17 March 2015

Thirty seconds with Michael Close

This is the ninth in a series of "Thirty seconds with ..." interviews, so called because I approached the interviewees at Sorcerers Safari Magic and Performance Arts Camp last summer with the idea that I would interview them for 30 seconds. It didn't always work that way.

I remember sitting at a picnic table outside the Mess Hall.  Michael was chatting with a group of campers and showing them some fabulous effects.  He then kindly agreed to let me interview him.  At the conclusion of the interview he said, "I've given you my time for your interview.  In return, you need to give me some of your time so I can show you something."  (A price I was only too happy to pay!)  Michael illustrated for me the interconnectedness of all things as not one, but two decks of cards mysteriously divined a card I'd previously selected.  Our time ended with a delightful discussion of probability and statistics. 

Professional magician Michael Close was born in Cleveland, raised in Indiana, lived and worked in Las Vegas for twelve years, and now lives in Toronto.  Michael first learned about Sorcerers Safari Magic and Performance Arts Camp from his wife, Lisa.  He enjoys the location of the camp, the relaxing environment and especially that the instructors are always available to interact with the kids.  He likes how the camp setting breaks down barriers and gives kids access to the pros.  Teaching at Sorcerers Safari gives instructors a chance to offer to the young magicians, viewpoints grounded in classic principles.

Michael prefers "The Lord of the Rings" to "Harry Potter" and the original "Star Wars" movies (IV-VI) to "Star Trek."

Michael is currently the editor of M-U-M, the magazine of The Society of American Magicians.
His first memory of magic is as a five year old.  He still remembers every trick Dick Stoner performed at his school in Fort Wayne Indiana.  Michael is concerned that the approaches and principles of magic are being forgotten because the kids today aren't being exposed to them.  He hopes the young magicians of today will learn to value secrets, respect history, and to value the experiences of those who came before them.  His advice for aspiring magicians:  "1) Don't forget that magic performance requires engaging people, it's not just performing for a camera. 2) Be well rounded and interesting to people outside of magic. 3) Learn to be engaging without doing a trick. 4) Read."

What is Michael's favourite non-magic activity?  Being an awesome dad, of course!

Visit Michael's website at MichaelClose.com .

From Sorcerers Safari's Facebook page:

Previously published "Thirty seconds with ..." interviews:

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