"All the world is a stage; and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances: And one man in his time plays many parts..." William Shakespeare All the World's a Stage (From As You Like it 2/7)
I was born October 12, 1970, and I am the youngest of 4 boys. While growing up in Salt Lake City my parents taught us boys the love of the Arts, and Music. Some of my fondest memories of my childhood, was the 6 of us getting together and singing at family reunions. My favorite song to sing with my family is an old hillbilly song called "Good ol' moutain dew". Of course my family always said that I was the ham of the bunch,so they would have me get up in front of everyone and sing "I'm bringing home a baby bumble bee", guess I was the Ham, and I loved being the center of attention.
Other fond memories was of my mom teaching us boys how to Jitter Bug, Swing and Waltz. I grew up listening to my parents Oldies Rock and Roll; Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and Elvis Presley are still my favorite Artists to listen to, and it was always fun to learn the dances that my parents used to dance to. So I guess it was only natural that as I grew older I gained an interest in the theater, to carry on with the love of music and acting that my parents instilled in us boys. It seems that in a small way my parents gave me the spark that started the fire in me.
By the time I was in Junior High I was ready to try being an actor, so when try outs were announced for the winter play, I went for it. I was given the role of Ghost of Christmas Present in Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol. That Part lead to The Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of OZ and then Lazar Wolf The Butcher in Fiddler on the Roof. I loved Acting! I truly felt at home on the stage. In Junior high Magic wasn't a huge part of me, My eldest Brother introduced me to magic, He was a Clown and he had a few tricks that I eventually inherited and learned to do, but the magic bug never really caught hold until I was in 9th grade.
You see growing up everyone always asks a kid "What do you want to be when you grow up?" instead of the usual Astronaut, Policeman or Fire Fighter, I was an odd one (many to this day still say I am odd). From the ripe old age of 9 years of age my answer was always "I am going to be a Hollywood Stuntman!" Ah yes.....a Stuntman is what I wanted to be. It is funny how life's little turns takes you in different directions of what you want. As I said, it was in 9th grade that the magic bug hit me.
It all started with the morning reading class, the first day of school, I walked in and sat down with my book to act like I was going to read but was really wanting to sleep, I couldn't focus on the book I had, so I started to look around the room. I noticed a tall, skinny kid in the back of the room, I could not take my eyes off of his hands, he sat there reading his book and was rolling a coin back and forth across his fingers, I was mesmerized, right when I thought he was going to drop the coin, he would grab it with his thumb, drag it under his fingers and roll it across again, I thought at that time it was the coolest thing I had ever seen. The Class bell rang, I gathered up my stuff and went to talk to him, his name was Tim Riggs, and as it turned out he was a magician.
As Tim and I grew as friends he began to teach me tricks,Tim gave me my first illusions, The Zombie Ball, Dancing Cane, Topsy Turvey bottles, the more I learned the more I wanted to do. Soon I was his stage crew, eventually became his lighting and sound tech, and after about 10 years, started to design routines for his show. I was hooked, Tim taught me everything I know in magic. But I was still doing magic more as a hobby and eventually my parents wouldn't pay for the tricks because they were too expensive, so I started to perform magic to support the hobby. So I began to perform for birthday parties, and small gigs.
WHAT A TRIP! I love doing magic, seeing all the hard work come together to make someone smile, and be mystified. You know I always get asked all the time "What is your favorite trick?" I always have to pause for this question because the answer still amazes me when I say it, but my favorite trick is this. My favorite trick of all time is to bring a smile to someones face that is having a bad day, and to help them forget about life for awhile.
You see in Magic that is what drives me, it isn't the next biggest trick, or the stage that I love to be on. It isn't the adrenaline rush that I feel while I am performing. What makes Magic , magic to me is simply a smile.
Years later my biggest memory, and funnest times doing magic; is when I had the opportunity to perform for terminally ill children at a hospital in Huntington West Virginia. To see those kids forget that they were sick for just a few minutes and they were able to be regular kids again, was the best feelings in magic, they were able to smile and have fun.
Indeed, All the World is a Stage, and it doesn't take a wood floor or bright lights to be part of that stage, it just takes heart and a little time to bring out the magic in someone else....
After all as Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe once stated "Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, then you can make anything happen."