Children of Magicians

Its one thing to have a favourite uncle pull a quarter from your ear or nose; its quite another to be born into a family with a mother or father or both who are magicians.

This child learns early things that other children may not. They know the importance of keeping a secret, they know what goes on behind the scenes. They know about practice and more practice. They know about the importance of a story to accompany a trick and how important it is to get the audience on your side. They learn that there is more than one way to skin a cat, so to speak, and also not to let the cat out of the bag! They learn that everything is not always as it seems. They are usually favorites for “Show & Tell” in school. They know to “show” and they also know not to “tell”. They learn from their mistakes, what to do, what not to do and they don’t even realize what they are learning. Its a part of them. They learn to look for solutions in difficult situations. When my eldest grandson was about 9 or 10, now 26, he demonstrated the Dice Bomb for a girl a little older than him. She had figured it out and asked to see the top. He was devastated and went to the back of the shop and figured out a way to do it so that everything could be handed out immediately. He asked me if he could show it to her again. I said no. Forget it. When the next customer comes in you can try it then.

My other grandson, age 8 at the time, learned the hard way, that when you do a little show for your classmates, you should have a large shopping bag to put your tricks in when you are through. He had a case for most of his things but he hadn’t anticipated what he would do with his Appearing Lightening Wand which was longer than his case. Nor could he close it in front of them, without giving up the secret. And they all ran up to him after the show, touching the wand that he had no where to hide. Are you feeling for him? (I had actually phoned him the morning of his show, to tell him to bring a large shopping bag just for that reason, but he had already left for school. I knew what was going to happen and it did.)

Yesterday, the child of a customer of ours came in. Her father had been doing magic long before he was married. When he got married he brought his bride up to the shop and said, “I promised you magic on our honeymoon.” I don’t think she was thrilled. Now their child was no longer a child. She was a student at McGill getting ready to graduate this year. She was giving a presentation and wanted a particular effect, not to do a magic show, but to emphasis a point. She said she found if you did a little magic in your presentation, everyone pays attention. She grew up with magic and doesn’t quite get how fascinated everyone is with it, but said it really works for her.

Many of my customers started magic when they were kids and now they have children of their own. I wonder if they realize what is being passed on to them, even if it is unintentional.

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