I just got to take a lesson from the world's greatest parlor magician.
It may be hard to imagine, but magicians have continuing education, too. We have visiting "professors" who lecture and teach.
It all began in the 1920's, when, from time to time, a "name" magician, such as Howard Thurston, Harry Blackstone or Dai Vernon would be in town for a show, and would drop by a local magic shop or magic club. From informal get-togethers, these visits became teaching sessions. The students saw a chance to learn real-world routines and ideas from full-time pros, and the pros saw a chance to make some extra money on tour selling books, tricks and "notes" from their lectures.
In the Baltimore-Washington area, we are blessed with some active magic clubs and some of the finest magic shops in the world, and there are world-class magic lectures happening here nearly every month.
This month it was Marc Oberon from the U.K., who won the World Championship in Parlor Magic at FISM 2009 in Beijing, China. He also holds the distinction of being a British Champion, European Champion and the winner of the I.B.M./S.A.M. combined North American competition in 2008. When you watch the video below, you'll see why.
The video says more than I ever could about the precision, elegance and artistry of this amazing man. What you don't see in the video is his tremendous kindness and generosity as he patiently taught a group of magi his pet secrets. Some of these techniques are so advanced it will take great time and work to master them - but what fun! Fun for me, and eventually for you.