About Me / Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ: How long have you been performing card magic?
Since the summer of 1973. That's 45½ years.
FAQ: How did you get started in card magic?
Do you know the name Doug Henning? He was an important magician who, in my opinion, brought magic back to being cool during the 1970s. Doug's attorney had a son named Danny, who studied magic with him. During the summer of 1973, I was at an arts camp in Ontario, and Danny was in my bunk. He showed me card magic. I knew that if I learned this art it would change my life, and it did. Danny and I went to a magic shop in Toronto. He told me a couple of books to buy to get started. I was mesmerized instantly and hooked forever. (The following year, Doug Henning's groundbreaking "The Magic Show" opened on Broadway and ran for 1,920 performances. Doug changed the world’s perception of magic with this terrific production, which I saw live.)
FAQ: Performing card magic changed your life?
Indeed it did. For one thing, my Myers-Briggs Type Indicator went from Introvert to Extrovert.
FAQ: How long have you been a street performer?
About a dozen years. The street is usually where I try out my new material to see how well it plays, and develop the finesse and fine points of the scripting.
FAQ: Have you performed outside Chicagoland?
Yes, I have cards with me almost everywhere I go.
I'll admit that it's a bit of an obsession. I’ve had the great honor of performing at “Magic Corner” in London's Covent Garden, a street performance mecca since 1662. I’ve also performed at an office event in Mexico City, at Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston,
Times Square in New York City, 16th Street Mall in Denver, and Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, among many other locations, including one in Kenya.
FAQ: Do you do magic other than cards?
I do some mentalism, and even that might involve at least one card on which I've written a prediction.
FAQ: How do you learn?
I learn mostly from books. I have bookshelves crammed with card magic books and pamphlets, DVDs, and videos, and many boxes full of cards (see the samples in the picture to the right). I've taken lessons and I attend lectures and shows by other magicians. I sometimes learn from online tutorials. I occasionally create my own pieces of Card Magic too.
FAQ: How do you get good at this stuff?
You have to study, practice, script, rehearse, and then perform for real people, and see what works for your character. Watch, listen, observe, and adjust. Be willing to learn and to grow and take some risks. I've also done Toastmasters (for public speaking), taken classes at ImprovOlympics, Second City, and Annoyance Theater (for improvisation and acting), been in plays, attended mediation training (to understand people and conflict), and done lots of deep self-growth to know who I am in the world.
FAQ: Do you teach card magic?
Yes. Usually, I teach individual beginners, but have sometimes taught small groups. It's fun.