The Magic of Life
The woman in white faced the corner, to herself, manipulating playing cards in a way that could hypnotize anyone observing. A time-out from the world. We had just walked into the NoMad hotel from another cold winter night in New York City, supplied with nothing more than instructions of showing up on time and finding a woman dressed in white. My friend who accompanied me stayed puzzled over the irregularity of our reservation.
I approached the woman and gently informed her of our arrival. She turned with ominous eyes, a foreboding expression that this evening will be unlike others. An arousal of mysticism swirled. But we didn’t come for her, no, for something else. She told us to wait. So we did. Others arrived just as curious. Some appeared excited, some masked their curiosity.
When the time became ready, the mysterious woman began allowing passage to a staircase nearby. She handed precisely four playing cards to each individual as they passed. Was this a form of sorcery? What does it mean? What are we to do with these cards? Questions for another time. We walked up the stairs into a corridor. There were no signs or guidance to our destination, only carefully scattered playing cards either on the wall or along the hotel floor, easily missed by the unaware. We had to find our way through.
The secrecy of things simmered down when we reached an intimate room of tables, chairs, and a stage. Moody trip-hop music filled the air, candles sat lit on every table, house lights remained dim, the decor was antique. Voices were kept to a minimum as the room slowly filled to capacity. A waiter assigned to us inquired about our choices from a small menu on our table. Soon enough, all was served and quiet. Ready. Everything turns dark.
A lonely old man appears onstage. He sits to write out what seems to be a letter or journal entry. He then folds and seals the letter in an envelope before locking it in a box…a box he carries to an awaiting ladder in the center of the room. He climbs, suspends the box out openly by a chain, and leaves it. More mystery. The old man concluded his business by stepping behind a two-way mirror before transforming into Dan White.
Dan White the magician. The magician at the NoMad. Seeing him isn’t simple. Tickets sell out in seconds for every performance months in advance. Every review about his show is nothing short than spectacular, incredible, mind-blowing and mesmerizing. I had to see him. We all did. And the performance just begun.
This article isn’t a review of his show, per say. It’s about Dan. Mr. White. You see, no matter how great his tricks or illusions were, there was something deeper, more significant that emerged. It was as unexpected as how the evening unfolded. Jubilant. And it became the sole element that justified the price of admission. Pass the pledge, the turn and the prestige, there was a narrative. An integral one that out-inspired anything he demonstrated.
Dan White emits a seductive energy of invigoration. His hands, his fingers, move beautifully with form, poetry and precision. His eyes never dull, they always glow. His entire act manifests a story of providence, revealing that the greatest magic isn’t possessed or performed by a magician or illusionist, but rests in what we carry inside ourselves.
Dan’s show was allegoric for something higher: The inspiration to pursue the impossible, the unimaginable.
What we believe about ourselves and our abilities will always determine our capacity for greatness. The dreams we privately hold on to and fantasize about during moments of solitude can be more than just that. As often as Dan performs, it stays electric. Because his vision and message elevates beyond mere “entertainment” and transcends into what compels our ambition. He dares us to question everything.
The most memorable juncture of Dan White’s show was how it ended. The ultimate finale. Not the trick, his letter. The one he wrote, locked, and suspended at the very beginning. It read about the possibility of dreams and reality, the place where they meet, dwell and play together. It’s a horizon so few are able to explore and experience—let alone—see. Dan’s message allures the soul. It teases us to challenge the constructs we’ve confined ourselves to. Life is more. And there’s much we have yet to understand, unveil and discover…about ourselves and each other. Life can be magic.
The magician at the NoMad will inspire you to re-imagine what it is you do and why, in a way that redefines the rules of what can be achieved. See Dan White defy science and math. See his grace and devotion, for both a realized dream and a life worth aspiring for.
After all, it’s all magic.