Blog — palming

The Story Behind the Palming Series

The Story Behind the Palming Series 0

Looking back on the skill sets I’ve used to make a living during my life (magic, jazz piano, writing/editing), I realize that most of what I know about those subjects I figured out by myself, without any formal training. I did have an excellent high school English teacher my senior year; I received degrees in music theory and composition; and my time spent with Harry Riser was invaluable. But I grew up isolated in a farming community in the middle of Indiana; books were my mentors, and I studied everything I could get my hands on. As I absorbed that information, I was also unconsciously absorbing the process of learning how to teach myselfthe information.

My father provided inspiration as I did this. He came from industry, and for twenty-two years he taught in the mechanical engineering technology department at the Purdue campus in Indianapolis. His great gift was as a teacher; he understood how to break down information and impart it effectively. I learned from his example.

Just because someone does something well doesn’t mean that person can explain the process. I found this especially true in the case of jazz musicians, who often simply play what they hear. They can do it, but they can’t tell you how to do it. More important, they can’t break it down so you can learn how to do it.

When I first began lecturing for magicians, I was extremely dissatisfied with my efforts. Chuck Fayne took me aside after one lecture and said,