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1. How I Got Started In Magic

Published by in Personal ·
Tags: MyHistory
Hello. This is my first BLOG – E-V-E-R!   Hopefully, it won’t be my last.
My First Show
When I was about 7 years old, I was the magic assistant for my older brother who was just learning magic. We did our first show for the kids in our neighborhood and charged them a penny. My Mom made lemonade and served it to all the kids at the show.

For the show's finale, my brother levitated me. Pretty awesome, except the sheet covering me got caught and fell off exposing the trick.  That was our one and only show together as one of the kid's parents complained that we charged their kid a penny! Can you imagine? We might not been Penn & Teller, but the lemonade was at least worth a penny! And in case you are wondering, that was the first and last time I did a show for a penny.
Magic didn't last long as sports and my brother's interest in girls took our full attention. Magic tricks were put aside and soon lost and forgotten.

Although I enjoyed watching magicians on TV, I had never seen a magician in person.
 In fact, I hadn't seen a live performance of any type, except for school plays, until I was on a business trip to New York in 1988. That is when the magic bug bit hard.
The Magic Bug Hits
A friend asked me to join her and a friend for dinner. It just so happened that her friend was a magician.  Before we went to dinner he asked if he could do a “street show” to raise some money for his dinner.  I quickly agree and saw an amazing show! It wasn’t the actual tricks that he did that were amazing, but how he entertained the crowd. His performance was truly amazing.

He slowly gathered a crowd around him on a busy New York street – that in itself was a great trick. Then he began working the crowd, teasing the ending while performing some magic tricks that he had in his pocket. No big illusions or girls jumping out of boxes, just good magic entertainment. It had to be good and fast paced to keep the crowd of about 60 people involved in the show. Before he did his last trick, he passed around the hat saying, “Before I do my last trick, if you enjoyed the show, put some money in the hat.”.
You’re either good at "busking" or you starve. A very good incentive to be good at what you do!

He made about $60 bucks (that’s a lot in 1988 dollars) for about a 20 minute show and that was enough for his dinner.
His fun performance was enough to spark my interest in magic once again. The next day I went to the local magic shop – Tannens Magic, which turned out to be one of the most famous magic shops in the U.S.  It was truly amazing to see ALL THAT MAGIC in one place. I didn’t know such places existed. I was immediately taken back to my childhood. I bought a few small tricks and more importantly, my first book that I still have in my library, "Now you see it, now you don't" by Bill Tarr.
I took the tricks back to my hotel room, practiced and on the flight home, read the book and couldn’t put it down. I was like a little kid again – magic can do that.
There was no internet, YouTube or Google to seek out magic and there were no Magic Shops in the Tampa area. Books were the key sources of information and magicians, at the time, did not want to part with their secrets.
Clubs In The Tampa Area
On subsequent trips to Tannens I found out that there were two major International magic organizations: the Society Of American Magicians (SAM) and the International Brotherhood of Magicians (I.B.M.). I am a current member of both.
I soon found two great local Magic Clubs The Tampa Magic Club (IBM Ring 175) and The Tampa Bay Magic Club (IBM Ring 42 & SAM Assembly 82). I have been President for both clubs and am currently on the Board of Directors for both. I am also a Past President of the Florida Magicians Association. In addition, I have been the Convention Chairman for two major magic conventions that were held in Tampa.

Coming Next
In my next blog, I'll tell you about my most magical experience. Stay tuned to find out what it is.
In the meantime, if you want to comment on this Blog, have any magic related questions, need information about magic books, want information regarding the magic clubs in the Tampa area, need information about the wonderful magic shop in Tampa (The Magic Emporium) or would like some additional information about my magic shows -- give me a call at 813-249-7325 or email me at Ken@SpanolaMagic.com.

Let me hear from you.  Until then, have FUN and have a Magical Time!

Ken Spanola Magic
Website: www.SpanolaMagic.com
email:   Ken@SpanolaMagic.com
Like us on FaceBook:   www.Facebook.com/SpanolaMagic

Great Magicians I Have Met

Published by in History ·
Tags: MagicalHistory
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