Washington Magic/ The Final Chapter: The Ninth Strategy: Empower Belief
November 30

Washington Magic/ The Final Chapter: The Ninth Strategy: Empower Belief

Magic is not tricks; it is a way.
—Tenkai Ishida


Scene: This really happened to David Morey, who was doing his one-man play, A Magical Way of Thinking, at the D.C. Capitol Fringe Festival a few years ago. Onstage with him was a charming five-year-old from the audience. Laura was her name and, magically, she was creating a beautiful paper hat even though she had never made one before. She was finding her “inner magician” . . . becoming a magician. Onstage and in the moment. 


The audience was clearly touched by her transformation, and Morey engaged with them about it, not by talking about Laura directly, but by telling another story about something that really happened in another place and at another time. 


“This effect has taught me a lot about myself,” he explained. “It’s reminded me that magic is good medicine. Shamans say that anything you do to relieve suffering or to bring joy into the world is magic. 




“A few years ago, as I was just beginning to get back into magic—I had given it up when I was just a boy—and I was doing a show in London. Some friends who saw my act volunteered me at the hospital where Princess Diana once worked. 


“Well, ‘volunteer’ meant doing a show for the children there—about two hundred, as it turned out. Some were patients, some family members. 


 “One I will never forget. Sara. Four years old. 


“She was in the front row. Wheel chair. Tubes attached. Her mother doted and smiled, but Sara looked down, only down, sadder than any child I ever saw. 


“So, the show began, and I was trying to pull in two hundred pairs of eyes toward the magic. Sara, though, only looked down. 


“It crossed my mind to come down from the stage to Sara—but an impulse moved me instead to invite her mother up onstage with me. In fact, I invited her to do what Laura just did: find the Magician Within. 


“She looked at her daughter, left her side, and came up. Magically, as I knew it would, the hat formed in her hands. We were all under the mother’s spell—magician and audience together. The girl’s mother and I turned to Sara, her eyes now fixed on us and, across her face, the most beautiful smile on earth. She beamed. 


“Mommy was a magician!


“On that day in London, Sara and I both grew stronger.”