"How did you get into magic?"

...is a common question I am asked; I imagine I'm far from the only magician--or artist--to hear this. It's an interesting story, too, and I thought I would share it with you here.

It started in the 6th grade. I had just turned 12 years old, and middle school wasn't working out for me. My parents had played with the idea of homeschooling me for a few years, going far enough to get approval from the superintended of Watertown Public Schools. February, 2009, is when I spent my last day in public school and my first homeschooled. The stress immediately fell off of my shoulders, but along with it came something I hadn't anticipated; more free time then I had ever had before. 

In an attempted to relieve myself of boredom, I rediscovered a magic set I got when I was 9. Back then I had gone through a phase of loving magic, as I believe almost every child does, before moving on to the next exciting activity. But here stayed my magic set, and here I opened it up for the first time in years. 

I quickly learned a card trick involving the aces and proudly showed it to anyone who would watch. I then took to the rest of the tricks in the set and learned them all in the following months. It was sometime during the summer when I exhausted that set. I was hooked, and I wanted more.

My mother took to Google to see if there were any magic shops near Boston. To our surprise, there happened to be a shop very close to Boston; in fact, it was located in Watertown, 5 minutes from our house. Naturally, my mother wasted no time in taking us (my younger brother, Patrick, included) to the store, "Ray Goulet's Magic Art Studio".

The shop was a small store packed wall-to-wall with tricks, photos of famous magicians, and collectibles. Stepping into a magic shop for the first time is a truly magic experience. My mother bought me 2 new tricks that day, which I diligently practiced over the course of the week to ensure I wouldn't tip the secret while performing.

At the magic shop I learned about the Society of Young Magicians (SYM), a national club for kids interested in magic. The Boston assembly was a large and active one, and met once a month. October, 2009, was my first meeting of the SYM. The coming years of visiting the Magic Art Studio (and eventually working there) and attending SYM meetings would help me grow as a magician, and kept the flame of interest alive. 

 Photo credit: Bob Keene Photography

Photo credit: Bob Keene Photography