As with all things you need to know what you are getting into before you do so you can stay out of trouble or not waste your time. So I will tell you in this introduction just what you are about to discover inside my courses in magic.
This is not a course about learning how tricks are done although you will definitely learn many secrets within these pages and in the videos. But much of what I want you to learn is how to perform magic to its perfection as much as possible.
You may not know some of the history of magic but I will be discussing some throughout the courses. To start with you might already know where Harry Houdini got his name. If not, well, here's where.
Harry Houdini was born Erik Weisz in March 24, 1874 and died October 24, 1926. But, as you might know, he changed his name to Harry Houdini. Just three years prior to his birth a very famous magician died. His name was Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin. He was born December 7, 1805 and died June 13, 1871. Robert Houdin was made famous because he had been the first to change how magic was performed to the public. He had moved it from the theater stage to parlors and private parties. Because of this bold endeavor he became known as the "Father of modern magic".
Harry Houdini admired the work of Robert Houdin and decided he wanted to name himself after him. Houdini thought if you add the letter "i" to the end of a name it means to "be like". So he added it to Houdin which became Houdini.
The most important piece of information you will get from this small spot in magic history is something that Robert Houdin is quoted as saying in the magic community.
"A magician is merely an actor playing the part of a magician".
This could not be more true. We are performers who use magic tricks to entertain with. We are pretending to be something we are not and to do things which are completely impossible. But if we do our job right, we convince our audience that we are truly magical and do posses powers beyond reality.
Be very careful with this power. Because that is what it is; a power.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines magic like this:
"Magic is the extraordinary power of influence."
We influence people's decisions, thoughts, actions, and even desires through our performances. I was first really made aware of this one evening when I attended a clown club I had been asking to be a part of to help teach them some magic. The head of the club sat at the head of the table with me at the opposite end and the other members around the sides.
I showed them a trick that I thought would be good for them to learn and they liked it. Then I showed them how it was done. As I was doing so the head of the club gasped and her mouth fell open. I asked her what was wrong and she looked at me in astonishment. She said, "all these years I thought magic was real."
I laughed because I thought she was joking. She wasn't. It took another ten minutes or so to fully prove to her what I did was a trick and that all magic performed by magicians is nothing more than a trick. Needless to say, her belief in magic scared me. I felt, if she believed then others did too. Since then I have tried to explain that my magic is nothing more than trickery for entertainment and that the only real magic is love.