MAGIC MENTOR MONDAY: Harry Lorayne

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I once read an article about an imaginary magician’s contest. Exactly one hundred of the world’s most talented close-up magicians would be invited to compete. Each magician must stand at his own table, and a thousand laymen would freely wander the hall, gravitating toward the most gifted performer. The table with the biggest crowds at the end of the night, wins.

By the end of the night, a thousand laymen, plus the other 99 magicians, would all be standing at one table. The magician they’d be watching: HARRY LORAYNE

Harry is and always has been a dynamo – give him a deck of cards and an audience, and it’s off to the races. When he was younger Harry presented lectures to magicians that were legendary for lasting 6, 7, even 8 hours. His audiences got wrapped up in his crisp and punchy voice, his sly humor, and his rat-a-tat machine gun delivery.

If you’ve never heard Harry speak, his voice sounds like a mix between Regis Philbin and physicist Richard Feynman. It has a gravelly, old-New York quality that contrasts handsomely with his overly crisp enunciation. He speaks with a quick authoritative cadence that jumps out and grabs you by the collar. Or as he would say, “by the coll-ah.” You can take the kid out of the Lower East Side, but you can’t take the Lower East Side out of Harry.

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