When a magician makes reference to “magic moments” they are usually talking about that moment in a magic routine where the audience perceives a moment of magic to happen. Something out of the ordinary has occurred. An object or person vanishes, appears or levitates for example. It occurred to me that this term could also have an application that all of us can relate to. I am talking about those moments in a persons life that change the direction of our lives. A moment that makes life a magic journey. Often we do not even recognize these moments when they happen. They begin as something small and seemingly insignificant, or perhaps as a turn for the worse. They later become important moments in persons life. My magic journey has been a series of twists and turns.
One of these magic moments in my life was a simple walk into a hobby store, the other was a turn for the worse. Without knowing it the 2 events would have a huge effect on my life. This was set in motion after I left High School. I had taken a crack at college after graduating but I was to immature and not ready so I dropped out. A very close friend of mine offered me a full time job dispatching tow trucks for AAA Colorado. I settled into the job very comfortably and remained there for 2 years. I did not love or hate the job but I was in a comfort zone.
Having disposable income I found out there was a magic shop in Boulder it was a kiosk on the 2nd floor of a Hobby Store. The guy behind the counter was wearing a dress. He sported a mustache and shoulder length hair. Okay it wasn’t really a dress it was robe. You see Eddie Goldstein was a full fledged hippie. He bore a remarkable resemblance to Doug Henning (even though I did not know who Doug Henning was at the time). It was Eddie that steered me in the right direction. He talked me into taking magic lessons where I learned some of the most important lessons of me career. Tot his day when I teach students I share much of the wisdom given to me by Eddie. Sam Kent, the owner of the shop, also became a close friend. It was Sam that talked me into buying my first set o f Linking Rings.
I slowly started building an act. My first 10 minute magic act consisted of the Appearing Cane, Cut and Restored Rope and Harry Blackstone seniors 8 ring Linking Ring routine. It premiered in the spring of 1974 at a banquet for the employees of AAA Colorado. My simple 10 minute act was the hit of the night. To tell the truth the other entertainment was awful beyond belief. It consisted of 2 members of the sales department reading (yes I said reading) jokes from a page. Dreadful! What ever the reason my act was good enough that the head of the public relations department approached me that same night with an idea for creating a safety themed magic show. For some reason I did not jump right on it. Perhaps I thought he was not serious.
Then the second, seemingly bad magic moment happened. The friend that hired me for reasons I did not know or understand was fired from his job. I did not like his replacement. After trying to tough it out I decided to give my 2 weeks notice. I did not have an apparent safety net I just knew I needed a change. Then I remembered the job offer from the public relations director. I went upstairs during lunch and asked Jim if he was serious about creating a show. It turns out he was. This was not a done deal. I waited for an agonizing month while approval was obtained by upper management and a budget was established. It happened! We were on our way and my magic journey was about to become a magic career…..
P.S. My friend also benefited from this moment as he went on to become the Vice President of AAA in New Mexico.
This is the prelude to a series of blog posts about the magic moments in the magic journey that is my magic career. Some like this post will outline the important events in my life that made me what I am today. Some like the next 2 articles are already written and will give details as to how I did it. My goal is to let this serve as an introduction to who I am and what I have done. It is a career that not only includes school shows but also includes owning a magic store, 20 years as a street performer and more then 8 years working in casinos.
I am now sharing much of what I have learned in a Lecture for Magicians.
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