About Dan Fleshman - St. Louis Magician
Dan Fleshman is a native of Oceanside, California, now residing in St. Louis.
"California was in my blood at birth and I always wanted to see California. I had that chance in May, 1982. This was the first time I had the pleasure to work the Magic Castle. Then in October, 1984, I took my lecture from San Diego up to San Francisco; this was more of a vacation than anything. I can see why most of the entertainment industry is located on the west coast. When I was out there it was sunny 19 out of the 20 days, beautiful weather and beautiful countryside make California the prettiest state I have seen yet. At the age of 16 I got interested in magic. I was doing most of the effects kids do when they begin, the ones you see your first magician do. In my case, that was the stratospheres and the crystal silk cylinder and a few other small effects.
"As time progressed so did my understanding in magic. I was buying most of my magic from out of town until one day someone told me of a shop downtown better known as DeVoe Magic Den. Gene has moved his shop to Maplewood on Manchester Rd. Gene DeVoe was my big influence when I was getting started. He took a liking to me for which I am grateful. Gene, in my opinion, is one of the best thinkers in magic today. When it came to magic effects I learned most of them on my own, but when it came to reason, performing presence and, most importantly, practicality, Gene was my teacher and, still today, stresses entertainment first, magic second. I am always learning something of great importance from this master of showmanship.
My family was very understanding when I started out in magic. What an addictive hobby it has become; it has become so addictive I am doing it full time now. I remember Christmas when I was 17. My parents (alias Santa Claus) bought me my first books in magic, Tarbell #1 and The Stars of Magic. This really kicked me into the book buying of magic material. When I was 17 I saw who I consider to be the one man who inspired me beyond the realms of belief. His name: Slydini. I saw him perform on the Dick Cavatt Show. The whole family watched with meas I saw how magic from that point on was to be performed. Two weeks after watching his performance I went out and purchased his two volume set, The Best of Slydini, and more. My mother about fainted when I told her how much the books cost.
"She didn't begin to recover until I had learned a couple of effects for her so she could then appreciate the value of the books. My forte is close-up magic. This is one form in which the audience can share your magic on a more personal and intimate setting. My dream, as I grew into magic, was to someday work the famous Magic Castle. The dream came true in May, 1982. 1 worked the parlor the first time out and the next time I worked the close-up room. The close-up room has got to be one of the best rooms to work in the country. The guests of the Castle are there to see magic so you couldn't have a better setting than the Magic Castle. There are many benefits to working the Castle. One of the benefits is meeting some of the greatest magicians in the world. Probably the greatest and most legendary of them all is the Professor, Dai Vernon.
"He has probably inspired more magicians today than any other magician. I know he had a lot to do with the way I work and perform. He is a theory man. Being natural is a point he has always stressed as being the most important aspect in magic. I own most of his books and the magic within is some of the best in print today. I always look forward to going back to the coast just as a visit or to work the Castle. I have been in magic for ten years, digesting anything I can get my hands on. I really- enjoy the lecture circuit. It gives me a chance to not only teach, which I thoroughly enjoy, but most important, I also learn something new in every city I visit. I have met so many great people through magic that are friends first, then magicians. To all my friends I say hello and thank you for all you have done in helping me put together my lecture tour. 'Friends: you can live with them, but you can't live without them.'"
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