Saturday Night Contest - Something Special

Sep 7, 2008
A simple, hand-stamped keychain with my favorite Nelson Mandela quote:


Magically speaking, this applies to both creating and practicing. When creating magic, certain plots and methods simply seem not possible. It can take months and years to find a working solution, but you eventually do. Same goes for practicing; it may seem impossible at first, but after countless hours of non-stop obsessing, it finally gets accomplished.

And obviously this relates to anything and everything in real life too: school projects, family problems, etc. And just remembering this quote will help you get through it all.

I've been carrying this on my keychain since I got my car three years back, and it's paid for itself 1,000+ times.
Dec 6, 2013
My Own Box

I have a box kind of like the mystery box. My great grandfather gave me this box. (I am also named after him, his name was Samuel) He said it has a pocket watch, cigar, pocket knife, and wallet that he used himself. He gave it to me and said to open it when you feel down. I have it written on a few piece of paper. "Open this when your life is full of struggles, stress, and have no hope. I may have told you the truth, or there may be something different in there..." He died a month later, and I was VERY close to opening the box. My parents talked me out of it. Even though this box, well, is just a box, it has a lot of meaning in it. I hope that there is some vintage items that would be worth a lot, but I really want it to be his pocket watch. He used that everywhere he went. I wont open it until my life is full of struggles, stress, and have no hope.
Copy of quote in the provided picture


Jan 10, 2009
University Park PA
This is perfect timing for me for this contest, TEDxPSU is tomorrow and I am the sound engineer for it, so a contest based on a TED talk is great!
Ok, so here is my diamond:
This is the THON diamond. This diamond itself is actually pretty cheap, it's plastic and cost me about 5 bucks. If I lose it I can always buy another one. However, it's what the diamond represents that is important.
Every year Penn State has a 46 hour no sitting no sleeping dance marathon to raise money for pediatric cancer research and to support the families of children who have cancer. THON has been a huge part of my life for the past three years. When I was soul searching for a major freshman year, THON made me realize how much I wanted to help people, and drove me to become a psychologist. This past weekend was THON 2014, and our yearlong fundraising efforts revealed that we raised over $13 million to help fight pediatric cancer.
I carry this diamond with me at all times to remind me of a few things. First, the 4 words (honesty, wisdom, strength, and courage) define how I try to lead my life. Secondly, I carry the diamond as a reminder that no matter how bad my day gets, I should be thankful for all of the people in my life, and the fact that I lead a healthy and full life. And third, I carry the diamond to remind myself to always try to help others who are in need of help, if I can, because I can. To me, THON is the most magical thing in my life, and has a far more powerful magic than any trick or illusion.
Dec 10, 2013
My Guitar

The most meaningful thing to me is my guitar. Their are many of them out there, but my guitar is MY guitar. It may not be the prettiest, or nicest guitar, but it reminds me that regardless of its appearance, It can make beautiful sounds that anyone and everyone can enjoy. To be able to take all of my emotions and put them into beautiful chords and sounds is really freeing. No matter how bad my day was, who i am with, where i am at, or how much my fingers hurt, i keep playing. My sister received this guitar for christmas one year, but was uninterested in learning to play so it sat around our house for years before i finally picked it up. I taught myself to play when i was at a low point in my life and the better i get, and the more people enjoy my music, the more i realize that i can make a difference. I can inspire someone with just my beat up, worn, little guitar and my two hands. To me, my guitar symbolizes hope, and that is why it is the most meaningful thing n the world to me.

I couldn't figure out how to get the image on here, so here is a link...
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Jan 29, 2011
My great grandmother... ohh man was she something else.. she was a practical joker to say the least! she would put gag icecubes with bugs frozen inside in peoples drinks, she would prank phone call my house all the time it was almost a tradition.. she just had so many gags, props and jokes! and she would let me in on some of them! and i carry sa lot of her personality.. she is who inspired me to do magic in the first place when i was 5 years see her all the time.. her and i were like best friends... when i was 6 she went into the hospital... we went to see her and she wasnt joking around or even smiling and all i wanted to do was have fun but she told me she wasnt well enough to play... at the end of our visit she handed me a stuffed bear that she had made for me and it had my name sewn ito the foot.. and she handed my mother the letter... she died that night after we left.. i was devestated... for my 16th birthday my mother gave me the letter... it was from my great grandmother and i instantly started tearing up and i went in my room to read it... it said "dear michael, i miss you so much darling.. i hope that you are still pursuing your dream at becoming a master magician! i love you so much and i promise im watching over you as you read this! i really hope you still have that bear! since you are 16 i figure that you are a man now! im sure the ladies are all over you! one day when you fall in love with a girl and you think she may be the one i want you to give it to her and eventually your future child... and i want you to do what you love in life! bring wonder to people and always believe in yourself! i believe in you, i love you michael<3 ps. Keep playing pranks on people!" after i read that the phone rang and i picked it up in a false hope thinking it would be her but it wasnt... i eventually fel in love with a girl and she is in the picture... she cheated on me many time and shattered my heart... so long story short i had to sneak into her house and steal my bear back(the bear was named little michael after me) ahah and one day i will give it to a women and if i marry her it will go to my first born child... that bear is more than a stuffed animal..its symolic of so many things and always reminds me of why i love magic.. its an inspiration to me that i want to pass down to my child..
Mar 17, 2012
Magic in the world

photo 1.JPG

Like many I know who have been drawn to the art, I was different when I was younger and magic was the door through which I could join the larger world. Through magic I could share the impossible with others and crack open the new doors of possibility for myself. I did magic professionally from age 12-18. Now, in my thirties, I am still involved and a "hobbyist" of the art, but, I have not performed a full show since I was 18 years old.

I went to college and grad school to be an actor because I was inspired, through my magic performances and by the audiences, to tell stories. I am grateful and blessed to say that I have been a professional actor for over 18 years (a feat of magic itself) and I owe it all to my roots in magic. The true art of magic is storytelling unlike any other.

The picture above is a small trunk of items that remain from my act when I was younger. This box has been with me since my final performance at age 18.

I keep it with me in case I ever doubt myself or retreat from life. I keep it close to remind me that there is always magic in the world... if I choose conjure it.
Apr 27, 2013
This dried rose is very meaningful to me. It may not be too extravagant, but I believe that simple things can hold an immense amount of meaning.

I'll start off by saying that in addition to magic, I have done a lot of drama and theatre acting in the last five years. (Which has helped me a lot with performing my magic.) After a show is finished, usually someone will get roses for all the girls in the show as a congratulation, but the guys never got flowers.

When I was a younger boy, I was fine with this. Why would I even want a silly flower? But as time progressed, I found myself appreciating the simple rose that I never got. It represented beauty and excellence in performance; receiving one seemed to mean you were believed in.

So in the five years of me performing, I never got a rose. I didn't really let it get to me. But last September, I was playing the leading role in a musical. So when closing night came along, the audience was incredible, everyone had incredible energy, and it was really great. It's safe to say that was one of the most incredible experiences I've ever had.

After the last show, we were greeting the audience in a reception line. A friend came up to me, hugged me, said a I did a great job, and gave me this rose.

It was a really cool moment. I took the rose home and let it dry out so I could keep my first rose for a long time.

Now, every time I see this rose, it reminds me that no matter how many people may or may not believe in me, I need to keep persevering. This is true for everyone. There is always someone who believe's in what you do, no matter what that is. You hold the power to be your awesome self.

That is something everyone needs to hear.

That is what this rose means to me.
Sep 29, 2013
My significant item

The most used item to enter contests from the one and only theory 11
to purchase downloads from the wire
to buy magic tricks that are original and the best quality you can find out there


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Elite Member
Oct 16, 2007
Spokane WA
As simple as this may be, it is the most important thing for me, it removes frustration and Anger. It takes me to a far away place that I have never been before. It enlightens me and brings about many great ideas. It is the future, it is the past. Without this, I would not be anything and nor would you. This is my life and has sparked many great ideas for a lot of powerful people and magicians alike. It tells a story of my life yet the story ends anyway that I wish. This is love and this is hate. I wish to share this object with you all and sit down with it for a few hours and it may just change a life.
Dec 12, 2013
I know its cheep and not real gold but it was the last thing my grandfather gave me, who, by the way inspired me to become a magician.


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Sep 23, 2012
My grandfather had a drawer in his desk that always had something. Something. What does this word mean, I would wonder as a child. Anytime I would visit he would show me something new. from a simple needle and thread to a handcrafted voodoo doll form new Orleans. One thing that I always wondered about was this beautiful deck of cards. It was purple with a floral back design. He it was his grandfathers. He had traveled with it through Nazi Germany. Through the concentration camps and eventually here in my hands. Now It is sitting on my shelf on display for all to see. Every time I look at it, it makes me want to cry. That is real wonder. The fact that one little item can help someone cope while going through hell. That is magic.
Dec 27, 2013
Who am I?

Here?s an adorable picture of me (what happened?) when I was around 2 years old.


I remember telling myself at a young age that I never wanted to stop dreaming. I was always the type of person who wanted to take the road less traveled; I wanted an adventure. I would do all these different things because I never wanted to stop being a part of something greater than me. All of these things made me realize that my existence was more significant than I thought. For years I have changed, shaped, and saved lives (in the little ways that I did). But what does it all mean? Where am I supposed to be after all this? I guess every experience is a part of a whole; it is a road which knows no end. The beauty of the mystery of the road isn't in the road you choose to take, but rather in the experiences that define who you are and who you are becoming.

I chose this photograph because it reminds me that I'm always ready to be where I need to be.
Apr 26, 2013
I don't want to get all deep or anything but this was given to me by my Grandmother Josephine on her "goodbye tour", I equate this goodbye tour to be almost as mysterious as the mystery box itself, just months before the tour my grandmother was diagnosed with "ALS" or Lou Gehrigs disease, she was expected to lose her life from the disease before the end of the year, diagnosis was in January and she ended up passing on in June of that year, she was my best friend from the time I was born until the time of her death. Also to mention she was blind and had lots of adversity in her life but I will never forget when she gave this to me, I don't think I will ever forget it and I believe there is mystery to this object!


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Elite Member

It's not very original, and it's not what got me started in magic or anything like that. However, Jamie, D. Grant's Anything Is Possible Bottle is such an inspiration. This is one thing that I do not know how it is done, nor do I want to know how it is done! Whenever I see this it just reminds me to keep moving forward with my magic and making up sleights and tricks. It does exactly what it is meant to do... It reminds me that Anything Is Possible!


Elite Member
Aug 31, 2013
In 2010, on May 14th, my wife gave birth to our first, a miracle. A fighter to say the least. He came in at 5 pounds 14 oz. and was born premature. His name is Owen. According to the doctors, my wife was supposed to have a miscarriage at least two times during the pregnancy. This was the third time my wife was pregnant, the first two ending in miscarriages within the first trimester.

My wife started to bleed around 5 1/2 weeks into the pregnancy, and we went in to see if she was going to have a third miscarriage. The doctor put her on bed rest, which she remained on bed rest for the rest of her pregnancy, nearly 30 weeks on her back. Again at 15 weeks we had a major scare. My wife's water broke, which usually puts a mother in labor, and the baby soon to be born. We rushed to the hospital very saddened to find out, the baby could not survive with very limited amounts of amniotic fluid (the fluid in the womb) which provides aid in lung development, muscle development and other needs. We were sent home with the news she would probably have a miscarriage within the coming week. To our surprise we found ourselves at the doctors again at 18 weeks, as the baby was still growing and was still alive. We found out at this appointment if the baby made it to or around term, he would only be born with one kidney as one was taken over by cysts. So he only has one kidney.

Around 20 weeks some kind of miracle happened and the sac where the amniotic fluid is, the hole sealed up and the sac started to fill with amniotic fluid. Not the amount a doctor would like to see, but enough that would provide Owen till he was born at 35 1/2 weeks. We had to see the doctor every week till he was born after that.

To this day we have to keep his legs stretched, or fear that when he grows, he wont be able to walk as his muscles are very tight. We stretch every day to keep his muscles loose and to work them out. We also do strengthening to help the muscles stay strong. The birth mark on his chest is a reminder as to how special and important he really is. He is most important to me in this world. He is a fighter and holds a very special place in my heart. Nothing will ever be more magical to me than this little boy.

Owen.jpg (dont know if the attachment worked so I added a link below to view the photo also.
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Nov 24, 2013
When I was nine years old my dad was in the military. One day my parents told me that my dad would have to go away to New York for four years on business and I was very sad because my dad was one of my most favorite people. When he came to visit one time, he brought me this little snow globe from New York and I just thought it was so cool. I always kept it in sight because it always reminded me of him and how I knew he was going to come home and to this day it still sits on top of my desk where I can occasionally shake it. My story may not be as worse as some men in the military with war and such and I thank all them for there service.


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Elite Member
Apr 28, 2009

This is the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic, Tales of the TMNT. Volume 2, Issue 30.

Published by Mirage Studios (headed then by Peter Laird, cocreator of the TMNT) on December 1, 2006.

While my name is not on the cover, this was the very first issue I had work I did appear in. The backup story for that issue, "The Mother of All Anger," was scripted by me. With pencils by Jon Landry, and inks by Derek Fridolfs (more on him in a moment).

As a kid, I loved the Turtles more than almost anyone. The cartoons. The comics. The movies. The toys. They were the first passion I discovered after my Dad had been killed. They were a reason to keep going.

They were - from the characters themselves, to who, and how they were created - like magic to me.

Fast forward, almost 20 years later. I've kept reading comics, watching cartoons. But I've graduated college. An English Major, I've had work published in a few magazines and newspapers. The big 3-0 is fast approaching. My Dad (who showed me my very first card tricks) had been dead for nearly 20 years.

Now, my Mom is diagnosed with breast cancer.

Everything suddenly feels like it's "Now or never." I figure there's nothing left to lose. I had become pen friends with the man who edited the Ninja Turtle comics. I had a ton of ideas for places to take the Turtles that they had never been.

I work up a short, 5-page script about Raphael, the angry Turtle. Why is he so angry? In the over 20 years of Turtle history, nobody had ever explored that. So I did, and pitched it.

And he (bless him) bit. I sent the script that night, and in a couple days time, I had sold my first comic book script. To one of the two creative properties that meant the most - and in many ways, saved me - when I was a kid. Deeply depressed and (survivor's) guilt-ridden (my Dad was killed by a drunk driver. I was in the car with him and the only one they were able to save), the Turtles gave my brain a safe, creative place to play.

The other creative property that "did it" for me was Batman. The first Tim Burton Batman movie came out exactly 11 months after my Dad had been killed. The character of Batman was an example of someone who took something horrible happen to him, and turn it into something good in this world.

The lesson was not lost on me.

And years later, an amazing artist named Derek Fridolfs went on to draw Batman.

After he had inked my version of the Ninja Turtles. Of course :D.

Thank you for reading, and best of luck to everyone!
Jun 13, 2013
Im a magician but on my off time i play hockey. Heres the story behind the picture. When i was kid my dad and my neighbors would go play street hockey every Saturday. I had so much fun and so did everyone else. In 2006 my parents became divorced. I became so devastated and did not know what to do. I felt like i had lost my father. After the divorce nothing was the same. My dad got married to another women with two kids. I did not get long with them. Never mind them though. The hockey stick in the picture is one from four years ago. It was one of my first pro sticks. I practiced year after year hoping to get the chance to play. My dad no longer supported me in anything i did. I was not able to play because of expenses. Recently my father and i got into and argument and i no longer see him. I have lost my father for ever. Although i became depressed i was recently able to start playing hockey. It has changed my life. The moral here is really something you don't see or understand, similar to magic. The moral is though, even though things can get hard something can turn it around. The stick is important because it shows my perseverance. I persevered all the years until i got to play. Don't let anything up. Never think there isn't a way out. The only way out, is through.
It is so easy, almost comforting to just sit and watch. Watch ideas come to life; watch those brave enough to take a risk and succeed; and to watch others grow and change so much that it inspires ourselves to be better and grow ourselves. It's so easy to look around and be fascinated by those who are so dedicated and great at what they do.

So very often I am amazed at what people are able to do, or just by how much dedication someone is commit in hopes to do make something happen. It is uplifting in every sense of the word. It makes me want to become better, myself. So very often, however, I find myself asking "how?", or saying to myself "later". Questioning if it could be done, asking if it's worth it or if it will lead to anything thing, I find myself at a standstill. Frozen from fear of wasting time, I end up not using it; and overwhelmed by the plethora of information, I end up not learning it. I turn to something of 'comfort', something 'easy' and my goals pile up on a bookshelf. For some reason, I think that owning a book or effect is just as good a having read the book or learned the skill. Stuck in a mental 'rut'.

With inspiration ever plenty, I needed -and need- motivation. A new book project was in the works by an author named Seth Godin and by chance I had stumbled upon it. I thought a bit of modern philosophy might be able to give me some insight. Months later, the book arrives, way more massive than I have ever thought. As I am unpacking it hoping to see what the contents of the book is, I see these great big letters printed on the box;


My only thoughts were that I agreed and not much more. The box sat around remained sealed with the book inside until I found the time to read it -of course- and in the meantime, I read the box some more every time I had a passing chance. The more I read it the more it made sense, and the more I needed to re-read it over and over. I decided to put it front and centre on my desk so I could see it every time I sat down. I decided not to read the book inside, yet (ironic - but, given my procrastinating tendencies, not surprising). I've already seen what I needed to see. The only way to grow is not to necessarily be successful or even learn something 'useful', but to just move forward. Do not be at a standstill. Just start!

Also, Jamie D. Grant's Impossible Bottle speaks for itself.
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