Norden the Magician
Updated: Apr 13, 2021
What is magic?
There are so many styles of magic out there that it’s really hard to pinpoint. Magic is the illusion of seemingly impossible feats. It’s a performing art, in which audiences are mesmerized by a series of tricks. Magic is effects created through the belief of supernatural means.
Putting it all together, magic is ‘special effects meant to entertain the audience.’
It’s practiced deception.
As magic is one of the oldest performing arts in the world, shouldn’t we all feel a certain obligation to know a little bit? Many have argued that parents should encourage their children to learn a few magic tricks. Magic is said to improve self esteem and helps to developing acting skills. Magic can play a pivotal role in lateral thinking, and often it works to make one more socially aware.
These are all fabulous reasons to get a few tricks under your belt at a young age, but what if a grown man suddenly discovers that magic is his calling?
This is the story of Norden, and a hobby that became a passion and then a much loved profession.
It almost seems fitting that Norden discovered a love of magic at one of the most magical places on earth. In the year 2000, Norden and his wife took a life changing trip down to Disneyland. After a few days of exploring the happiest place on earth, Norden wandered into Mickey’s Magic Shop on Main Street, just to waste a bit of time while he wife was shopping.
The merchant, Magic Mike, stood behind the counter, demonstrating tricks in order to entertain the customers. Norden was instantaneously enthralled.
He watched the Master intently, paying close attention to every single move Magic Mike made. Norden was determined to uncover the mystery of each illusion and figure out how each demonstrated trick was done. Hours were spent studying movements, gestures, gaze, distractions and assorted props.
Each new demonstration brought about both amazement and bewilderment. Lucky for Norden, each trick had a price tag.
Floating Card? Norden bought the trick.
Vanishing Coin? Norden bought the trick.
Ace of Spades in your pocket? Norden bought the trick.
Time and time again, Norden threw down his credit card, eager to learn and even more eager to master. He left Disneyland with an overabundance of magic books, plus enough tricks to keep himself busy for the next few years. This fascination didn’t stop in Disneyland though. Once Norden was back from vacation, he became a daily regular in the magic shops. He gained the trust of local merchants, and was then mentored by many in the magic community. Practice makes perfect and Norden’s skills improved each day.
It’s hard to blame him. Magic is mesmerizing.
Regardless of age, we can’t help but be entertained when someone pulls a quarter out of our ear or produces a colourful scarf from a seemingly empty hat. We have all fallen prey to the ooohs and ahhhs affiliated with the captivation of vanishing acts, escape feats, levitation and being sawed in half. For many of us, we can’t figure out how these illusions were accomplished. We know that our eyes were deceived, but the majority of us rarely venture further trying to figure it all out. Magic is a mystery.
The allure of magic absorbed Norden. Channeling his inner child, as well as his inner Houdini, Norden began to amaze friends and family at every opportunity. He started by learning simple tricks, and then worked his way up to more complex illusions.
His first show was for his niece. Uncle Mike the Magician took the stage.
It wasn’t long before word of mouth worked its own magic and offers began to filter in, such as birthday parties, Cub Scout meetings and elementary school performances. There are definitely moments at the beginning of Norden’s career, where he looks back on performances and cringes with regret. His wife and biggest fan, Nicole, always accompanied Norden along to his stage performances, endlessly supportive and always encouraging him to continue on. The book Silly Billy changed his magic life and everything seemed to go up from there. Norden learned the power of pack small, play big. Hauling around a heavy tickle trunk jam packed with propaganda was fun, but not efficient. He learned which tricks worked for which age groups and how one of his best stage props was just to be silly.
His rubber chicken, Rufus, definitely got Norden some media attention and it was through this magical partnership that he caught the attention of the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Connecting with like minded individuals took his magical talent to a whole new level and Norden became club president the following year. Leaving the city, Norden began the Fraser Valley International Brotherhood of Magicians in 2013, with 65 magicians, and is still an active member today.
“Being able to perform magic has had a enormously positive effect on my life,” Norden admits. “I can walk into any crowd of people and instantly become the life of the party.”
Magic is a universal language and is thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.
Norden has been the recipient of Child Entertainer of the Year not once, but thirteen times. Though predominantly known as a childen's magician, Norden possesses an artistic talent and a unique sense of humour that proves to keep adults equally as enchanted.
There is no one as humorous, charming, funny and magic, all at the same time.
The last year has been a struggle. The restrictions implemented due to the COVID-19 outbreak have forced limited gatherings and the cancellation of parties and festivals around the world. The art of magic has almost vanished in a puff of smoke.
“As a magician, I am very limited to what I can do online,” Norden says.
A magician’s job is to give the audience the illusion that absolutely nothing is impossible. The pure wonderment of magic works to make your worries disappear. That’s what this talented magician is set on accomplishing.
We can’t let the art of magic become a vanishing act.