Looking to stay sharp and have fun? “Teach your grandkids a favorite hobby”, say the experts at Alzheimers.net. That is one of the best ways to “boost your own brain power,” according to a new study – examining the important connection between grand parenting and cognition.
Teaching your grandkids a simple and easy to learn magic trick is also the free bonus in the new e-book, “Amaze Your Grandkids.” This e-book also teaches seven amazing tricks to do for your grandkids.
I’ve been a professional magician for the past thirty years. My teacher, Tony Slydini, (also a professional magician, and one of the 20th century’s modern masters of magic), lived to the age of 89 years.
Another professional magician, Dai Vernon, (a person with whom I studied, but not as a long-time student), lived to 93 years. Finally, one of my favorite magicians, John Calvert, passed away at the age of 102 years. He toured until his 100th year. I’m not saying that doing magic will make you live longer. You can make your own conclusions.
I will say this, though, magic has it’s own special way of thinking. It’s kind of diabolical, and even secretive, but always intriguing. You’d be surprised at the number of times – while researching a trick, for example – I find myself saying to myself, ‘huh, what great thinking!”
Could there be a link between doing magic, or being a magician, and living longer. I certainly hope so! Let’s look at the kind of thinking behind doing magic, and I’ll let you be the judge.
Baking The Cake
Whenever I learn a new piece of magic, there is a good amount of old fashioned work involved. Sometimes it’s reading an article, or more, from a journal. Sometimes it’s reading a book, or more. Sometimes it’s watching someone else perform, or speak, about that piece of magic. And lastly, the time when I finally perform this new piece.
Truth be told, it’s a combination of all of the above.
Reading journals and books on magic can be great fun. At any one time, there are usually several books and magazines opened on my desk. Oh, I forgot to mention The Google! Indeed, some of the research is done online. There are countless sites that offer advice, reviews, and other information about magic.
I will tell you this, though, in my opinion, nothing beats the old fashioned written word. There is a battle that takes place online at a few of the sites mentioned above. Some argue that the best way to learn is from a book. Others disagree. I’ll stick with my library.
Watching videos of effects is a very popular method of teaching these days. Sometimes there is video of a performance that will compel me to go to those instructional books and videos to learn about the nuance of a particular performance.
There is recent push to do some of the instruction sans a verbal component. In other words the video is accompanied by just music, and shows everything you need to perform the particular piece of magic.
Searching the web. There are lots of sites dedicated to magic. Some are specifically opportunities to learn. Some are dedicated to playing card magic, some magic with coins. The internet has allowed a degree a specialization that could only be dreamed about when I was kid.
I love this kind of thing. Lots of opportunity!
Practice Makes Perfect
Yes, that old saw, “practice makes perfect,” is still true. Now, though, after thirty years, I know how to practice in ways that make me blush when I think of seventeen year old me.
When I was younger, I used to practice in front of a mirror for hours. Literally…for…hours. I remember one time my dad knocking on my bedroom door in the middle of the night and saying politely, “you should get to bed.”
I’ve learned how to practice effectively what it is that needs to be practiced. That’s something that comes with having done this since I was a kid. Truth be told, I love the practice.
The actual performance is really something. Everything comes together, and the person, or people to whom you’re performing, are laughing, their draws are dropped in awe. It’s hard to describe because they are in such a special place.
One minute the world is ordinary, the next, wham! everything has changed. Magic does that to people. To describe that moment I’ve coined this phrase: “Carpe Deceptum!” or more loosely in English, “Seize the Wonder!
Old Is New?
I’m not saying that doing magic will make you young again, but some of my favorite people were living proof that it might be so. Dai, Tony, and John, were among the smiliest people I’ve ever known.
Not only were their audiences a joy to watch, each of these magicians was a joy to watch; always happy, always laughing, always amazing.