I was your typical wild-eyed boy. When I was seven, I received a children’s magic kit as a birthday gift and I was just enchanted. From that time forward, I was always the kid in the front row for magicians at carnivals and the county fair. I couldn’t get enough and I wanted to be just like them.
When I was still quite young, I was at the county fair watching a magician, and he chose me to come up in front of everyone and do a trick. As I was quite tiny at the time, he asked me if I was standing in a hole. The crowd laughed and I could tell they were laughing with me. I felt so very special to be called out to be the center of attention that day. The magician was doing a trick with a trick deck of cards and that very day I went out and bought my first magic trick—a trick deck of cards.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was also my first lesson in magic. I was up there so the audience would focus on me and not the magician. It was misdirection, and it’s a tool I use to this very day.
From that point on, it was clear I loved magic. Christmas brought a second, better magic kid, the Blackstone Magic kit.
At first, it was just for fun, but when I saw David Copperfield and Doug Henning having yearly magic specials on TV, I wanted to be just like them, and that’s when I started looking seriously at being a performing magic. I was 15. By the time I was 16 I was performing at holiday parties, birthday parties, special events, and seasonal summer shows. I’ve been performing ever since.
From full scale stage shows, to walk-around street magic (and everything in-between), I love them all.
The magic for me now, is seeing the smiles, and looks of wonder and happiness, as I entertain.
I still go to see magicians perform and I’m still that wide-eyed boy in the front row.
In 2007, I took my then 9 year old nephew to see his first large scale illusion show. They sat in the audience together, and afterwards, my nephew asked his father: “Daddy I thought Uncle Gil did magic too, why is he having as much fun as me?” I have no idea what my brother said because I was thinking to myself “Because I am just a great big kid who will always love magic!”
I am that kid, and I always will be.