Year 2011 – Age 18 & 19
When I was just wrapping up high school, like many others my age, I was not 100% sure what I wanted my next steps to be. If you read my About Me page, you’ll know that at a young age I was obsessed with videography and magic. I knew I wanted to work in one of those fields. I had no interest in pursuing college even though every adult I knew was pressuring me to go, I knew it was not for me and I had no desire to pursue higher education. Magic seemed more fun to me, so naturally I chose to pursue magic. I already had a job in town working at Chic-Fil-A and I picked up another job at a magic shop an hour away. While working at the magic shop I was forced to demo magic everyday for hours. It was a brutal experience, but a great one. I can only do the change bag so many times before I start to lose my mind.
In this time period, magic was all I thought about. I got to see all the new tricks that came into the shop as well as read through the old books they had. That is when I really started developing The Poker Test. I had the idea of wanting to turn blanks into a royal flush for ages and I had multiple methods to try; half cards, sleight-of-hand, Svengali cards, you name it. It wasn’t until I bought an old Harry Anderson book from the shop for my own keeping that I stumbled upon my solution. I quickly made the gimmick up that day, and lo-and-behold, it worked perfectly. And as fate would have it, Gregory Wilson was coming to lecture at my local magic club. I had never met him before, but I had studied tons of his work at a young age and I knew I had to be at his lecture.
Long story short, his lecture was awesome, he was entertaining as anything and his magic was incredible. Before the lecture began I had pulled out my new gimmick though and showed a couple of the local guys my new trick I was playing with. The routine was miserable, it is the Almost Perfect routine on the DVD, but the effect still fooled them. At the end of the lecture, after Greg had sold all of his products, a couple of us were just hanging out in the room chatting when someone told me I should show Greg what I was working on. Though I was highly nervous I proceeded to awkwardly stumble through my routine. After seeing Greg consistently fool everyone in the room I was convinced my trick would pale in comparison, but to my surprise, Greg loved it. He instantly asked if I could teach him how it worked, and I gladly obliged.
Greg didn’t hesitate to call me out on where my handling was severely lacking and how he thought it could be improved. Greg went off to the side with the gimmick and just played with it for about ten minutes as we sat in a group and talked while I pretended like I wasn’t freaking out. When he came back he asked if he could perform his version of my trick on us. This was the first time anyone saw The Poker Test get performed and it was amazing. We decided to all go out to eat at a local 24 hour diner, where we refined the trick’s handling and performance until 4:30 am. Mind you I had to be at work by 5:30 am at Chic-Fil-A, but this was an opportunity I was not going to miss out on. While talking with Greg I brought up the idea of selling the rights to Penguin Magic, Murphy’s Magic or even him. After Greg entertained the idea of buying the rights himself he gave me a piece of advice I am still thankful for to this day. He told me to never sell the rights to the trick and to do the hard work of producing it myself.