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Ouachita Stories


From the "Ouachitonian": William Read

William ReadMarch 29, 2021 - Ana Oelenburger

Previously published in the 2020 Ouachitonian yearbook

The art of magic is wielded wisely by few. One of those skilled persons is freshman William Read. From illusion to hypnosis, this young man achieves it all.

However, instead of using magic for a negative impact such as pranking, Read would rather use it to preform for nursing homes or children’s hospitals. This journey began seven years ago when a friend taught him a fantastic card trick and he decided to continue learning. He loved the way this unique performance art made people smile and brought out the child in them.

“It’s an interesting performance art, ” Read said. “You don’t see the moves, I do. If you watched a guitarist or theater person you could tell the effort they put into it and see the work pay off, but it’s different for a magician. I’m like a secret agent with cards.”

Read began by learning on YouTube, then through books, and even at in-person magician events.

Motivation comes in many forms, and for Read this came as a desire to perfect the art. He took inspiration from different influencers online and found them to be one of his greatest motivations to improve.

Magic impacts his social life positively and negatively. One might believe that having such a skill would quickly gain anyone guaranteed friends for life. However, Read explains the opposite.

“It can impact my social life negatively by having people only recognize me for the magic or pay attention to me only when performing,” Read said. “Positively, it impacts me by helping me make friends and new relationships. It’s also easy to get carried away with it, and have I try to find a balance.”

Magic increases positivity and spreads hope. Whether out at a restaurant or in the middle of class, magic can change the atmosphere and make someone smile.

Photo by Justin Trostle