SAM Pres: Diversify and Grow

Richard Dooley

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article was originally published for subscribers of the Free Inside
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The Hartford Courant carried a syndicated story about SAM president Richard Dooley and the organization’s mission to recruit a new generation of magicians.

The battle to keep secrets secret in a world of instant access for
all who are merely curious is just one of the issues featured in the
story.

Mr. Dooley shows his modesty and humble approach to the job through comments in the article.

It’s a job that pays in prestige but little else. Dooley
gets no salary or stipend for his one-year term. “This is my way of
giving back to magic,” he says, while sitting in a
small conference room in the Mutual Life building in Enfield, Conn.
It’s in this rather unmagical setting where the 44-year-old Dooley
works his day job as an assistant vice president for the insurance
company. He lives in Tolland, Conn., with his wife and three children.

Mr. Dooley correctly identifies the moment when the Magic Bug
forever locks its jaws into a young person’s psyche. “When a trick
really works, the audience gasps and then there?s the applause,” he
says. “The first time I heard that gasp, I knew I wanted to do this.”

Of course the opposite experience can not only deter future magicians from the art but also ruin it for the rest of us.

Magicians can be their own worst enemy in this sense,
Dooley says. Overeager to perform a trick they have just learned, an
unprepared magician tries it on stage. Not only does a botched illusion
ruin a show, Dooley says, it can ruin the trick for other magicians.
Teaching the importance of preparedness was part of his campaign for
the position.

Although
the deliberate exposure of secrets is always a concern, Dooley says
there haven?t been any major problems recently. Or, at least, nothing
like the uproar of 1998, when Fox ran a series of TV shows hosted by
“the Masked Magician.” The point of the show was to demystify classic
illusions.

“By doing that, what he did was hurt working stiffs like me,” he says.

Mr. Dooley is optimistic and realistic in his view of the internet’s place in magic’s growth.

He is not deterred by the new internet sites “revealing the
mysteries behind magic tricks have popped up in recent years.” The
internet can bring more young people into the fold.

New SAM Dean George Schindler is encouraged by Mr. Dooley’s
approach. “We want membership growth and to bring more young people
into it ? the old magicians are dying away. Richard Dooley is a young
fella himself, so he?s got a…

Richard Dooley

[This
article was originally published for subscribers of the Free Inside
Magic Daily News.  See what you’re missing.  Exclusive
stories for subscribers only.  To Subscribe today, use the form in
the column to the right.
]


The Hartford Courant carried a syndicated story about SAM president Richard Dooley and the organization’s mission to recruit a new generation of magicians.

The battle to keep secrets secret in a world of instant access for
all who are merely curious is just one of the issues featured in the
story.

Mr. Dooley shows his modesty and humble approach to the job through comments in the article.

It’s a job that pays in prestige but little else. Dooley
gets no salary or stipend for his one-year term. “This is my way of
giving back to magic,” he says, while sitting in a
small conference room in the Mutual Life building in Enfield, Conn.
It’s in this rather unmagical setting where the 44-year-old Dooley
works his day job as an assistant vice president for the insurance
company. He lives in Tolland, Conn., with his wife and three children.

Mr. Dooley correctly identifies the moment when the Magic Bug
forever locks its jaws into a young person’s psyche. “When a trick
really works, the audience gasps and then there?s the applause,” he
says. “The first time I heard that gasp, I knew I wanted to do this.”

Of course the opposite experience can not only deter future magicians from the art but also ruin it for the rest of us.

Magicians can be their own worst enemy in this sense,
Dooley says. Overeager to perform a trick they have just learned, an
unprepared magician tries it on stage. Not only does a botched illusion
ruin a show, Dooley says, it can ruin the trick for other magicians.
Teaching the importance of preparedness was part of his campaign for
the position.

Although
the deliberate exposure of secrets is always a concern, Dooley says
there haven?t been any major problems recently. Or, at least, nothing
like the uproar of 1998, when Fox ran a series of TV shows hosted by
“the Masked Magician.” The point of the show was to demystify classic
illusions.

“By doing that, what he did was hurt working stiffs like me,” he says.

Mr. Dooley is optimistic and realistic in his view of the internet’s place in magic’s growth.

He is not deterred by the new internet sites “revealing the
mysteries behind magic tricks have popped up in recent years.” The
internet can bring more young people into the fold.

New SAM Dean George Schindler is encouraged by Mr. Dooley’s
approach. “We want membership growth and to bring more young people
into it ? the old magicians are dying away. Richard Dooley is a young
fella himself, so he?s got a fresh approach.”

We think Mr. Dooley’s emphasis on bringing in not only young
magicians but also a diverse mixture of people. Magicians can be
something other than white males — we know, we’ve seen it.

Mr. Dooley has seen it too and envisions programs to encourage women
and racial minorities into the fold. It makes sense. Magicians do their
best inventing when they “session” or collaborate with other magicians;
and to not take advantage of formerly under-represented points of view
makes no sense.

One of Dooley?s first orders of business were issuing a challenge to
society members to form some kind of a relationship with “someone
different from you. That?s progressive thinking for our organization.”

Sure, there will be some who won’t feel comfortable with the new
members or the outreach. But Mr. Dooley figures that’s to be expected.
He’s willing to work with what he has to get what he thinks we all
really want.

Mr. Dooley is promoting educational films featuring minorities, women, and those with disabilities.
“We hope that people will see that and say, ‘Hey, that’s for me,'” he said.

Our brief studies of Magic’s History supports Mr. Dooley’s
suggestion of geometric growth from diversity: in fact, there seems to
be few instances where success came from homogeneity.

Congratulations to Mr. Dooley and let us know how we can help. 

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