My Backstory – Part 1

Well, this is the first post, and welcome to it.  I’ll admit, I’m beginning this blog before this site’s theme is complete, and parts of it I like so far, and parts need either to be reworked or scrapped and replaced with something else.

Kinda like my act right now.

Now, initially, I expect that most of the people who might read this blog are people I know or have met along my way through life. Probably the most traffic will be from announcing the blog posts on Facebook or Google+, so we’re talking mostly friends. In the case of those who I’ve friended after meeting them either at magic club meetings or the one magic convention I’ve been to, the 2013 Midwest Magic Jubilee, maybe this will keep me from being compelled to tell my life’s story and we can just talk about the beautiful now.

For this blog, I’ll talk mainly about the magic world, what I observe in it, and my own place in it. I’m going to attempt to discuss without giving anything away to those who don’t perform. First, because that’s kinda what we try not to do, although there’s plenty on YouTube that can give most secrets away. Secondly, because even as my wife learned, sometimes it’s better not to know so you can just enjoy the routine. Even when you can admire the skill of some sleight of hand, knowing sometimes can remove you away from some of the “Wow” moments that you get when you just don’t know how it’s done.

As I’m writing this, the photo (admittedly, a bit manipulated in GIMP) in the banner is of Burg (Castle) Frankenstein. It’s a bit symbolic for what I’m doing in magic and learning to perform. I’m assembling bits and pieces from those that came before me to try to make my own creature. Like learning to draw, you start out by tracing other peoples’ work before you start drawing freehand.

I’ve loved magic ever since I saw Doug Henning on TV as a kid. The first magic trick I ever owned would have either been one of the Adam’s magic tricks sold on a rack at a Kay-Bee Toys (man, the hours of fun I had with “Smoke From Your Fingertips”) or the Goofy Card Magic set my Aunt Marti bought me, where I learned my first card trick.

Growing up in Centralia, IL didn’t leave me with many options to learn more magic, and it some of the trips later on, I picked up a couple of magic books and prior to getting the “magic bug” as my mid-life crisis, the only time I performed anything that could be, even by the shakiest of definitions, was on a rainy day to my very patient grandparents. Man, what love and patience they had. I think I may have done a torn and restored cigarette paper trick and “Thieves and Sheep,” but what else I submitted them to is lost to my memory.

My first trip to an actual magic shop was in high school when my friend, Kad Day, took me with him to Gibbol’s in St. Louis. I ended up with a couple of sponge ball tricks and my first Hot Rod. The store magician, Bob Cole, was great in getting me excited in the little bit of sleight of hand that he showed me, but distance to St. Louis kept me from getting too caught up (not to mention all the hormones that ruled my life, then). Being involved with theater, there were plenty of other things to provide that rush that comes with performing on stage, so theater also took the foreground.

And so, despite the number of times I told myself I should make a trip to Gibbol’s and revisit that rush of learning some new (to me) magic, I didn’t go back for many years.

I’ll end this little overview here and continue in the next post. I should get a bit more to the point of where my intent is to go with this blog then. Yeah, I know that you should put the thesis statement in the beginning, and I have done that to a certain extent, but maybe it’ll be a bit clearer then.

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