Magic and Romance

Chalk and cheese, apples and oranges, magic and romance — all things that do not go together.

Or do they?

As someone who has used their magic successfully in the pursuit of love, I would argue they are not as alien as one would think.

In fact a massive part of how I met, connected and ultimately won the heart of the love of my life can be credited to our wonderful art.

My little tale hearkens back to last year’s Magic and Meaning Conference.

Hanging out with my fellow magicians at the aptly named Witches and Wizard’s ball, I was messing around with my pack of cards and trading tips with my fellow magi when an attractive girl caught my eye.

Rather than crudely march up to her with a tinned chat-up line I chose to stay with my friends and wait for a more opportune moment to communicate.

This duly came as I was leaving for the night, and I chose the rather unusual approach of showing her a magic effect.

I learned her name was Lara and, rather than use a cooker cutter presentation, I decided to use the presentation I had been inspired to formulate at the conference for the Roy Walton classic Pass At Red.

She loved the trick, we swapped details, kissed for the first time and it was the beginning of a fantastic relationship.

Of course that was far from the last time magic would influence our relationship.

We have since enjoyed shows in Vegas, wondered at the genius of Tamariz at the Magic Castle and of course I have showed her my own pieces old and new alike.

Mike and LaraI even chose to ask for Lara’s hand in marriage using less than conventional means.

On this occasion I used my teacher Jeff McBride’s favourite Magic Wishing Rainbow effect, with a bit of a difference – the appearance of an engagement ring was the climax.

Luckily everything went well and the magic was a success beyond my wildest dreams, with many tears of joy, and it made the story of our engagement an even more special memory.

One interesting point is that a few of the guys I have told the story think it is cheesy, the women all seem to find it very romantic.

I guess it may be an idea to do an ace assembly or oil and water if the target of your affections happens to be a man.

Broadening out, I think my example shows there is definitely a place for magic in the pantheon of romance.

I believe the key is I used conjuring in an organic way, as a way of communicating and enhancing a genuine interest in another person.

If I had been conceited enough to formulate a series of pick-up tricks and corny presentations as a tool for picking up women I have no doubt the experiment would be a spectacular failure.

Instead the magic was used in a spontaneous way to add to what was already a genuine attraction.

Using tricks that fit your personality, and that communicate more than a pointless effect, is also important.

In effect, and to refer to the classic Eugene Burger and Robert Neale book, I used magic with meaning, and what followed was true astonishment.

Additionally, the pivotal pieces of magic that I have used went beyond effect, and communicated something about myself.

I do not claim to be a great magician or any sort of authority on the subject. In fact I would say that I have more than a small way to go before I am anywhere near achieving my goals in this regard.

However I cannot overemphasize the joy that being able to fuse my love for magic and the love for the most special person in my life has given me.

A common stereotype of a magician is a geeky, awkward character with poor social skills.

In fact I fit very much into this tradition, with a love of sleights, secret methods and hidden knowledge one of the key reasons for my love of the art.

And despite all my achievements in life to date, at heart I am still the uncool kid who loves heavy metal, comic book characters, obtuse philosophical ideas and science fiction.

Additionally, as I become more integrated into the magic subculture, I encounter many kindred spirits in the world of geekdom, certainly far more than I do in other aspects of my life.

However one of the great things about magic is it can bring one out of one’s shell because of it is at its heart a performing art.

It is truly a way to meet and communicate with people in a fun and engaging fashion.

I can truly say that magic has given me more than I have ever been able to contribute to it.

And if you follow my example perhaps you can find something truly meaningful thanks to your passion for magic.

Lara’s perspective

I would not be fulfilling my journalistic duty if I did ask Lara her thoughts on the subject. Here is what she had to say:

“Magic has always been a curious thing, and magicians, apart from the silly tricksters, carry an air of mystery around them.

“That night at the Witch and Wizard’s ball, it was easy to pick out the magic school boys, because they were all carrying around a deck of cards, and talking amongst themselves.

“I’ve never been approached by way of magic trick, so when Mike chose to break the ice using a card trick that was laced with an interesting story, my interest was piqued. Who was this guy? I’d soon find out.
“Magic has been an integral part of our budding relationship. Even in his marriage proposal, Mike used a magic trick. I can tell you, it’s very important to have a cool engagement story, and now I have mine.

“Magic was the catalyst and the caveat Mike used to bring us together, and I very much love that. It was amazing to see that rainbow ribbon turn into an engagement ring!

“Of course there has to be an attraction there to begin with, but magic could definitely make someone stand out from the crowd.

“Funny thing is, we are to be married and he still hasn’t told me any of his magician secrets!

“I’m still always wowed and amazed at the things he’s able to do and the hard work and practice he puts into his passion. I’m proud to have a magician by my side.”

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