is more of a hobby. It is a way of being the most interesting person in the room. It is a way to fill the silence or break the ice. It is something I am grateful God gave me as one of my talents, as it is what built up my self-esteem, courage, and confidence. I don’t think I would ever had auditions for musicals, being able to put on an extroverted face, nor be able to comfortably public speak if it wasn’t for magic.
Not only that, but magic allows me to stand out. I’ve put my eight* years experience of performing magic on my resume and have been asking in interviews to show them a magic trick. I use it at work all the time to create a memorable experience for my customers and guests. There are unlimited amounts of possibilities when you learn how to perform magic. And the best part is, ANYONE can learn it.
I do teach Magic for a small price. But I do it on the basis of giving my mentees an ability, a tool, an art to stand out and become something. To create a moment of disbelief for people that they will remember for the rest of their lives. To help them build relationships in a unique way. To receive a form of reputation that people will remember them by. A way, to fit in.
“Magic is not about fooling people and performing perfectly. It is about creating memories, and building relationships.”Brandon Heim