This book will WOW you | Point of Review

Author Nate Staniforth wrote “Here is Real Magic.” Photo credit Andrew Stoll

Author Nate Staniforth wrote “Here is Real Magic.” Photo credit Andrew Stoll

Wow.

Just… wow. Did you see that? Wasn’t it awesome? It was a once-in-a-lifetime sight and you almost missed it; now, you’ll never forget it. You just don’t have many moments like that anymore, and in “Here is Real Magic” by Nate Staniforth, that’s a wonder.

All Nate Staniforth ever wanted was to be a magician.

As he remembers, much of his Iowa boyhood was spent at the Ames Public Library, reading books about magic before going home to work on a vanishing coin trick. He’d stand in the bathroom of his family’s home, watching himself in the mirror as he dropped the coin over and over until his mother kicked him out of the bathroom. Until he stopped dropping the coin and finally made it disappear.

All he ever wanted was to be a magician, and so when he graduated from college, he moved to Los Angeles in search of fame and fortune. Just before he ran out of money, he received a call from an agent who offered Staniforth a slot on a college tour.

It was a toe in the door.

And it sounded like a dream come true: every night was a new opportunity to WOW an audience. Every show was a chance to enhance the magic that Staniforth was creating, but there was no glamour: he criss-crossed the country on airplanes and adrenaline, rarely remembering which city he was in because they all looked alike. He missed his wife. It was a recipe for burn-out, which happened in Wisconsin after years of touring.

But bills needed paying and magic was money — or, at least enough to make ends meet. Staniforth didn’t know if he wanted to be a magician anymore, but he couldn’t think of anything else and so, because he wanted to find real magic, he headed for India where it was hot – much hotter than an Iowa cornfield. It was dusty, too, and overwhelming and Staniforth wanted to go home. But he stayed.

He stayed to see snake charmers, gilded rivers, one-armed monkeys, and holy sites. And he stayed long enough to hear a truth his soul needed to hear.

Wow. And to think that I thought this was just some run-of-the-mill old memoir…

Nope, it’s much more than that. With a beautiful bit of literary hocus-pocus, author Nate Staniforth lets readers watch the birth of a magician, right from the beginning. That’s a familiar story to anyone who’s practiced nonstop to follow a dream but Staniforth also shows the drudgery it takes to be successful, beginning with a strange sort of travelogue that’s loaded with exhaustion but that ultimately becomes this story’s reason.

Admittedly, that may sound disheartening — and it is. But, like a good magic trick, you have to wait for the pay-off which, in this case, is so incredibly lovely, a bit humorous, and woven with a plea that readers won’t be able to resist. In the end, Staniforth lets you in on the wonder and for that, “Here is Real Magic” will wow you.

More in Life

New Enumclaw wine bar aims for broad audience

Bordeaux Wine Bar is scheduled to be open Wednesdays through Sundays.

Once you start “The Last Cowboys,” you won’t want to stop

You can’t take it with you. People have tried for millennia to… Continue reading

Spend Mother’s Day with mom reading stories from ‘Tough Mothers’

Your mom is tough as nails. The minute you were placed in… Continue reading

“W is for Welcome: A celebration of America’s diversity”

The kid down the block looks nothing like you. His parents don’t… Continue reading

Fishing derby set for April 28, courtesy of Buckley Kiwanis

Grab your fishing rod and head down to the pond at Uncle John’s RV Park.

The power of the powwow | Slideshow

Enumclaw High School and the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe put together the 23rd annual powwow last weekend.

Past the gushing, gruesome details ‘The Trauma Cleaner’ is worth a read

Wash your hands thoroughly. That’s good advice, no matter where you are.… Continue reading

‘They Lost Their Heads’ should help answer your questions

Your neck bone’s connected to your back bone. And that’s a good… Continue reading

Sometimes to have faith, all you need is to believe

Today, you are feeling secure. The world’s woes don’t worry you this… Continue reading

Two free park days in April | Washington State Parks Commission

For April 14 and April 22, you won’t need a Discover Pass to visit state parks.

If you could turn back time, would you?

If you could, would you take it all back? Every misunderstanding, cross… Continue reading