Let me publish today a letter I received from Peter John Blastique of Marikina. I decided to publish it in full, because his concerns remind me of my concerns when I was still starting out in magic.
I’m sure his letter also strikes a familiar chord in many of our readers.
Here’s Peter’s letter:
Hi there, my name is Peter, and I am 26-yr old. I really adore magic. I’ve never performed any magic in my life, and I’ve never been in a magic club before. I really enjoy magic specially the so-called “street magic”.
I am somewhat a timid person. I am not a shy person but I sometimes find it hard to start a conversation with other people specially if I am not close to the person (not literally). I’m also not a good entertainer. I might not talk much, but that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t interested or I didn’t like the person talking to me. I have a lot of friends but only a few really know me inside and out because of my timidness. I am, in fact, very friendly. I like making new friends, it’s just that I’m not really good at talking/pleasing (I would still prefer listening) that’s why people would mistakenly find me as a snob.
I was inspired by David Blaine when I’ve watched “street magic” and “magic man”. It was a philosophical awakening for me. I really thought he was amazing. I wanna be like him; I wanna be a magician (not by profession, but at least as a hobby, a talent, an opportunity). I’ve contemplated about it and magic really entertains all kinds of people, it even breaks the language barrier. It doesn’t require too much talking, I just have to have a knowledge on magic and a sleight of hand.
I am glad I found your website, because I know in my heart that this Club will help me to be a better person. I don’t intend to be a professional magician, I just want it to be a hobby. I don’t intend to make a living out of it. We’re not rich but I know I’ll survive even though I don’t have a high-paying job. I’ve already read some things on your website, and it seems that you guys meet every Wednesday at Quezon City. I stay at Marikina, and I’ve never been to Pepeton’s Grill. Anyway, I guess I’ll be able to see it on wikimapia.com.
I have a few questions like, do you guys accept someone who doesn’t have an experience performing magic? What if I didn’t get the passing score during my performance. Will it mean failure to be a member?
That’s about it. I really hope you could consider my application, because I really want to be a magician.
Thank you for your time reading this and hope to hear from you soon.
Thank you for writing. You remind me of myself when I was still new to magic. I was not only shy or timid but flat out an introvert. I had trouble starting a conversation. I couldn’t even look people in the eye. The only thing that was not wrong with me was that I loved performing before an audience even though doing so scared me to the point of near incontinence.
I’m sure many other aspiring magicians believe they are similarly afflicted with social-skills dysfunction of varying degree. The good news is, many of them conquered it when they started performing magic.
Let me tell you a true story. Just a couple of years ago, a concerned father of a 14-year-old boy brought his son to Inner Magic Club and signed him up. According to the father, his son was experiencing problems in school. His teacher complained to the father that the boy was so shy he wouldn’t even talk in class even when the teachers asked him questions. The boy loved magic so much that the father thought it was worth a try to encourage him to perform in the hope that performing before a live audience regularly would cure the boy’s shyness.
Well, the father was proven right. Only after a few months in Inner Magic Club, the boy began performing magic before audiences made up of strangers and enjoying every second of his performance. In fact, he now thoroughly enjoys performing that it is sometimes difficult to reign him in. To make a long story short, he has conquered his shyness and now functions normally in social surroundings.
Studies have found out that man’s greatest fear is public speaking. People would rather jump out of an airplane than deliver a speech before an audience of strangers.
Well, magic is the same as public speaking, perhaps even more difficult, because its performance involves sleight-of-hand, staging, choreography and stagecraft. If you can perform magic before a live audience, you have gained the power to change yourself into a better person.
Magic has that potent power to conquer the “social deficiencies” you enumerated in your letter. I am the most compelling testament to that.
Now to answer your questions:
Do you guys accept someone who doesn’t have an experience performing magic?
Yes, we do. We are looking for members who will share our vision and help us carry out our mission. (Please read our Mission and Vision statements.) You must be interested in magic, but you need not be as skillful as Jeff McBride to gain entrance into our fraternity.
What if I didn’t get the passing score during my performance? Will it mean failure to be a member?
Please read our criteria for judging the acceptability of applicants in How to Apply for Membership. Study the requirements and prepare yourself, so you can fulfill them to the best of your ability. If you undergo your initiation seriously, I don’t see any reasons why you would fail.
Yes, we have turned away many applicants over the years. Most of them did not take their initiation rites seriously. Many did not share our culture. Some of them found our requirements for acceptance stringent. A number failed to fit in the group.
That some applicants failed to pass the IMC initiation rites just prove that our firewall is working perfectly well to keep away the mere curiosity seekers and the magic enthusiasts with half-baked interests in the art.
If you resemble none of the above, you should not worry about not being accepted.
Visit us one Wednesday night (I suggest on May 14, as we will have stage magic competition that night.) Enjoy an evening of magic and the camaraderie. See for yourself if Inner Magic Club is the organization you want to belong to.
Watch 9 champion magicians compete in the grand finals of Inner Magic Club’s magic contest.
Plus an evening of magic, comedy and illusion performed by the country’s top magic entertainers.
At 7:30 PM, November 14, 2008, Philamlife Theater, UN Avenue, Manila