Magic Saved My Life

Nov13 coverA magician stands at a fork in the road. One path leads to magic; the other path leads to dangerous behavior, possible incarceration, and possible death. (So, let the reader be warned.) Chris Westfall is a remarkable magician in more ways than one. On the surface, he seems fairly ordinary; an arsenal of card tricks, rubber bands around his wrist, a mildly goofy, slightly off-Sankey sense of humor. None of that seems to explain how busy he is. He currently juggles four restaurant gigs in Toronto in addition to professional close-up gigs. In the summer he adds a series of kids’ day-camp workshops that fuels weekends full of children’s shows. Of course, he’s not organized enough to give me an exact figure, but a back-of-an-envelope estimate has him doing about six hundred dates a year.

 

His mindset is eminently practical. He is more interested in creating something new and personal than he is in fooling magicians – which he does on occasion. High art is never the goal and you will never find him stroking his goatee and waxing poetic about how magic “should” be done. He has a very well-defined sense of what kind of magic suits him.

I’ve known Chris for years; there is more to him than meets the eye. When he speaks, he gives the impression of not being very bright. It’s an illusion that comes from the conditions he grew up in. Time that should have been spent in school learning the prescribed subjects was instead spent exploring magic videos and books. He constantly builds his repertoire, both through learning new material and creating his own. And he keeps copious notes, something that comes as a complete surprise, since he is incapable of stringing together a coherent sentence in an email.

The question is: what makes Chris Westfall tick? The obvious explanation might be that he was simply fortunate enough, in the ninth grade, to stumble onto a subject that excited him; he latched on to it the way other youth might gravitate toward hockey, drama, guitar playing, or fantasy novels. No academic subject attracted him; Chris had discovered magic.

Read Chris’ full story in the November issue of M-U-M by Clicking HERE.

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