The story of the Urban legend
I was born a small child on September 14th 1968. I was named for my father. As luck would have it, my grandmother, being half Cherokee, had a deep respect for spiritualism and faith, which includes a back woods belief in the mystical, not knocking her. We have all had weird experiences. Still do and cant explain them. So for reasons I can't find out to this day, she put a letter Y in all of the names for her seven kids. Even though, I was the only one to be mystical in any way.
I have always been fascinated by magic. My grandmother showed me the first magic trick I ever saw, "Fly away birdie." That was when I was 4. I learned it then and there, I guess that's when I first got bitten by the MAGIC bug. I prformed the trick at age 5. My grandmother was a big influence on me. She was a shcool teacher. She taught in city schools and even a one room schoolhouse. Eventually she taught me the "21 card trick" as it is known today, by most. She taught me to love learning and those two tricks weren't the only things she taught me. A day I don't learn something, a day wasted. She taught me many things growing up from macrame to oil painting. She was very talented in visual art and music.
Fast forward to 1976 when I was 8 yrs. old. I saw a rerun of Magic Land Of Alakazam with Mark and Nonnie Wilson. I also used to watch the Bozo the Clown Show and watched their magical clown. But what really got to me was Doug Henning. He showed me that magic existed. He was so child-like. He restored something in me. My innocence.
From 8 yrs. old to about 15 yrs., I spent many years bouncing between magic and the hum drum world. So I dropped magic out of my dreams and my life, sort of...
Don't get me wrong, I did do some magic at family functions. The kids and I always had a blast. But the magic was few and far between. But I must admit, I felt like that off kilter uncle, we all have them.
So at 15 it became about girls and guitars, it was the 80's. I was a music major in college, and still was doing magic now and again. But I didn't forsake magic, I went to see David Copperfield in 1984, shortly after his vanishing of Lady Liberty. He was a really nice person.
So I have kind of covered from age 8 to 37. It was more about music than magic at the time, for most of it. But when my wife Leslie and I decided after many years to have a child, he gave me the push. He got me back into magic so fast it was like whiplash. When Cooper Arkady Lee arrived on July 31st 2005 at 10:22 pm, my life changed.
That was when Cooper Arkady Lee entered my life. My son is a major source of inspiration for me. He did his first trick at 12 hours old. His identification bracelet vanished. And he did it once a day for our entire stay in the hospital. We never found them. It turns out he had a penchant for it. He was learning magic and trying to perform before he could walk. At two days old, the head maternity nurse started calling him "Houdini Jr". I knew it was time to bring my "A" game.
It was also the time I first communicated with Jeff McBride. Jeff is the top magic teacher in the world as well as one of the best magicians. So I approached him for advice for teaching magic to children. I had been a big fan for over a decade.. Now many years later I don't consider him a friend, I consider him my brother. He has been my biggest influence in my creative efforts. I am very lucky to have studied at the Magic and Mystery School with him and the late Eugene Burger.
I have been performing professionally for more than ten yen years and am the vice president of International Brotherhood of Magicians' Ring 54. I am also the resident magician at Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, MI as well as the feature magician at a convention called How to Halloween. I can't set foot in five towns in Michigan alone without getting stopped on the street to do some magic. I take it to the streets everyday to brighten up my corner of the world and show people the power of possibility.
Although Halloween is my favorite time of year, I happen to cater my magic to the event I am participating in. I even do some Victorian style magic now and again. So when I'm booked for a show I try to match the show to the audience. For charity events I have incorporated a magic workshop geared especially for children with things around the house. It is my greatest pleasure to spread a love of magic to a whole new generation of magicians.
I have recently begun to take on private students, so contact me if interested. I have also written two books on the subject of creating unique magic. My first, Magic Out Of Your Pockets is a look into the world of street magic performance. Deep Magic covers breathing life into your magic. You'll find something to take away in either of them so I encourage you to read them.
For those interested in learning magic, check out my learning page to see some of my favorite books on magic and other topics to get you started.
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