“When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant, I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But, when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”
— Attributed to Mark Twain, 1835-1910, American Humorist
MY DAD THE COWBOY
My father, Jack, taught me a lot of things. One of them was how to ride a horse. My dad met my mom at a horse show. He rode Western. She rode “proper English” style. This was the beginning of a long relationship, where both of them learned to respect each other’s differing styles. Many of my weekends growing up were spent at horse shows, and as soon as I could handle a horse, I was competing. My competitions included barrel racing and “keyhole,” a short distance race against the clock, where you gallop down the field, turn on a dime, and race back to the finish line.
I guess I didn’t practice as much as the other kids who consistently won the competitions. Oh yes, I did win the occasional first prize, but, more often, I walked away having learned a lesson in humility. It taught me how to lose gracefully, and not to give up, and to practice for the sheer pleasure of practicing. I really value the lessons I’ve learned from my father, and from my time riding horses. I often remind our students who are entering competitions that the real test of a competition is to be aware that it is not the goal or the gold, but the continuing process of mastery. The path of mastery takes hard work and commitment.
“Work banishes those three great evils: boredom, vice and poverty.”
— Voltaire, 1694-1778
MAGIC AND MEANING
Once a year, some of the brightest magicians and philosophers in the world gather together for our Magic and Meaning Conference. You can see inspirational videos of some of the highlights here at our PEP talks. PEP stands for Performance, Entertainment, Philosophy. You can watch some of the talks from last year on our website:
This year, we are also celebrating the release of the new edition of Eugene Burger and Robert Neale’s inspirational work MAGIC AND MEANING. This great book has been out of print for awhile, but is available again now, with 17% new material added. You can get it by going visiting our online catalog:
TIPS FROM A PROFESSIONAL MASTER OF CEREMONIES
Bryce has done an amazing job on our new SECRET ART JOURNAL. This month, our featured writer is Jeff Civillico, who offers practical advice on being a Master of Ceremonies, or the host of a show. You can see his “Tips from a professional Master of Ceremonies” at
LAST CALL FOR MAYFIRE!
If you’ve ever wanted to experience the deeper magical mysteries, the time is now. It happens only once a year, and this year it’s happening May 10- 15.
For those of you on the East Coast, we’re just firming up plans for Jeff to be in New York City on June 12 & 13 at the Fantasma Magic Shop. Go to http://www.fantasmamagic.com for details of how to sign up.
Later in June we’ll be holding another Extended Master Class, and there are still a few slots open. Check that and our other upcoming classes out at http://www.magicalwisdom.com. Register now, while spaces are available!
Also: Our friend Wayne Kawamoto publishes one of the better magic newsletters on the web, and he has just named Jeff among the top 10 magicians of our time. Read all about it at:
Best to all!