David Copperfield on NPR's "This I Believe"


The first magician that became an idol to me was David Copperfield. I saw him perform live at "The Wang Center" in Boston when I was in the second grade. He had not yet put out his new TV special, "Flying." So with my brothers, I saw much of a new show that had not been on his last television special, "The Orient Express." That night I saw David Copperfield fly onstage--I had not seen it on TV, nor ever seen anything like it. It was one of the three most awe-inspiring magic show moments of my life. The other two are watching an illuminated light bulb fly right over my head by the late Harry Blackstone, Jr. and seeing Lance Burton's show at the Hacienda. (I think I saw these two shows during the same year.)

A friend of mine said that the great part, for him, about being a professional magician was that he got to meet all of his heroes, and in some cases, got to know them well. I am neither a professional magician nor a practicing amateur, but when I was really into magic as a kid and teen I got to meet many of the leaders of magic. Many of them whose interviews appear on this site. I got to meet Lance Burton after his show and shake his hand and get my photo taken with him--it meant so much to me. I remember telling Harry Blackstone, Jr. that I wanted to be a magician.

And David Copperfield, I got his autograph after his show in 1992. I remember as a first grader, I wrote a letter to him telling him I was a big fan and that I'd been to the same magic shop he once visited. A while later--probably not as long as I had impatiently thought-- my Nana presented me with a postcard that had come in the mail for me. On that postcard was a photo of David Copperfield, framed by the light from the windows of the Orient Express. It read, "To Christopher, All my Best, David Copperfield." It meant so much to me, and it was an example of a small act of kindness.

This week, David Copperfield appears on the radio program called "This I Believe," found on NPR. You can also read or listen to it by clicking on this link. Copperfield speaks on the challenge of kindness. I'm sure Copperfield has his flaws and the pressures of his position and stature allow many people get to see his unpleasant side, but my experience has shown me otherwise. He'd taken one of his few days off from touring to visit a "magic camp" for kids (can you believe it?) on Long Island, NY. When I was a part of a young magicians' club, he'd meet the young hobbyists backstage. At one time, David spent 15 minutes talking with one of these young magicians, who was going through treatment for cancer. Although I don't know if he owes it to anyone, I'm happy to say that my childhood idol has shown some kindness within him.

So here he is, David Copperfield. Click here.

Thanks to C.D., who let me know about the NPR essay.