My background in magic started when I was a kid, being amazed at my
grandfathers' (now I realize SIMPLE) magic, and his having taken me to see
a fairly big magic show in his town.
I found out later that my mother, a professional actress when young, did
many shows as an assistant to the magician that toured with the acting
By far, my greatest influence was John Snyder, at that time of
Bloomington, Indiana. For some reason he took me under his wing and taught
me all of the ins and outs of magic, mostly philosophy and technique
rather than the tricks themselves. His ENTIRE basement was MAGIC! For a
young kid this is was an awsome experience, to walk into his basement the
first time and see the study, filled with books, manuscripts, filing
cabinets and bookshelves overflowing with magic. Then to have him sweep
the curtain aside to the rest of the basement, one or two rows of tables
overflowing with magic apparatus - it looked ENDLESS!
My specific talent was always card magic, give me a deck of cards and I
was always a happy guy. A lonely teenager (a nerd who also lived out in
the country), I had lots of time to practice. Juggling sock balls in front
of the TV switched to practicing card cascades and cuts and shuffles and
false cuts and shuffles and forcing and - well, if you do magic you
already know this, since you also wasted time in a similar fashion on
whatever YOU specialized in.