You can blame The Ninja on this one.
I call Christopher S. Penn, "The Ninja," for a myriad of reasons. He also happens to be one of the most practical and well-thought-out working professional marketers that I know (and I do not say that lightly). Years ago, we were discussing topics like persuasion and presentation skills during one of our not-frequent-enough chats, when he introduced me to the book, Strong Magic by Darwin Ortiz. Penn’s reasoning is sound: if you really want to master the art of presenting, there are few people as amazing at presenting than a great magician, and this book is over-the-top with insights about how to work an audience, and how to turn a presentation into a spectacle (in the best way possible).
And then, it hit me.
When I was a kid, I was into magic. Really into magic. I loved it. I bought tricks. I had one of those old-fashioned hardcover suitcases that eventually became stuffed with all kinds of magic tricks. Yes, I used to perform at kid’s birthday parties. I’m not sure where that passion went (it probably evolved into some of the words that you’re reading right now), but it wasn’t something that I had thought about until I was halfway through reading Strong Magic. That book sent me back down another rabbit hole. One of watching magicians, learning how tricks are done, but – most importantly – reading a lot about magicians and how they weave their craft (hat-tip to Mark Levy and Steve Cohen as well).
It’s all magic.
The overall sentiment I share with those who ask me about my fascination with magic is this: if you understand how magic works, you know things about the human condition that most other human beings don’t know. While the tricks are simply tricks, it’s the manipulation of thought and suspension of belief that makes magic more real than most people know. In fact, it’s all about the presentation. One of the true masters is David Copperfield. Kevin Rose recently had an amazing conversation with Copperfield for his latest episode of Foundation (still, one of the best video podcasts out there). There is a ton of meat in this interview, and many interesting thoughts about how Copperfield blends magic with entrepreneurship and yes, even technology.
You have to watch this…
Magic is a hell of a lot of preparation.
Thanks so much for the kind words, Mitch.
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