#adventure17 v.7

18 Jul

Starry-eyed & breathless: Have you ever been here before?

Me: No.

SEB: Oh, but you’ve always dreamt about it, right?

Me: Um…. not really, no. Though I guess this place is pretty cool.

SEB: No, I meant: you’ve always wanted to do this. Or, like, you’ve been dabbling in it since you were a kid and you finally decided to get serious about it.

Me: Ha! No. Not even close. Are YOU serious??

SEB: Yes! Very much so. I’ve wanted to do this all my life and finally my brother and his wife gave me a gift certificate for my birthday. It was the best gift EVER! …. So, um, if you don’t really care about it, what lead you to sign up for this?

Me: Mmm, well, honestly it seems kind of ridiculous and I don’t know anyone who does it, so I figured ‘why not?’ because that’s just how I roll, you know? “What is everyone else doing? OK, then, CZ will do the opposite.” ❀️

…. And that is how you do NOT make new friends at Magic Class…

Yes. You read that correctly: I have enrolled in a 6-week Introduction to Magic class for my July #adventure17 challenge (although it actually started back in June). 

I am now 4 weeks in, and I can definitively say that this class has been a highly entertaining & enlightening in ways not-at-all-expected, and, dare I say it? almost like real magic!


First of all, my instructor is 88 years old and he’s been a professional magician for approximately 88% of his life–no joke! I could write *pages* about the truly Amazing Mark Wilson and his lovely assistant/wife of 63 or 64 years, Nani Darnell (it depends on which one of them tells the story and how late it is when they start talking), but you would never believe me, so I won’t even try. Except to reflect that anyone who is still actively working in a professional capacity (and teaching a night class, no less!) at age 88 is clearly a magical human being —not to mention– a couple that’s been married for that long…. 😳 well…. that is an applause-worthy trick-and-a-half for sure!

Also this dude LITERALLY wrote The Book on magic, which retails for $30 and was included in our tuition, as were–somewhat unexpected-but-awesomely: 3 decks of cards, a couple ropes, some rings and marbels, a coin or 2, a felt magician’s mat, an Academy of Magicβ„’ tote-bag, pen, and business card case, and assorted other magically accessories, accoutrements, and whatnots, and dog-knows what other tricks and treats that might yet befall us in our 2 remaining sessions!! πŸ€—

PLUS… underneath all that magic hoo-ha, Mark & Nani are just badass, awesome, adorable, cranky, hilarious, warm, complex, inviting-yet-standoffish REAL people. Schlepping through rush-hour to get to Hollywood (gah!) and then not getting home until 11:00pm on a “school night” (double-gah!) is actually a real treat–or, indeed, REAL MAGIC–for me thanks to these two people. 

I feel like I am receiving is SO MUCH MORE than the value of my $300 class/supplies fee when I get to watch them bicker at each other as they edutain us for 2.5-3hrs a week for 6 weeks. #adventure17 #moneywellspent #wellplayed #moreplease

But wait! There’s more!

For $300, not only do I get 6 weeks of grade-A magic classes taught by 2 amazing human beings who continually bestow magical tools and supplies upon me, I also get to enjoy “limited membership” privileges at The World Famous Magic Castle during my academic tenure. What-what?! πŸ™ŒπŸ½

Indeed, last night (July 17, when I was supposed to be writing this post–oops!) I got to take my Lead Donkey Trainer (i.e., my fieldwork supervisor) to The Castle as my guest–FOR FREE!

Plus, “member” valet parking is only $3! IN HOLLYWOOD! At a very exclusive Members-Only Club!!

So now you know: THAT IS SOME TRULY REAL MAGIC right there, for sure!

Alas, I cannot reveal any of what goes on behind this Academy Of Magical Arts step-and-repeat display. No pictures are allowed. No tricks/illusions can be revealed. The magic happens inside–both literally and figuratively–and you need to experience it and believe in it (or not) for yourself.

But what I can tell you is this:

When you believe,

When you TRULY believe, 

When you really and truly believe in Magic… then I can tell you with 100% absolute certainty, that it can–and will–transform you in ways that completely transcend reality and your expectations.

Two days after my first magic class, on a complete whim, I decided to bust-out a trick on a 29 year old dude who was recently added to my case load. He had suffered a brain stem stroke ~2 months previously. Fit-and-healthy 29 year olds DO NOT suffer brain stem strokes. Or, if they do, then they will–95% of the time–die. Or if they happen to survive, then they will FOR SURE not EVER be able to walk or talk or feed themselves. 

So of course this guy was put on my caseload. 

And of course we hit it off immediately.

And of course he is all about meditation and mindfulness and outdoor recreation and unconventional lifestyles and philanthropy and exploration and adventure and experimentation, hope, and gratitude.

So why not teach him a magic trick even though all available data and common sense indicate that it will fail in epic ways…

I did the rubber band trick. 

He and his mom were gobsmacked and mesmerized.


Can you teach me?

Magician’s Ethics says: “no,” 

My Lawyer’s Logic cycles through some facts: He is severely ataxic. He has severe/persistent diplopia. He has been unable to follow 2-or-more-step directions. He is highly labile. His right hand as no functional capacity. So, again: No.

But my OT Therapeutic Use of Self says: “Hell yes!/slash/Let’s give it a try!

So I shared the trick’s secret with him and worked with him to set things up and talked him through the steps and let him practice and gave him feedback and let him practice some more while I turned my back on him so I could address some concerns raised by his mom and the next thing we all knew …. HE DID IT!

He not only did the trick successfully, he also managed, somehow, …..magically, if you ask me…..to seemlessly incorporate his right hand into the trick and then go on to display other feats of fine motor coordination that 100% SHOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE given his condition, but….


He believed.

I believed. 

Magic happened.

In ways no one could have predicted. 

And stories like this have continued to happen each week as I have randomly selected patients to become my magician’s assistants and trialed new tricks with them as they practice newly emerging skills with me and together we drop the jaws of our unwitting witnessness as we defy odds and transform ourselves into glorious, magical beings.

And that, my friends, is some truly REAL MAGIC right there.

#adventure17 v.7

It’s not at all what I expected. 

It’s better. 

It’s magical. 

And for a low, low price it can liven up your next birthday party or social event…

4 Responses to “#adventure17 v.7”

  1. Amanda July 19, 2017 at 3:29 am #

    Magic indeed

  2. katerinadiaviano July 19, 2017 at 11:20 pm #

    Love it. Uncle Gock was just asking about you. I shall inform him of your latest adventure😘

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