Hello friends. Now that theory11 has put my name out there a bit, a couple of you have sent me messages asking about my magic background and about my philosophy of tricks. Well, here are the basics: I got into magic around 4 or 5. My grandparents had the best collection of David Copperfield VHS tapes, and every time I’d go over to their house, we’d watch them together. Again and again. Particularly China and Niagara Falls. I saw how deeply my grandparents loved those tapes, saw how magic had the power to delight people…and I wanted in. Been doing it ever since. About 25 years. I did birthday parties I did table hopping…but mostly I performed for friends and strangers in school, coffee shops, bars, and clubs. So far I’ve published 3 tricks in MAGIC Magazine and 2 tricks on theory11.com. I try to create the most deceptive tricks possible—that’s the only objective. Don’t care if it’s cool, short, long, complex, simple, hard, or easy. Just care about deceptiveness. For me, creating tricks feels 90% scientific, 10% creative. Same with my writing. I’m actually a professional writer, not a professional magician… …and on that note, I’d ask that you evaluate my tricks on their merit, not on their creator. (That’s a fancy way of saying, ‘Don’t hate my stuff cause I’m not a pro!’) Over the years, I’ve bought a lot of tricks that have been sold with the line “I’ve been a professional magician for 30 years, and I perform this trick every single night. It’s a real ‘worker.’” Often times those trick suck, and I walk away from them thinking, ‘Buddy, you’ve been doing a crappy trick for the past three decades!’ I’ve met a lot of great magicians who think up a lot of mediocre tricks. And I’ve met a lot of mediocre magicians who think up a lot of amazing tricks. Not sure where I fall on that spectrum, but I am sure that magic creation and magic performance involve wholly different skillsets. One more thing on trick creation: Last week I was talking with a magician—a damn good one, who I very much respect—who puts all sorts of restrictions on who can and can’t perform his material. Basically, they have to share his philosophy. I don’t think creators should do this. I say, once you decide to share a trick with the world, you open the floodgates. Right now I’m (re)learning Chopin’s Waltz in D flat Major. If Chopin came to my house, snatched my sheet music, and told me, “Please stop learning my piece. You’re not good enough to play it,” I’d be crushed. (Also, I’d be pretty terrified, with Chopin being long dead and all.) I believe that magic should be open to all who are excited to learn it—regardless of their capabilities or skillsets. How about you? Agree with any of this? Disagree?