On episode 161, Jonah sits down with Gordon Precious to discuss exploring life and searching for real magic. Besides being an incredible magician, Gordon has traveled to over 100 countries, owns an extensive magical apparatus collection, and holds the world record for being the oldest heli-skier at the age of 94.
Gordon fondly remembers how his interest in magic was sparked. His uncle, who lived in Toronto, would often come visit young Gordon in Hamilton. Each time he visited, he would stop at the Arcade Magic Shop to purchase jokes and pocket close-up tricks. In 1937, around the age of thirteen, Gordon began to work semi-professionally, starting out at the Hamilton Lions Club and the Rotary Club. Eventually, Gordon decided he wanted to travel the world and fund his travels through magic.
Searching for Real Magic
During his 94 years of life, Gordon searched for real magic. His quest began at the Hamilton public library where he found books on how to perform magic. After exploring the juvenile section, he was allowed to explore the section of magic books that were locked away from the general public.
Knowing that he wasn’t going to find real magic in the West, Gordon set his sights on India and Africa in the hopes that he may witness a true miracle. So, for three and a half years, Gordon traveled from village to village performing tricks for people. Everywhere he went he seemed to hear “you should have been here last week when this person performed a real miracle.” It would always seem like he just missed the thing he was searching for.
While Gordon never saw these mystics or miracles in action, he did have the opportunity to witness various magicians around the world; he fondly recalls a magician in Delhi who gave him a vanishing bird cage and helped him land a ten minute spot in a nightclub. Gordon also remembers seeing a magician in Egypt named Gali Gali who was hoisted onto the deck of a ship Gordon was travelling on and performing what seemed like miracles.
Exploring Life with Magic
Gordon recommends magic to anyone who is interested in magic. It is intriguing to see wonderful presentations; it’s intriguing to learn how to perform tricks; and it is sometimes mind blowing to see what others come up with. At the end of the day, it is about enjoying magic and sharing your passion with those around you.
During his travels, there’s one thing that Gordon holds true: love your fellow man, woman and nature. While it may be difficult some days, it is important to enjoy everything and be happy that you’re alive. Having prejudice and hatred towards other people, even if it’s hard some days not to, will only hold you back from experiencing life.
Over the past 40 to 50 years, Gordon has acquired an extensive collection of magical apparatuses. He has a love for the beauty and ingenuity behind the tricks. He especially has an appreciation and intrigue for older electronic effects; Gordon has everything the Dutch magician Tony Anverdi created with his favourite being the Anverdi Key Box.
Gordon has always been an ardent skier and goes heli-skiing every five years. This year he set the record for being the oldest person to go helicopter skiing at the age of 94 — surpassing the previous record holder who was 91. The people in charge of the helicopter skiing operation filmed Gordon’s trek down the mountain which you can watch here: https://youtu.be/hreJznwyTZo
Take Home Point
Jonah really enjoyed the idea of enjoying life and respecting your fellow humans.
Ben liked that, during his travels, Gordon never lost sight that magic was the means for him to experience the life he wanted.
Gordon reiterates the idea that you need to love your fellow human.
What do you like about modern magic? What do you hate?
Gordon enjoys everything about magic whether it’s modern or old. If it’s clever and well presented then it’s great. If not, then it’s just bad magic.
Practice hard, and you can never practice too much.