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Gregg Tobo



In answer to the question, "How did you get into magic?" David Blaine replied, "You don't get into magic; magic gets into you." Magic "got into me" when I was seven years old. My uncle was an amateur magician and when I began to show an interest in learning the art of magic, he was my first teacher. Each time I would visit, he would bequeath to me a piece of magical apparatus: a magic box, perhaps an old book of secrets, the binding split and the pages yellowed, that I would pore over for hours at a time, eager to glean from it, the secrets of the art. When I was 12 years old, I started to play the trumpet. But next door to the music store, where I was enrolled in trumpet lessons, was a magic shop. So each week, after a dreary session of scales and etudes, I would run next door to hang out at The Top Hat Magic Shop, where I became a regular. The owner of the Top Hat Magic Shop, Mike Shannon, took me under his wing and when I was old enough, I began my work as a magician's apprentice. Working for Mike brought me into contact with all facets of the art of magic. After six years of apprenticing with Mike, when he felt that he had taught me everything that he could, he advised me to go to college to study theatre, to formalize my knowledge of stagecraft and drama. It was a turning point for me, as I learned how to script a compelling story, how to affect an audience as an actor, and how to take an audience on a theatrical journey. Magic returns us to a state of astonishment, a childlike state of wonder. Through magic, we are brought home to our natural state. Our world may seem dry, dusty, and mechanical. But magic opens our eyes to wonder, and reveals the truth: the world in an astonishing place. And so, for a moment, we regain a proper sense of perspective, and the world, once again, unfolds in its awesome, beguiling, and wonderful magnificence.