Women’s Magical Wisdom

Many years ago I had a vision of a magazine column about Women in Magic– Well, nothing became of this vision, except some really fun interviews and articles that were never published– As today is Women’s Day I thought I would honor those sisters-oh-mine in the conjuring arts…. So here is the first article I wrote! I hope you enjoy it–




It is with great pleasure and excitement that I welcome you to my new column! My intention is that this will be an inspiring and thought provoking place for ALL of us who love and adore magic. Topics will range from practical, like costuming and marketing, to philosophical, like how to utilize your intuition. For the first article, I thought it would be fun to start at the very beginning,

*What Brings Us to Magic

*What We Love About this Incredible Art Form

*Why We stay Here despite the Many Obstacles

Upon interviewing magicians it becomes pretty clear right away that there is no one specific path that a person takes in becoming a professional magician.

              Ariann Black Magician

Vegas headliner Ariann Black’s mother tells the story about how Ariann did not speak even one word until she saw her first magic trick at the age of four. She was so enthralled by the trick that she not only started talking but she also figured out how the trick was done…  after that her fate was sealed. When singer, dancer, and magician Abigail McBride was a little girl her friend who was a little boy got a magic kit. She wanted to spend time with the little boy and he introduced her to the magical secrets. After years of performing music, Abigail was reintroduced to magic through her connection with Jeff McBride.  Juggler, magician and family show entertainer Ann Lincoln wasn’t even interested in magic until she was 20 years old and was juggling in a Renaissance Faire as a court jester. She wanted to expand her act so she started to learn a couple of tricks. Well, years later and a couple of tricks grew into becoming a professional magician.

At 30 years old, I found myself at my first magic convention. Already working as an actress and entertainer, it seemed logical for me to start working on sleight of hand skills, which came quite naturally to me. As I began to grow as a magician, I eventually remembered that as a little girl I loved magic and used to perform neighborhood magic shows charging a penny admission.

Oh dear reader and now I ask you, “What was your path like?”  Did you start magic at four years old like Ariann, or did you discover magic later in life like Ann? Or did you eventually, like Abigail and I, return to magic after years on a different path?

We all come to discover magic in different ways, yet I think you would agree, that for most of us, once you are involved with magic, it feel as if a hook is reeling you in closer and closer to discover the secrets and to touch people on a deep level….

Touching people deeply seems to be a common theme for why we do magic. Abigail says, “Magic opens people to the possibility that something unexpected can happen.” She loves performing her signature bubble routine where a soap bubble turns solid in a spectator’s hand.  This gives the spectator the motivating thought that if a soap bubble can turn solid, then perhaps anything can happen.

Personally, there are so many things I love about being a magician I could fill a year’s worth of articles… I get to be creative, I get to wow people and freak them out, take them away from what is ordinary to the extraordinary and I motivate them. I may not be performing in plays but the actress in me is still stoked that I get to perform constantly in front of all sizes of audiences. This profession is off the charts fun, it transforms me and my audience. Being a magician gives my life focus, purpose, direction and meaning. It challenges me and forces me to grow and on and on and on…. I remember at my first magic convention thinking, “My passion with all my work has always been to inspire people into believing that they can do anything. What better way to do that than through MAGIC?”

Ariann desires to take people to a magical place where anything can happen, “The reason I end with my soap bubbles is because I want to inspire people to believe in their dreams.”

              Abigail McBride Magician

Another common theme is connection. As we all know, the best performances happen when we are truly present and in the moment. We may be saying lines and doing moves that we have done hundreds of times before, yet when we are experiencing it as if it is for the first time, and really caring about our audience, then the performance is elevated to real magic. Abigail notes, “Magic allows me to have a positive impact on people; it allows another connection, changes my emotional state of being; I feel better after I do magic for someone.”

Ariann talks about being more interested in the volunteer than in herself. She wants to amaze her audience, to welcome them into her world and into her living room. In Ariann’s words, “On stage when I am performing I want all those strangers to come into my home. I want them to feel like they are on stage even if they are sitting way in the back seat; I want everyone to wish they were the person brought up on stage.”

Yet giving to others and connecting seems to be only part of the story.  Clearly we are magicians for what we get back from our audience.  Abigail notes, “Receiving positive attention is a human need. We each have different ways of getting it met.”

We all know how addicting it is when we are doing close-up magic and the spectators are reacting bigger and bigger each time the card rises to the top, or how unbelievably satisfying and delightfully rewarding it is to receive a standing ovation at the end of a tightly executed show.  These feelings feed us and give our life meaning. To me they are the biggest connection. No matter how I am feeling emotionally or physically, get me on a stage and I know what I am supposed to do. I will show up 100 percent and hopefully the audience and I will come out the other side of my show transformed. Ariann says when she does her manipulation act all headache and heartache disappear.  She calls it is a “breath of fresh air.”

Succinctly put by Abigail, “A standing ovation at the end of the show is a feeling like no other.”

So we do magic to inspire people; yet we also do magic for how it makes us feel. There is a direct relationship with how deeply we can touch people and how much validation we get back. Clearly stated by Ariann, “The more I give of myself as a performer the more I get back.”  Giving can be in the hours of long practice and the perfecting of your lines, giving can be opening your heart and really caring about the audience in front of you, giving can be studying, learning, reading, growing, purchasing a new costume ….

In each article I will interview a few different magicians about the theme of the month. I think it is fascinating that without my realizing it, both of the women in my first article have a soap bubble routine that really touches people.  Soap bubbles are beautiful iridescent spheres, yet they are also an illusion and hard to grasp… they are a perfect metaphor for why we do magic.