Dan Garrett was so many things to so many people in our wonderful art of magic. His passing is a significant loss to those who knew him well, his family and even editors of small websites focusing on magic.
Magic has always felt like a small but cohesive group of people at all levels of skill but sharing a love for the art. Dan Garrett was a magician of tremendous skill and an incredible ability to connect with magicians at every level. His lectures were the gold standard for what one should expect from such instruction. His demeanor was what one would expect from a southern gentleman. He was very kind to me and this website; with words of encouragement and even help in editing glaring errors in my reporting. He helped with a focus that made me feel as if this website and me, as editor, was the sole focus of this time. I know that can’t be true but I felt it.
There will be many more tributes and recollections of Dan’s life and impact on magic in the coming days and weeks. All penned by people who knew him better than me. I look forward to reading them.
The magic community small, encouraging and filled with kindness; but it is not static. We are like any group in society or family. We lose friends, acquaintances, and family. I wish it wasn’t that way.
A link to the obituary page for Dan can be found here.
A very complete biography can be found on his website here.
Inside Magic Favorite Magician Dan Garrett’s newest effect Heartz is a winner.
We have spent incredible amounts of money for effects we have never used or even opened. Most of the items were brought home and immediately condemned to permanent storage in our old steamer trunk or magic junk drawer.
Those effects probably grabbed our interest initially but lost their luster by the time we returned to our estate. We are neither wasteful nor wealthy so we have tried to break this habit.
We now only buy magic tricks that we will actually perform. It does not have to be a trick we would include in our professional act. If we are sure we will perform it somewhere for someone, it is worthy of further consideration.
Few tricks may the cut.
Mr. Garrett’s Heartz is one of those very few tricks worthy of our attention and funds.
Dan Garrett presented his new magic lecture in Royal Oak, Michigan last night. We tweeted during the breaks and gave our pithy, excited reviews as the evening developed and now 24 hours later, we have no regrets.
Some lectures are great just long enough to get you to the dealer’s table with cash wadded in your paws. The buyer’s regret kicks in shortly thereafter: perhaps as one is driving home or later when one confronted by one’s significant other and required to justify the purchase of “more magic.”
Mr. Garrett’s lecture did not have a post-event emotional let-down. Above is a scientific chart proving our point:
Comparing Mr. Garrett to a baseline (or “typical lecture”), a Cinnabon, an energy drink and a roller coaster ride proves his lecture succeeds where other stimuli fail.
The Cinnabon starts off more quickly than Mr. Garrett but peters-out by the 90 minute mark and actually falls below the baseline emotional level due to its crashing effect.
An energy drink has a similar peak pattern and while its crash is not nearly as dramatic as the one seen for the Cinnabon, it is still substantial and does go below the baseline after 90 minutes.
A roller coaster experience actually starts out with higher pre-event levels but falls to sub-baseline levels after 2.5 minutes on average. There is often a residual feeling of nausea for the roller coaster rider that typically subsides within 24 hours.
It can be safely said Mr. Garrett’s lecture starts strongly, follows an upward sloping path that continues for at 24 hours after attending.
(Credit: Graph and Data from “Better Than a Cinnabon? An Analytical Study of Stimulus-Response Related to Foodstuffs, Recreation & Magic Lectures,” Am J Energy Studies, Jan. – Apr. 2012).
Mr. Garrett’s lecture succeeds even under qualitative analysis.
We walked away from the lecture hall with some great effects, a renewed sense of excitement about refining our presentation, and the sad understanding that syphoning gas is still considered “improper” or “criminal.”
Upon our return to our vehicle – easy to identify since it was the only car in the parking lot and had a metal boot attached to its right rear axle – we considered how we would describe Mr. Garrett’s lecture to a fellow magician, a non-magician, a non-fellow and the police booking officer.
His presentation is so smooth and so well-planned that it would likely entertain non-magicians with or without exposure of the effects. So many lecturers seem to have happened into the situation and are merely killing time before taking orders at their hastily arranged dealer’s table. They go from one trick to another with inside jokes and asides understood by one or two in the room and appreciated by none. They justify their ad-hoc style by reminding the audience that they are in a teaching mode; they would do it differently for a real audience.
Mr. Garrett was accompanied by his own ingenious and inexpensive sound system, complete with musical cues and voice-overs. He presented each effect as if performing for a real audience with such poise and polish that we stopped thinking about whether the trick would be sold later or was part of the lecture notes. We found ourselves enjoying the magic for magic’s sake.