I remember long ago I had an affinity for the game Operation. For those unfamiliar, it was a game where you had to remove the vital organs from what looked like a mildly obese clown from the 1920's. In fact the commercial still get's me excited today. What captured me about this particular game was the need for complete concentration and a steady hand. I suppose I was destined for a profession where the same skills were necessary.
Many often ask where I got started. It's a difficult question. I equate it to asking a musician the exact moment they became enthralled by music. In my opinion it's mostly subconscious. When you're young, mystery and magic surrounds you because you're just starting to form rules about the world. So since I can't really say when I started exactly I will tell you about the moment that convinced me I needed to explore further. I was around six years old. My father was cleaning out an upstairs closet and I was in the same room watching him (or more likely playing Operation). He found a shoebox, dusted it off and removed a gentleman’s silk pocket square. A dusty, old, bright red pocket square. I remember it catching my eye. But that wasn't the amazing part. I remember my father rolling up his sleeves, tucking the pocket square down into his closed fist. In a matter of seconds the pocket square had disappeared.
That's all it took. A simple conjuror's trick convinced me that a life of legerdemain was where I belonged. This shoebox, unbeknownst to me at the time, was filled with old magic tricks, ephemera and novelties from the 1940's and had belonged to my late grandfather. I never had the chance to meet him as he died when my father was eighteen. But I'm told my grandfather had been interested in theater. He had been in his school plays and even starred in a few. But more importantly he learned sleight of hand to entertain his comrades while stationed in India during the war. As you can imagine I was delighted to learn that conjuring was in my blood.