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Friday, September 16, 2011

The Magic of Make Believe

Last year, I went with my family to my hometown of Vancouver B.C. for a visit. My cute mother said she wanted to buy me a present, and I knew better than to argue. We happened to be at Granville Island, which has this awesome magic store. I promptly chose a magic kit containing a few entertaining tricks for all ages, and threw in a couple of my favorite childhood tricks and a wand. I think my mom was somewhat surprised at my gift choice, but it's not so surprising when you consider the fact that I've loved magic ever since I was a child. I was always doing card tricks and other simple magic around the house. When I find the time, I'm totally honing my magic skills and putting on a fantastic magic show for my kids.

In the meantime, I'll get my magic fix by watching fascinating movies like Make Believe. This film gives you a backstage look at the world of magic and the amazing talent behind it. Make Believe is a documentary that follows six of the world's best young magicians, vying for the title of Teen World Champion. We follow their personal stories as they journey to the World Magic Seminar in Las Vegas, the most important international magic competition for young people.

The teens, ranging in age from 14 to 19, display an incredible skill and passion for what they do. Each one is unique, intelligent and extremely focused on what they do. We meet Krystyn Lambert, the only girl and a classic beauty; Bill Koch, from Chicago has one last shot to win the title before he ages out; Hiroki Hara lives in a remote Japanese village and dreams of performing around the world; Derek McKee may be the youngest, but he definitely has an impressive trick up his sleeve that makes people take notice, and Siphiwe Fangase and Nkumbozo Nkonyana from Capetown, South Africa have an infectious energy that everyone loves.

It's inspiring to watch them work so hard for something that they love to do and to see it culminate at the final competition. I was struck by their innocence, charm and devotion to their art form. Through their backstories, we see the unique pressures that they face, their successes and failures, and most of all their passion. It's a good reminder that we really can do anything we set our mind to, and it's not always just a magic act - dreams really can come true! These youngsters are incredibly skilled and I only wish the film would have shown more footage of their amazing performances. Of course there can only be one first prize winner, but they are all winners in my eyes and I'm looking forward to seeing what the future holds for them.

Make Believe is available on DVD on September 20th, and includes over an hour of bonus materials. This film really is for everyone - I can't wait to watch it again!

*I received a copy of the film for review purposes.

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