First thing I did when Hart came up to me with a deck of cards in his hand, was try to get out of having to see him do a trick. Honestly, that was my initial reaction. Perhaps I’ve been jaded. I don’t remember ever seeing a smarmy magician do cheesy tricks. Maybe I did and then proceeded to block it out. I was sure not wanting to see any tricks last night.

But he was so dang charming. Right away, I knew he was an absolute professional. Not only did he do amazing things and leave me completely floored. He also won me over as a new fan to the genre of illusion. I could not figure out for the life of me how he could have done any of the things he did, but I saw him as a genuine artist.

He is someone who clearly loves what he does, and that alone, would draw people to him. He has joy and laughter about him. He is respectful. He has learned to overcome objections without looking like he’s putting up a fight. And he’s a terrific mentalist. Part magic, illusion, and mind-reading with the rest filled in with pure humor and wit. True wit. Not jokes. Off the cuff, circumstantial, perfect for right now with this group, because it’s based on us, and our personalities. Situation-Specific. This is called really paying attention.

How did he turn dollar bills into $100 bills by tapping them? His hands went nowhere. He didn’t have time to run to the ATM and back with crisp new hundreds. What the heck?How did the card I signed my name on end up folded into quarters in his shoe? Seriously? I was standing right there, watching his every move. He never once got his hand anywhere near his shoe. I won’t describe too many of his tricks, because the audacity of them and seeing them unfold before you, is half the fun of his performance. I don’t want to take away from any of the pure shock value of witnessing him on stage.

While he was mingling with us, he was warming us up so that we were already in the palm of his hand by the time he took the floor. By the time he stood before us, a crowd of probably 60 people, he knew all our names. He remembered every single person’s name in the room. (I don’t even know every single person’s name, and I work with these people. We have several branches, so I don’t know every person in each branch. I know all the other managers, and I’m familiar with the names of the rest of each team, but don’t always have them associated with faces. And I sure don’t know every spouse’s name.)

He had us roaring laughing, utterly perplexed, wild-eyed in wonder, screaming because what he was doing was not-in-any-realm possible, and having a truly entertaining evening.

He renewed my belief in magic. It’s funny how I can love the whole idea of magic, and then try to dismiss someone who walks up to me with a deck of cards. I just didn’t want to have to do a fake laugh thing, or feign surprise. I never had to fake or feign, I tell you. He was so delightfully different. If he used a familiar prop, it was to do something we weren’t expecting. He brought props I wouldn’t have thought could be used in a magic trick. And after a few of those, I stopped thinking I could guess what was coming next. I just enjoyed the ride, all the twists and surprises, my boss-lady telling him she thought he might be the Devil, and the whole company howling with laughter.

If you have anything to do with the planning of events, you will want to visit his website. If you are in the Pacific Northwest, you can catch him doing the mingling thing in a variety restaurants. He is on Facebook and Twitter, and he is Brilliant.

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