Whenever folks ask me how I learned to do magic, I usually say that I’m self-taught. However, that’s really not entirely true. While I’ve never taken a private “magic lesson” from anyone, I have in fact learned how to do what I do from some of the best teachers in the industry. With instructional books and videos, I’ve been given guidance on many different aspects of performing.
In my act, I will often throw in the line, “You shouldn’t ask how I do it… you should ask why!” I learned early on in my sleight of hand studies exactly why I do what I do. It was shared with me via instructional video, by one of the most innovative and creative minds in magic, Mr. Paul Harris. He taught me that good magic is able to give people one of the most amazing feelings in the world. So what is it exactly?
It’s what is known as “The moment of pure astonishment.”
It’s that moment… right after you see a trick, or something amazing… before your brain begins to process it… before you try and figure out how it’s done… where your breath is taken away for just a split second.
That’s the moment of pure astonishment. It’s an extraordinary feeling.
The good thing is, as much as I love to be fooled by good magic, there are plenty of other places you can find this feeling in your life. Maybe it’s by seeing a unique destination for the first time, like the Grand Canyon, or the Eifel Tower. Perhaps it’s seeing an awesome sunset. Or maybe it’s something like experiencing the birth of a child or grandchild.
Do you have any that come to mind?
Whenever these random moments pop up in your life, I recommend doing the following three things to help heighten the experience…
• Recognize the moment. Life moves pretty quickly for most of us these days, and sometimes, we can be so preoccupied that we can miss some of life’s magic moments. When it appears that life is throwing you something cool, make sure you recognize the unique situation, and then…
• Create a perfect picture. If you’re experiencing a moment of pure astonishment, you may as well try and remember it as best as you can, for as long as you can. Pay attention to how your senses are being affected, and try and take as many mental pictures in your mind as possible. Make them as clear and vivid, and no matter what, make sure you remember to…
• Celebrate the experience. It’s very easy to be so wrapped up in one of life’s special moments that we can forget to celebrate just how lucky we are at the time. Be grateful. Smile and laugh… Sing and dance… Or do whatever you do to celebrate. The experience will become further ingrained in your memory.
Remember, these moments of pure astonishment can happen anywhere and at any time, so always be ready, willing, and able to embrace them when they appear!