Stephan Norwood: Magic
“I didn’t tell them I was a magician the night 10 of us went to Trattoria Pizzeria Panaretto at 1331 SE 17th Street in Fort Lauderdale.
That dinner was an opportunity for me to show what I could do. I circled our table and showed quarters vanishing from my fist then appearing from behind people’s ears. I showed them their wallets on fire and dazzled them with card tricks before our food arrived.
I have been performing magic since I was five years old. Magic is my life. It’s all about timing. My godmother bought me my first magic set in kindergarten and I have been practicing ever since.
The magic flows easily because of my years and years of practice. Malcolm Gladwell says in ‘Outliers, The Story of Success’ that it takes “10,000 hours to master something. I have put in far more hours into magic than that. Magic tricks were my show-and-tell in school, magic was my high school part- time job. Magic is what I went to the library to get books about. No one ever worried about what I was doing: they knew. I got a lot of positive reinforcement. I was good at it.
The biggest influence on my work is Michael Jackson. He could change his face and hypnotize an audience with his smooth movements. I studied every nuance of how he moved and incorporated some of it into my act. I studied his timing. Magic is all about split-second timing.
After all this time, I still love to entertain people with magic. Every trick has a different personality and requires a constant learning process. The tricks have to fit the show. What kind of show is it? A corporate convention? A Bar Mitzvah?
My first audience was my family, my cousins my grandparents. I performed for the family on every holiday, every birthday. Even at age five, I knew I had what it took to perform magic.
As a kid, my mother took me to see David Copperfield. We got dressed up and went to see him at the Landmark Theatre in Richmond Virginia. I knew that I could do what he did.
My godmother would buy me magic sets for every occasion and I would spend hours practicing every trick. I could amuse myself for days with the secret compartment in the black hat. I did magic on the school bus. I watched every magician I could on television or in local shows.
Once I graduated high school, I got a job at Kings Dominion, an amusement park and theatre in Doswell, a town just north of Richmond. I did five or six magic shows per day, six days a week. I worked there for 10 years and got to be fast talking and quick on my feet.
I initially came to Broward in the late 1990’s to perform on Discovery Cruise Lines. Since 2000, I have worked as a magician at the Blue Moon Fish Company 4405 W.Tradewinds Ave.in Fort Lauderdale.
I also travel to Las Vegas, Orlando, Washington DC, Atlanta and Dallas doing trade shows, corporate conventions, after dinner events. I will do Sweet 16’s, quinceaneras, cocktail parties. I entertain as many people as I can to establish myself.
When I get my own Las Vegas show, I will no longer be a Broward people.