Magic Man

Hoosier community not ready for Japanese Magician 

My talent is doing magic tricks—cards, coins, etc. Some small miracles made me interested in magic.

Initially, I was really into music and wanted to learn to play guitar. But my parents didn’t permit me to buy a guitar, because I had to pass the hard entrance exam for high school. If I would have gotten a guitar at that time, I would have avoided studying for the entrance exam and might not have passed. My parents knew that not to buy a guitar was good for me.

The day that my parents said I could not get a guitar, I was really disappointed. Then, I turned on the TV, a magician’s competition was on. This is the moment that I became interested in magic.

The next day, I bought playing cards and started practicing tricks. I practiced in my room after everyone else had gone to sleep, so that I wouldn’t be disturbed. I never practiced for a set time; I simply practiced until I was satisfied with the trick. I think this is the reason my skills progressed rapidly.

Magic tricks are really useful for making first contact with a stranger. They can be a communication tool, because if we don’t have the common language, we can communicate through the trick. That said, during a short-term program in Seattle, I realized that I can make people even more surprised by speaking English smoothly and correctly.

The reactions between Americans and Japanese have many differences absolutely. Most Japanese people tend to see through how the trick is being done when I show them tricks. I think that this behavior and attitude is uncomfortable for performers. It seems like they are skeptical rather than having fun. On the other hand, American people seem to just like to have fun while they see performances—not only magic but also music, dance, and other performing arts.

I want to continue improving my English and magic. I believe that this will be very helpful for communicating and being friends with people from all over the world.

—Shuhei (Japan), hosted by the Shirley family (IN)