I graduated from university with a degree in Computer Science. Pretty forward-thinking of me aged 16 to choose this option you say? Yes, it was. However, like all good university graduates in the late 80s, my career path was initially somewhat, umm, varied... Tea Buyer and T-Shirt Queen are two early job titles that spring to mind. I worked at a bakery called Flour Power and I was a human sandwich board. I created wonky knitted creatures (The Stitches), that people ‘adopted’ for a small fee (those people then sent me photos and updates so I knew the knitted ones were being taken care of). I’ve also been Mr Wimpy, but let’s not dwell on that. Magician’s Assistant, however, isn’t one of the job titles I thought I’d be adding to my eclectic repertoire. Not now that I’m a grown up. Not now that I think about what I want from my career. Not ever actually. And yet, here I am – the delighted and newly appointed Product Manager at Abracademy. An actual magic school.
My daughter thinks I work at Hogwarts.
But of course, there is a serious side to this magic business, it’s not all bunnies out of hats and haunted hankies (though most days do involve someone performing a trick for me) – behind Abracademy is a fantastic idea and a solid business that I intend to help grow. Abracademy’s mission is to help people learn through play. The playing bit is the wow inducing magic. And the learning bit is equally impactful – my daughter received a starter magic kit from my colleague, Rubens. She’s a shy kid, not one that enjoys being in the limelight or center stage so I was incredibly surprised when, in a restaurant later that evening, she asked the waitress if she could show her a trick. If that’s not an instant confidence boost, I don’t know what is.
So far at Abracademy, I’ve seen teenagers who, instead of being locked in a room gaming or texting, are out in the streets practicing and performing tricks for anyone who’ll watch, and I’ve seen corporate workshop participants laughing incredulously as their chosen card appears when they thought for sure it couldn’t possibly. Those who have learned magic or done workshops with Abracademy have new-found confidence because they can do a thing that not many other people can do. Communication skills are enhanced, presentation skills are stronger, teams have collaborated and learned about each other. Those who have come into contact with Abracademy's magic touch will take that experience forward, hopefully spreading the magic word. I guarantee they’ve all added Hermes gold-edged deck of cards to their Christmas list! (I definitely have).
I have big plans for Abracademy up my sleeve. Never mind Platform 9¾ at Kings Cross, we’ll have a magic portal to a parallel universe by 2020, mark my words. That, or a shop-workshop-studio-office space where the phone rings constantly, where people gather to learn and where magicians of the world come to demonstrate how magic brings all manner of good things to people who care to enter the world of Abracademy. There might also be the odd teenager wowing you with some gravity-defying cardistry too.
To find out more – drop me an email to say hello.