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Ta DA! My crazy love for stage magic and how I started.
Joan Philo
#1 Posted : Thursday, August 05, 2010 5:51:31 PM(UTC)

Posts: 27
Location: IL

 

The beginning


When I was 13 years old I was the youngest female member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians in San Francisco, CA. Magic was my world when I was ten years old and its still pretty high up on my list of what I think are awesome.


Do you know that some of the most famous actors and entertainers of our times started out making stuff disappear? Yep, young magicians, who started out wowing folks with magic tricks, became famous actors, like Fred Astaire, Johnny Carson, Don Johnson, Woody Allen, Dick Van Dyke, Jimmy Stewart, Jason Alexander, Steve Martin, Arsenio Hall, Jerry Lewis, Barbara Stanwyck, Neil Patrick Harris and Orson Welles.


When I was fifteen, I had a snow-white dove named Shakespeare that I used in my act. My dove lived in his cage in my room, and it was so soothing to hear his soft, melodious cooing sounds in the morning (don’t laugh). My sisters groaned every time while on vacation when I would beg, “Can we please go to a magic store?” My sisters were all beautiful and part of the seriously “cool” crowd while I was completely happy working on my act and developing my craft.


While my sisters were busy being cool I got to take a bus by myself into San Francisco and hang out in a nightclub watching magicians!” (My folks were amazing for letting me do this!) I was a complete giddy mess. I give my oldest sister credit for taking me to the monthly International Magicians meeting. Bless her heart! Now I understand the vodka tonics she sucked down while I gazed with hope and wonder at the stage.


I completely get it, the magic thing. It’s awesome. Some might switch out the “awesome” for “dorky,” but not here, baby. Magic takes us to that place of wonder, astonishment, the place of dreams, where dreams touch hope. Learning magic builds some wicked performance skills. “Hey, try standing in front of folks yelling out, “I know how that’s done – I can do that!” Aside from wanting to do some serious clobbering this strengthens skills at deflecting the negative (always excellent as an actor’s life is riding the wheel of rejection – actors champion themselves, start young).

 

Mastering a magic trick builds confidence, hones story/vocal delivery “patter” skills that go along with presenting a trick, and it’s exciting.


*Just the other day my sister Mari said, “You know Joan I was always trying to get you to tell me how to do those tricks and no matter how much I bugged you and pleaded with you, you never gave away the secret. I always admired that.”

SHOCKING!


Kinda awesome to find out that something you did as a kid had a sister admiring you. Who knew? You see, a magician never reveals the secret. Cardinal rule. So, If you want in. If you want to learn some magic. Work your performance craft. Have some fun. Dream. Laugh. If you can keep a secret.


POOF!

            “Oh, hey, I’m right here." Didn’t see me, did you?

 Got ya!


Now, go sign up for the class.


We’ll have some fun.”            

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