Wednesday, October 21, 2015


How to make our own Future a great one!!

If you have ever seen the sci-fi action, movie trilogy “Back to the Future” you know that today is a very special day.

Today, October 21st, 2015, is the exact date the movie’s main characters Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and Marty McFly (Michael J Fox) traveled into the future to (from the 1985). And what a ride it was!

So how does our real future compare with the movie’s image of the technological advancements supposedly made?

Well some ideas are bang on: 3D movies, giant flat screen TV’s, video/computer glasses, finger print security technology, video calling, hover boards and flying cars (primitive, but they do exist), and cars using alternative fuel sources.

Some not so; home food re hydration machines, nuclear fusion powering for cars and house hold appliances, time travel, self-tying sneakers (although Nike says they are very close and the first pair promise to Michael J Fox), the prevalence of fax machines, self-drying clothes, anti-gravity boots, and the legal banishment of all lawyers (darn).

They also totally missed the mention of the internet. No one saw that coming.

But still it is kind of neat to be in the supposed future that was imagined back then.

And if you really think about it, many of the future inventions that have been realized are really the creative extensions of what existed back then taken to a whole new level. You just have to be open to the possibility that “anything is possible” and can be achieved.

So how can we do this in our own lives to create our own future?

It is a process I call The Magician’s Magic Formula, and exactly what every professional magician from Houdini to David Copperfield have used for turning something imagined into reality.

The first rule that every magician is taught is that, “nothing is impossible”! There is no trick, illusion or piece of magic that cannot be created. What the mind can conceive and believe can be achieved. Such is the same with life and our goals in creating our future.

If you can imagine it, it can happen. It is only a matter of time, effort and constant determination.

Real magic is nothing more than coming up with simple effective solutions to complicated problems and doing something about them. The trick here is to take the first step and make a passionate, radical commitment to what may seem to be an impossible future or goal. Then just follow through. Constant action!

Your passion in wanting the attainment transforms your goal into a “sacred, magical quest” that can inspire yourself and others to provide you with the answers and resources you need. And remember, your passion is the key!

The second rule on how to making your magic happen is “the vision” of what you want to achieve. This is critical!

To create a magical illusion for the stage, like say floating a person in thin air, the magician visualizes how everything (the action, sound, lights and choreography) will look and feel to the audience and then works backwards. They put together step by step the elements that are necessary to make this magic happen and then do it.

It’s like the artist who chips away the parts of the block of marble that are not in their vision – what remains is “the vision” they had originally imagined.

The trick here is to make the vision as detailed as possible. The more detailed the vision, the easier it is to create the steps to get there.

Do you have a detailed vision of what you want to achieve and how to get there – or what it will look like?

And here lies the real trick – the real magic secret to making our dreams come true and the future WE want to create.

We have to really want it. We have to be prepared to do what it takes to make our own magic happen.

Knowing what it is you want, figuring out a way to get it, and staying with it to turn our dreams into a reality.

Are you up to challenge?

Remember Real Magic is nothing more than coming up with simple, effective solutions to complicated problems, and then doing something about it!

Or as Doc Brown would say, “Your future is whatever you make it, so make it a good one.”

PS: See Doc Brown himself make this happen at

PPS: Go Cubs Go!!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Wait Is Over - Heroes Reborn!

The wait is over!

Finally I can talk about it.  Earlier this summer I had the pleasure of doing some "magic consulting"  on the forthcoming Heroes Reborn TV show which starts this week.  Looking forward to see what actually made it into the final cut.

Heroes Reborn is an upcoming 13-episode "event miniseries" scheduled to premiere on September 24, 2015, as a continuation of the NBC science fiction serial drama series Heroes.

Thursday, September 10, 2015


They all laughed when I said I wanted to learn how to lap swim, until I jumped into the pool!
This week marks two and half years since I decided I wanted to lap swim to get into better shape.  How hard can it be, I thought.  So I went down to our city pool, and as they say, dove right in.  
Well I could barely make one pool length (25 meters).  The second length really put me out of breath.  I was wiped, but did not give up.
For the next six months I went 5 times week and slowly built up some endurance. Swims were usually around 30 minutes.  Now I was up to 200 meters, but it was still very hard.
Then I got some good advice on technique and just kept at it.  Swimming 4 to 5 times a week (usually first thing in the morning or during lunch) each time going just a little farther, a little stronger and a little faster.
For over the last year now I usually go 3 to 4 mornings a week and do what is called 40 over 50.  That is 40 lengths (1000 meters) in fifty minutes.  That’s how I start my day.  Am I bragging – darn right!  I am proud of my accomplishment.
Am I the fastest fish in the pond?  No way, but I am doing what I want to do and keep improving.  I always keep in mind the saying “what would you do if you knew you could not fail!”
Real Magic is nothing more than coming up with simple effective solutions to complicated problems and doing something about it!
Here’s to making all our magic happen!

Saturday, April 04, 2015


The Real Inside Secret Of The Rabbit From A Hat Trick And How We Can Use It In Our Life And Business!

Quite often the actual history of the “art of magic” is more deceptive than the illusions it creates. A perfect example of this is the “rabbit out of a hat trick”.

This particular illusion is probably the one most thought of illusion when talking about a magician’s tricks. And yet how many of us have actually seen this trick performed?

I have been in the magic business most of my life and can only recall seeing this done maybe once or twice. However even more bizarre is this trick’s “origin” and the power in the real life lessons it teaches.

It all begins in merry old England with this recorded tale.

“Some time in the late summer of 1726, Mary Toft, the wife of a charcoal burner living near Guildford, one day returned home to pour out to her husband Joshua, a distressing story that whilst coming through the forest she had been assaulted by a huge white rabbit. Some time later, following the development of the usual symptoms, the local physician Dr. Howard attended her and later certified the delivery of a number of white rabbits.

Not unnaturally, her notoriety spread far and wide and it was even rumored that the King, George II was considering the question of a pension for her. So gullible were the people of this time that it needed little else but audacity to trick one's way into fame and wealth.

Possibly in an endeavor to hasten the decision on a Royal Bounty, Mary announced a further event of a similar nature. Sir Richard Maningham, Physician to the Court, was not at all happy with the situation and had the lady conveyed to London and placed under the strictest supervision. Eventually, Mary Toft was brought before the Courts on trial, charged as a common cheat. Evidence was produced that the girl in question had attempted to bribe attendants to smuggle to her the rodent animal.

A confession was obtained from the prisoner but there appears to be no record as to the method by which the woman duped both the attendant midwife and then the local practitioner.

At the time, a magician in the City whose name unfortunately is not recorded advertised in the Broadsheets that at his entertainment the following day he would produce his latest illusion, "The Birth of a Rabbit". The announcement brought him a packed house.

In the course of the program, the performer borrowed from a spectator a tall hat, then much favored by fashionable people and, having shown it empty, produced alive and kicking, a large white rabbit. The effect was an instant success and as is so often the case, was immediately copied by other conjurers.

From that moment, right down to the present time, magicians have been producing bunnies from hats.”

Source - Will Ayling - Author, Magician and MIMC.

I love this story, not only because of (if you pardon the pun) the tale itself, but also because of the three important lessons it teaches about being successful in life and business.

Lesson number one – “learn to see normal things in unusual ways”!

If you want to come up with creative, simple solutions to complicated problems develop a knack to see life and things in a completely new way.

Obviously Mary Toft’s story is a great example of this, but so is the use of the Top Hat! Our magician did not use a “magic box” on a dimly lighted stage to create the bunny.

Instead he borrowed a gentleman’s top hat, which was the common fashion at the time, to make the magic happen. The use of a “regular, every day hat” to produce magic of this type was unheard of back then. The end result was an iconic creation of a magic trick that has endured for hundred of years. Mike Yurosek also knew this secret. Mike Yurosek?

Mike is the “think outside of the carrot patch” carrot farmer that created the packaged “baby carrots” that we now all enjoy. Tired of seeing regular carrots tossed out because they were twisted, bent or broken, he created a way to repackage them into the perfect 2-inch minis that have taken off as THE nutritious snack. Just like our magician, Mike learned to see normal things in an unusual way. How can you use this in what you do?

Lesson number two – “learn to ask the question how can I make this work for me?”

Our magician took Mary Toft’s unique story, and publicity it was generating, and made it work to his benefit. His advertisement of the new illusion “The Birth Of A Rabbit” drew people’s interest and created packed houses all because he asked “how can I make this work for me”? Bill Gates also knew this secret.

Having Bill look at Apple Computer’s, people friendly, operating system and asking how can I make this work for me created much of Microsoft’s initial success. He created Windows for PC’s and the rest was history. What can you create by asking this question?

And finally lesson number three – “emotion sells!”

In life EVERYONE buys with emotion and justifies with logic. This applies to buying goods, services, and into ideas and beliefs. In order to entice people and get them to take action you have to appeal to their emotions. Our magician understood that the public was emotionally charged with Mary Toft’s story, and so by appealing to their curiosity and interest he got them to buy a ticket to his show. Mother Teresa also knew this secret.

Throughout her life Mother Teresa was a tireless advocate for the poor and helpless, who was able to use the power of emotion to inspire many others to aid her cause. Countries, politicians and people around the world were sincerely touched, and moved to take action. What can you achieve by touching people’s emotions?

There you have it, three simple actions that were understood by three simple people – a carrot farmer, a computer guy, and a simple nun – and produced “magical results”!

Yes these “ordinary” people were able to influence our entire culture in ways that have touched all our lives. So how can you use this magic in what you do?

Only you can answer that question. But you can achieve remarkable things for you business, your life and the lives of others. It all starts by asking some magical questions and taking action.

Have a vision.
Start seeing normal things in unusual ways.
Ask the question how can I make this work for me?
Remember emotion sells!
Go for it and never give up.

And soon you will be doing more than pulling a rabbit out of the hat. You will be making your own real magic happen!

Remember Real Magic can happen only when people believe in themselves and are passionate about making a difference in their own life and the lives of others! Have focus! Be passionate about what you do! Create your own Real Magic!!

PS: I have to go now. I am practicing this great new trick with our bunny “Chocolate” and an iPod!

Saturday, March 08, 2014

A Magical Salute To Some Special Ladies!

The best is yet to come!

I wanted  to celebrate International Women’s Day with a heart felt thank you to the two very special ladies in my life – my wife and daughter.  Two women who have excelled in creating their own magic and in making the world a better place.

My wife Suzanne is very recently retired from a very remarkable carrier in Education.  She has been a Teacher, Special Education Consultant, Vice Principal, Principal, Special Consultant to the Ontario Ministry of Education, and for the last five years as Superintendent of Education in charge of Special Education and Twenty First Century Learning for the Halton Catholic District School Board.

Superintendent of Education, Special Education Services

She has spent her whole life in improving the education and quality of life for so many people she has touched.  And still she has found the time to remarkably, and unselfishly, impact the lives of myself, our daughter and our families.  Thank you so much.

The other special lady in my life is my daughter Jacqueline.  Just in the process of finishing her grade 12, she has excelled at becoming a Nationally competitive synchronized swimmer, a continued honour roll student, and a smart, funny and very gifted young lady.

That’s her in the bottom middle with her BOSSC team mates.


She has gone from daddy’s little girl  – to an amazing magical assistant and gifted artist – to a beautiful and talented young woman who has touched the lives of so many others.

Both are currently away in Florida as a week long, intensive, final training camp is underway in preparation for the upcoming National Synchro competitions in Quebec.  However they are so much in my thoughts and heart right now.

My wish in celebrating this special day for women everywhere, is that you too are graced in having special ladies in your life that continue to make the world a better place.  A magical place.

Remember Real Magic is nothing more than coming up with simple, effective solutions to complicated problems, and then doing something about it! But Real Magic can happen only when people believe in themselves and are passionate about making a difference in their own life and the lives of others! Have focus!

Be passionate about what you do! Create your own real magic!

PS:  To see some other remarkable women who have made the world a better place check out:

Thursday, July 25, 2013



Helping To Celebrate A 65 Year Old Magical Spirit!

On Sunday, July 21st, 2013, I had the great honour of performing a special magic show at Honest Ed’s 65th Birthday Party!  And what a Party it was.

David Mirvish (Ed’s son and now the Mirvish impresario) welcomed the crowd which included police chief Bill Blair, local politicians and dignitaries, and hundreds of customers; all of who were treated to free hot dogs, cake, live entertainment, theatre tickets (courtesy of the Mirvish theatre empire) and other giveaways, and bargains, bargains, and more bargains.

For those of you not it the know, Honest Ed's is a landmark, “truly one-of-a-kind”, discount store located in midtown Toronto that sells everything from twine to wine in a most unusual way. It is named for its creator and proprietor, Ed Mirvish, who opened the store in 1948 and oversaw its operations until his death in 2007.

Prominently located on the corner of Bloor and Bathurst Streets Honest Ed’s runs the whole length of the block and looks more like an old time theatre than a store. The exterior is covered with huge red and yellow signs advertising the name of the store, lit up like a theatre marquee with over 23,000 light bulbs used.   But the “electricity” does not stop there.

The interior is over 160,000 square feet of thousands of bargain priced items ranging from house wares to clothes to grocery items, and a whole lot of fun!

You see amidst the regular merchandise are the store's unique decor consisting of posters and photos from old films, stage productions (many from Mirvish's theatre productions - Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, Disney's The Lion King, Mamma Mia, etc) as well as of actors and musicians who performed in them.

Plus the walls are crammed with autographed pictures of show business personalities such as Frank Sinatra, Liberace, Lauren Bacall, Jimmy Durante, Celine Dion and countless others (many personally dedicated to Ed Mirvish himself).

For lovers of unusual memorabilia and collectible antiques there are also many unique historical items, which once were part of Ed's former World Famous Restaurant and Market Museum, that are for viewing and for sale.

And every piece of store signage, inside and out, is hand-painted with puns and slogans such as "How cheap can a guy get? Come in and find out.", "Only the floors are crooked”, and “Welcome, don't faint at our low prices, there's no place to lie down!”

Bottom line – Honest Ed’s is an extremely magical store that is not only a unique selling environment, but a “one-of-a-kind”, live, entertainment experience.  And here lies the real magic!  This is the magic of Ed Mirvish.

The magic started in 1948 for Ed after years of smaller, unsuccessful, entrepreneurial ventures and then working his way up in the grocery business.  With the help of cashing in his wife's $212 insurance policy, his unique business sense of what the customer really wanted, creativity and imagination, and his “never give up” attitude, Honest Ed’s was born.

Originally stocked with all kinds of odd merchandise purchased at bankruptcy and fire sales and displayed on orange crates, this unique no-credit, no-service, no-frills business was an immediate success. Honest Ed's (billing itself as the world's biggest discount department store) gradually expanded to fill an entire city block and it was soon bringing in millions of dollars a year!

The business kept expanding and the rest, as they say is history – an artist’s village, restaurants, theatres, and a magical legacy of giving the customer what they want AND always giving back to the community.

Now I could go on to write an entire book on Mr. Mirvish’s ideas, deeds and accomplishment, but no need to, as Ed has written a couple of great ones himself (

But what I would like to say is that Ed Mirvish, and Honest Ed’s is a great reminder that if you really pay attention to what the customer wants and needs, give it to them in a fun and honest way, and really strive to make your customer into a valued member of your family, you will succeed.

You will have changed someone’s life in a positive way and created a life long memory.   You will have made magic happen!

Happy Birthday Honest Ed’s!

PS:  Honest Ed’s Company Motto – “The nicest people in the world pass through our doors: our customers.”

PPS:   Honest Ed's and the Mirvish Empire are not overnight sensations or the result of simply throwing money at something to make it happen.  It is careful planning, observation and constant action (and a whole lot of elbow grease).  Remember Ed only started with $212 and a dream.  What can you do?

Monday, July 01, 2013

The Light Bulb, Five-Pin Bowling & Instant Mashed Potatoes – Making The Impossible, Possible!

Revealing some Magic Secrets behind these, and many other, Canadian Credited Inventions.

There are hundreds of great inventions from all over the world, however in honour of Canada Day I wanted to explore the magic behind some of our own inventions.

If you were to ask any Canadian to name something invented in Canada, the more common answers you most likely would get are Insulin (Banting and Best), the Telephone (Bell) and the Robertson screw (Robertson).  In reality there many more, such as those listed in my title.

The Light Bulb, although credited to Edison, was actually first patented by Henry Woodward and Matthew Evans in Canada in 1874 two years prior to a patent being granted to Thomas Edison.  Edison later purchased this Canadian discovery when he was making his original investigations and before he obtained his own patents.

Five-Pin Bowling was invented in 1909 by Thomas F. Ryan in Toronto, Ontario, at his Toronto Bowling Club.  It was created in response to customers who complained that the ten-pin game was too strenuous and took too long to play. He cut five ten-pins down to about 75% of their size, and used hand-sized hard rubber balls, thus inventing the game of five-pin bowling.

Instant Mashed Potatoes was invented by the Canadian scientist Edward Asselbergs in 1962.  Although the mashing of a potato probably dates from antiquity, the industrial method of “preparation of dehydrated cooked mashed potatoes” was not created and patented until 1962 by Asselberg.

The list goes on and on:  the Canadarm, Electron Microscope, Wonderbra, Basketball, Superman, the Paint Roller, Bloody Caesar, the Pacemaker, IMAX, and the BlackBerry, just to mention a few more. For a more complete list of Canadian inventions visit:

However as diverse as all these inventions are, the systems behind their creations remain quite similar (and not just Canadian).

SOLVE A PROBLEM!  The most successful inventions and innovations BEGIN by someone having a desire to “solve a problem”.  There is a need that already exists (whether commonly known or not) for something that solves a problem or advances our way of life.  And the greater the problem the easier to fuel the next step, passion!

PASSION!  Once you discover that something needs to exist to solve this problem, and YOU realize you can do this, a fire is born.  This fire becomes a burning passion!  An itch that cannot be scratched enough until this problem is solved – no matter what it takes!  You need to constantly feed this passion so seek out those who can help you do this and ignore the naysayer.

NEVER GIVE UP!  This in many cases is actually the hardest step – doing whatever it takes to achieve your goal, for as long as it takes.  In reality it can be easier said than done; because no matter happens you have to keep moving toward you goal!  The magic word here is “sacrifice” – how much are you willing to give up to do what needs to be done?

As a life long “magical student” I have become quite attuned to these “simple steps” that when employed correctly can produce truly magical results.  These are powerful results that can benefit not only our own lives, but the world at large.

So what is the take away?  Are there some basic steps that just might help us create our own magic?

Life is about the moment!   If something ‘sparks” a great idea in you – act on it – NOW!
Hang around positive people who will support YOU!  If you want to move forward you will need help from those that will build you up – not knock you down.

Be passionate! Sorry, life is over way too soon – go for it NOW!

Never quit.  As the old saying goes (but hey its true), when life gives you lemons make lemonade – or better yet a “new style” lemonade stand.   Keep going and always look for a better way to help others.

That’s how we make Magic happen!

Remember Real Magic is nothing more than coming up with simple, effective solutions to complicated problems, and then doing something about it!

But Real Magic can happen only when people believe in themselves and are passionate about making a difference in their own life and the lives of others! Have focus! Be passionate about what you do! Create your own real magic!

PS:  My program THINK LIKE A MAGICIANHow to create a “making the impossible, possible” FOCUS shows students or businesses exactly how to do this.