I talk to business people about the role of perception in communication and interpersonal relationships. In performing magic, I bring about an awareness of how our perceptions are impacted, affected and easily misled and self-manipulated. When I perform magic it is to highlight the way people see the world and communicate with each other.
This morning I got to accompany my friend, Jimmy Ichihana, as he appeared on CW's Orlando affiliate station and amazed news reporter, Jason Guy. You can see the video of him astonishing Jason with a spectacular card trick below.
Tonight, Jimmy will make his first national TV appearance just like I did, on Penn & Teller: Fool Us. He’ll be performing a technically complex routine that uses sleight-of-hand. Which means there are no gimmicks, or "tricks" - it’s just pure, hard work.
I'm back at Bryn Mawr College in Philadelphia for my twelfth or thirteenth summer teaching at Tannen's Magic Camp. It's exactly as geeky and amazing as you imagine it to be. One week of the year, magicians from across the US come together to teach the future stars of magic. If you're really fascinated by this, you can even watch the documentary film, Magic Camp, where I make a quick cameo.
When I am here, I remember why I am here.
Over the years I neglected to ask my clients for testimonials. I was there to engage the audience! I thought the only proof necessary of a job well done was when my clients hired me back a second time.
But you and I know that nothing can help us make a buying decision easier than social proof. So at a recent business meeting I asked the person who hired me, a Director of Training & Development, to share her thoughts after I finished presenting my signature keynote, Think Like A Magician.™
The audience for this newsletter is business professionals. The first issue looks at how our brains are handling's today complex problems and gives you a cheat-sheet on how you fool yourself.
To enter to win, please submit a 1-minute video telling us why you should be selected. E-mail your entry here. Tell us about your passion for magic. Show us your favorite magic trick. Whatever you like! Winner will be announced on May 1st.
Scientists at NYU have proven what magicians naturally discover after performing a few shows—that laughter, surprise and joy create positive emotions that make occasions extra-memorable. Or in more academic terms, the researchers concluded that, “emotional brain states carry over and enhance future memory formation.”
This explains why the lessons I teach business groups are recalled so well when I return to those same groups, the following year. Because I start the meeting off with unexpected actions, phrases and ideas, I kick the audience into “an emotional brain state.”
Watching magic makes you happier and healthier. As long as it’s astonishing and awe-inspiring magic. That’s what science is showing in the new Parade article, “Feeling Awe May Be the Secret to Health and Happiness.” And it’s not the first time that scientists are providing proof for what magicians have been instinctually uncovering for centuries.
As a professional magician I have the front row to the amazing reactions that occur when people see magic.
Since 2010, See Magic Live has been a part of Orlando’s most celebrated and impactful fundraising efforts and events. All of our team magicians have entertained groups throughout the United States and the world. We take the greatest pride, however, in being involved in local efforts made by people in our own Central Florida community.
Next month we’re back to perform at the Runway To Hope Fundraiser. You can see the Facebook photo galleries from 2014 and 2015. You can buy tickets for this year’s event and join us for an amazing time.
As a magician, I specialize in surprises: creating unexpected experiences and memorable moments. While the unexpected is a great foundation to my art, it is a challenge for my business. People want to buy what they know; what they have seen, heard and touched.
Clients are hesitant to “buy the invisible” – as Harry Beckwith points out in one of my .
Most of the people who hire me, first see me perform at another event. They make the connection that what they have seen me do will be a perfect fit for their business or social event and they contract me to perform. About 80% of my contracts come from people seeing me in person. Booking these shows is a breeze. People have seen it, they know it, they want it, they get it.
In four fascinating interviews, this Esquire article showed how four different men in four different economic standings thought and acted about money, retirement and taxes. This article crystallizes the notion that no matter what our financial reality, it is our perception that impacts our happiness and peace of mind.
Reading the four interviews reaffirms the conclusion made by Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton that after a certain amount income does not have a direct impact on a person’s happiness.
Perception is instrumental to politics and storytelling is a powerful tool used to transform our perceptions. In an election, storytelling and narrative can be the decisive factor in voter turnout and decision making.
With the political campaign in full swing we all need to be reminded of the role that perception plays in creating narratives which then guide our choices. In this Op-Doc produced by The New York Times, political media strategist, Mark McKinnon, explains how “he was instrumental in shaping the way we perceived his candidates and their opponents.”
As a speaker, when I walk off stage, I enjoy hearing audience members talk about what stuck out for them or what lessons they took away. Last week I spoke to the salesforce at a franchise business and afterwards a gentleman named Dan greeted me with a hearty handshake and excitedly told me that he was awake the entire time!
“With my attention span, I can’t listen to any speaker for more than ten minutes in a row. You’re the first speaker I’ve listened to for the entire hour and I paid attention the entire time.”
Was it luck that Dan was so engaged? Or was it a good cup of coffee? And was the numberten a random number or was Dan manipulated and controlled against his will to say exactly ten minutes?
A new franchise of Wahlburgers is opening up a block away from where I live in Downtown Orlando and last night there was a sign on their door the likes of which you don’t often see.
“Training in Progress. Look forward to serving you soon.”
How would you feel if you saw this sign at your local restaurant? What about your bank? Or your doctor’s office? Would it make a positive difference for you if you knew the staff of the business you are visiting is training their staff so that they can serve you better?
As I continued walking, the next window featured several large sticky sheets covered with words and phrases.
On Sunday, November 15th, I received my prize for successfully fooling Penn & Teller on their TV show, “Penn & Teller: Fool Us.” I got to perform at their live show in Vegas.
And not just perform, but close their show. It was wild, sitting in the audience, watching them do their craft, laughing and being astonished like everyone else. And then half-way through the show, Penn pauses and says: “By the way, we’re the opening act tonight, so stick around and after we are done, you’re gonna see the performer that fooled us.”
In a weekly interview series with business leaders, the New York Times posted a video of Daniel Lubetzky, C.E.O. of KIND, where he talks about his early influence of learning magic and how it impacted him as an executive.
The learning process was an effort that “helped me for the rest of my life,” says Lubetzky. He mentions the skills he developed while learning magic that have been applicable for him in the business world. Lubetzky touches upon several topics that I speak to groups about during my workshops and gives crystal clear examples that any business owner can connect to.
This fall, my team of magicians and I will be teaching a Magic Class for adults at one of the most exquisite performing arts centers in the country, the newly built Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts in downtown Orlando.
Am I risking my career by exposing the secrets of magic?
Will I get kicked out of the magician’s alliance?
Yes. Totally. The secrets I am going to reveal in class will make even Penn & Teller blush.
I’m overwhelmed by the positive response to my performance on Penn & Teller: Fool Us. I’ve received emails and calls from around the world from friends and clients and have been following the fascinating online comments and posts from strangers on YouTube, reddit and twitter! Here are my answers to the most frequently asked questions:
Was Penn really mad at you?
The reason Penn was so angry is because he and Teller have done versions of this classic trick themselves.
I never imagined Penn & Teller would react like this. Is this real life?