During the afternoon, I accompanied an artist-in-residence to an elementary school where he did magic tricks and juggled for the students. They were enthralled by his act, and wanted to know how he accomplished his feats. “I read,” he said. “I taught myself how to do magic and juggling and you can teach yourself, too.” That was the extent of his revelations.

But at a reception for the sponsors later that evening, he shared a few insights to his magical slight of hand. He also admitted that he had done some of the tricks early in his career that had failed — some miserably — yet he continued doing them. He was supposed to make scarves “disappear” into a fake thumb, yet they didn’t all make it inside. Another time, the “thumb” fell off. Still another misstep occurred when he had a chemical that turned water into gel so it didn’t run out of the cup. He tried the trick with cola instead and ended up pouring pop all over his volunteer’s head! 

The bottom line is that magic isn’t always magical. Just like things in real life that look like they are easy: it isn’t always the case. Instead of wishing for your magic trick to transport you to a better place, do like Bob Kann does and practice, practice, practice your reality until it appears to be too good to be true.

beth triplett

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