I’m thrilled to present today’s podcast with magician Paul Gertner!
When I was young, at family gatherings my grandpa would perform magic tricks and slight-of-hand for the grandkids. Turning flour and sugar into cookies. Making a dollar bill disappear… and reappear elsewhere. He could pull coins from my ears…
It was amazing!
Grandpa’s sense of wonder in the world was expressed through sleight-of-hand magic tricks, and (the story goes) he would practice for hours every night to improve his mastery of the craft.
I was fortunate enough to spend time with Grandpa and learn a few of his sleights as a kid… which I have (regrettably) forgotten over the years. But my sense of wonder towards magic has never disappeared.
With my Persuasion Reading List website and related learning on how our minds work (check out the list of PRL book write-ups here), I’ve come to understand that my interest in Magic fits in nicely with an understanding of the Cognitive Biases I’ve explored on these pages.
If you’re not here to learn more about how your brain works… if you’re not interested in how to influence and persuade people… well, you might not be interested in my free email list.
I find myself paging through my grandfather’s old magic books, working on some coin trickery that he had mastered, decades ago. I watch YouTube videos to learn more, and to be amazed at what the masters can do.
It was late one night when I watched a Penn and Teller Fool Us clip featuring magician Paul Gertner. During Paul’s introduction, he mentioned the idea of Dreamstorming… subconsciously solving problems in your sleep…
Yet another excellent fit with my interest in…
how the brain works!
I reached out to Paul, asking to learn more to share with the PRL audience. Paul graciously agreed to be on the Persuasion Play Podcast!
Listen to episode 006 with Magician Paul Gertner to learn:
- Why Paul’s famous Cup and Balls routine uses Steel Balls (1:43)
- How Paul got his start in Magic… and how he’s been able to perform magic as a lifelong career (1:54)
- Paul’s most influential books in his Magic career (links below) (3:10)
- The cereal box science experiments that intrigued Paul and got focused his mind towards magic (4:24)
- Why Paul limits the number of people at his shows — and why you might apply this to your own services to improve the customer experience (6:00)
- How Paul makes good money doing what he loves… and targets the right sources of money — and how you can too (6:40)
- How a custom message can create a unique experience for your clients — and allow you to upgrade your fee structure (7:29)
- How Paul went from struggling with a single routine for his first corporate gig, to building a stack of tricks — and how he’s able to repurpose those for almost any event (8:19)
- Discover Paul’s process of Dreamstorming… how you can creatively solve technical problems with your subconscious… while you sleep! (10:35)
- Why creating Magic is like being an Engineering (17:13)
- How to prepare for —and recover from— a mistake in your Presentation (17:50)
- The importance of Storytelling in your Presentations (21:07)
- Paul’s ability to read the audience and how important that can be to guiding decisions (22:49)
- The true meaning of Misdirection in Magic and how we’re all pulled in by the Focusing Illusion (24:29)
- How you can turn a No into an opportunity to create a more elegant solution (25:40)
- Paul’s concept of Upside-down Thinking… and why you should consider the opposite of what you’re trying to accomplish (27:58)
- How your brain links things such as size and weight and gravity — and how a magician uses that cognitive bias against you (29:02)
- Paul’s favorite working magicians and where you can find great magic (32:55)
- The brilliance of close-up parlor magic — and why it’s finding a resurgence in this Golden Age of Magic (38:02)
- Has the Internet spoiled magic… or raised the game? (38:56)
- And more!
Paul mentioned these books during our conversation:
- Bobo’s Modern Coin Magic (Amazon link)
- Royal Road to Card Magic (Amazon link)
- Expert at the Card Table (Amazon link)
I hope you enjoy this fascinating conversation with professional magician Paul Gertner. I certainly did. Thanks for listening!