Very Magical Women!!

Today on May 8th, International Women’s Day, I would like to play homage to two very special ladies.  On June 16, 1816, Mary Shelley invented Science Fiction when she wrote “Frankenstein”.

About 150 years later Lucille Ball championed a script nobody wanted, paid for the
pilot and fought the money people back enough for “Star Trek” to get made. (She also had a hand
in “Westinghouse Desilou Playhouse” which gaveRod Serling the big break he needed to get “The
Twilight Zone” produced.)

The mother of science fiction, and the godmotherof modern science fiction, thank you for helping create the stuff that dreams are made of!

TEACHING MAGICIANS!


Had the pleasure of kicking off my “REAL MAGIC – Simple Effective Solutions To Complicated Problems” VIRTUAL LECTURE for magicians Monday night.

Great audience at the International Brotherhood Of Magicians Ring 12 in Buffalo NY.

Looking forward to presenting to Ring 49 in Hamilton, Ontario next month.

PS:  My hair is not blue – it’s just the shot!

LUCKY SHOT!

Finishing National Magic Week and celebrating Houdini & Halloween in a very magical way!
It’s been a busy week with 15 Halloween Magic Shows all over the place – virtual and in person.
So, what better way to enjoy a day off then with a visit to Jamie Allan’s “Illusionarium” with my daughter Jacqueline.
Great time exploring magic’s history in a hi-tech way.
Best of all she was chosen to mark the bullet for the famous bullet catching trick. Great souvenir.
As I said lucky catch!!
Happy Halloween everyone!

A Magical Place…

This being National Magic week I wanted to share my 3 favorite Magical Places in the World.

The first is the Hamilton Public Library Kenilworth Branch.

This is where at the young age of 8 I studied every book on magic they had – over and over and over again.

Some of my favorite’s were by Joseph Leeming.

It was such a special time for me.

Libraries are such a Magical Place!!

Humble Magical Beginnings!

Today October 25 begins National Magic Week.

It ends on October 31st, not surprising.

I started performing magic at the age of 8, yes I wasted my first 7 years 🙂 and have been going strong ever since – over 50 years.

The Art Of Magic has taken me all over the world and introduced me to people and experiences I am forever grateful for.

So buckle up friends as I post some “magical memories” over the next week.

WAND, JAMES WAND

A Magical Motivators take on the hidden, magical secrets of Ian Fleming.

“…Bond, James Bond.” That line was first spoken by actor Sean Connery in the original James Bond Movie Dr. No. The year was 1962. Since that time it has been uttered by 6 other actors, and in well over 20 featured length films. (Making it the longest running movie franchise of all time.)

In fact according to the Guiness Book Of Films it is the #1 most recognized movie quote of all time. Yes, even beating out movie classics from Casablanca and Gone With The Wind.

And apparently over half of the world’s population has heard of James Bond. Not bad at all for a fictional character first penned by author Ian Fleming in 1952.

If you have not guessed it by now, I am a James Bond fan. I have seen every movie at least once, and many more than 3 or 4 times.

In fact one of my best Christmas presents of all time was a 007 Spy Briefcase I received when I was boy. It featured all the James Bond gadgets including a special spy decoder I still treasure to this day.

I have also extended this “spy fascination” into the magic that I do. I created a character James Wand who was a “magical spy” in a number of illusion vignettes. And today one of our specialty shows is a “spy illusion show” called ESCAPE – A Behind The Scenes Look At The Magic Of A Secret Agent Training School!

But to me, there is a further “hidden magic” to 007’s appeal.

No, it’s not the fancy gadgets, the beauties or bullets. Nor is it the fast cars, glamorous locations or extravagant lifestyle. To me there is a deeper fascination.

To me James Bond’s real magic is HOW he makes his magic happen. The answer?

He thinks and acts like the ultimate magician! He understands what is needed to make the impossible, possible.

First, he knows that nothing is impossible. He understands that real magic is nothing more than coming up with simple effective solutions to complicated problems, and then taking action.

He visualizes his mission’s end result and then takes the necessary steps to achieve that result, just the way a magician creates a piece of magic, by working backwards.

Every piece of the puzzle is put together in the proper sequence until the final picture / secret mission / illusionist’s magic are achieved.

He also knows to watch what he is doing very carefully. He monitors his results and if what he is doing is not working, he will try something else. And if that doesn’t work, he will try something else. But he will stay with it until he achieves his end goal.

Next, he is a firm believer in the magician’s creed, that “every problem contains and suggests it’s own solution”.

How many times have we seen 007 in an impossible situation ö definitely no way out? And then he uses one little piece of the environment or situation to give himself the upper hand and turn the tables on the villain.

Sure in some of the later films there could be some pretty amazing gadgets involved, but more often than not it was the James Bond’s mindset that Ian Fleming created that was responsible for saving the day.

And finally, James Bond never, ever, ever gives up, and definitely strives at being the best at what he does.

He knows to learn the basic skills needed to do his job, and he has made great effort to master these skills. His has passionately mastered weapons, social skills and himself in a same way a magician masters sleight of hand, presentation skills and mindset.

And he continually feeds this passion.

So how can you apply this to what you do?

Use the same magic formula.

1. Create a vision of the end result you want to achieve, no matter how impossible it may seem. And make it as detailed as possible. Then fill in the blanks with simple actions needed to make you vision real. Study your actions, and change and tweak them as necessary to get you closer to your end result.

2. Remember that every problem contains and suggests it’s own solution. The obstacles that stand in your way truly do contain the answers to lead you in the right direction. Take a negative aspect of something that you currently see as a limiting element, and imagine it to instead be empowering. How can this element work to your benefit to achiever your goal?

3. And finally, remember to go after your dreams with passion. Take the time to learn the basics of what you need to do, and passionately master these skills. Become the best at what you do. Stay the course when things get bad and then passionately move on again toward your dream.

Apply this to your life, your vocation, your work and you too can become the James Bond of your vision. You can use Ian Fleming’s secrets to make your own Real Magic happen.

Real Magic is nothing more than coming up with simple, effective solutions to complicated problems, and then doing something about it! But Real Magic can happen only when people believe in themselves and are passionate about making a difference in their own life and the lives of others! Have focus! Be passionate about what you do! Create your own real magic!

PS: I cannot wait until this Friday. I am taking my wife to see No Time To Die with Daniel Craig as 007. It’s his last outing as Mr Bond, and I hear it is fantastic!

MAKING LASTING MAGIC HAPPEN!

Muppet Show Metamorphosis Appearance in Full – THE DOUG HENNING PROJECT

Always try to be unique – case in point Canada’s own Doug Henning. 

A master magician for the performer and  great piece of History for the entertainment world.  Just google him.

Above is a clip of him on The Muppet Show in 1980.  It really is amazing and pure DH.

Doug was from a different, simpler time but a master at marketing, MAGIC and standing out, which holds true even to this day.

Doug was many years older than me and inspired me, a fellow Canadian (we are both McMaster Univeristy grads as were Martin Short, Eugene Levy and Ivan Reitman – who got Doug his first big break that led to The Magic Show).

And all these mentioned entertainment giants did something very special, they created memories and changed the way we feel in a positive way. 

It’s simple, “do what you love and love what you do”, who knows what MAGIC you can create!

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE MAGICIAN’S TRICK DOES NOT WORK?

How to turn your MISTAKES into SOLUTIONS, almost like magic!

Questions that always come up once someone discovers my magical background are, “Did you ever have a trick go wrong? What did you do about it?”

Magicians know a lot about making mistakes. We have to, because mistakes and magic do NOT go well together.

Think about it. The “art of magic’ is the only entertainment forum that is uniquely damaged by errors and mistakes. It simply is too specific a performance medium.

A dancer could miss a step and the routine would still work. A comedian’s timing could be off and yet the joke could still be funny. A skater can make an error and the routine still a crowd pleaser. A speaker can mess up a line and it’s still a great oration. A singer can even go off key and the song still a hit.

However, with a trick or illusion if you make a mistake – the magic simply stops – the magic does not happen! It’s the very nature of our business. The overall illusion is destroyed, or even worse the secret revealed. Talk about pressure!! It may sound harsh but it is true. So in order to help limit the amount of drastic mistakes made, we have developed the magician’s performance rule #2.

The rule is simply this, “We know the game plan – the audience does not. We know what is supposed to occur and when, but we never reveal this until after it has been successfully achieved.” 

Thus if something starts to go wrong there is a strong chance we can detect it long before it becomes visible to the audience and make appropriate changes before the mistake becomes too apparent.

This is not to say that the overall effect does not look or feel slightly off. The end result is that the actual illusion is not blown and we usually can get back in sync with the rest of the performance. And most importantly, the audience forgets about what did not happen. In some cases the changes may even seem like brainstorms and actually work out for the better.

This is what has been called by the entertainment industry as “adlibbing” or “punting”; and contrary to what it may initially sound like, it is actually a carefully thought out and studied process. It has to be our very survival depends upon it!

Now wouldn’t it be beneficial if YOU HAD A TRICK like this that you could use when something starts to go wrong? Believe it or not most of you already do, you just may not be applying it the same way a magician does, day in and day out – one performance after another.

So how does one develop this knack, apply it to their vocation and get good at it? It’s simply a matter of analyzing what YOU do as a show or a performance model.

Start by getting a clear picture of what you want to have happen, and then work backwards to achieve it. Study all the elements that have to go together and how, and then REALLY look at what might or could go wrong in the process. Then simply develop “outs” that you can effectively use at any given point to help alleviate any mistakes.

These “outs” are carefully chosen bits and little modules that are relevant to what you do. They have been developed to the point that you can go to these at a moments notice.

This way you can relax and go on auto pilot if need be. You continue to present while your mind simultaneously searches for the answer to put you back on track. And best of all, when carefully applied, your audience never knows what happened.

The same applies for a sales, marketing or presentation situation whether to a group or one on one. Carefully plan in advance what you want to have happen, and then develop your own “ad lib’s” or “outs”. Really know your three most important presentation aspects – the close – the opening – what builds in the middle, and then develop these interconnected lifesavers.

Now obviously no one is ever going to be able to plan in advance for all contingencies; but the better prepared you are the greater the chance you won’t need to use them.

It starts with knowing your material inside out and really taking the time to develop a performance module (regardless of whether you think of your presentation is a show or not) that you want to have happen.

Great entertainers, speakers, executives, meeting planners, educators, politicians and service people do this all the time. They have their presentations planned well in advance and can move around within their structure to accommodate any changes that come up – AND still have these “ad lib’s” and “punts” in place when needed.

When you put enough of these contingencies into place and develop your performance module to this degree – you come off looking like a magician, or maybe the “super professional” you really are. You are prepared for almost any problems that may come up. You make problems go away! You can make magic happen!!

Remember Real Magic can happen only when people believe in themselves and are passionate about making a difference in their own lives and the lives of others! Have focus! Be passionate about what you do! Create your own real magic!!

PS: I have to go memorize my adlibs for tomorrow!

“abraCANADAbra” It’s March Break!

AbraCANADAbra – my Canadian theme 150 birthday magic show is on the move for March break.
 
March 14 Bayfield Mall in Barrie, March 15 Fairview Mall Kitchener, March 16 Eastgate Square Hamilton, and March 17 Meadowvale Town Centre in Mississauga! Come down and check out these free shows!
 
Or consider booking us for your next special event…