VANISH MAGIC BACK ISSUES vanishmagazine64 - Page 10
BY ANDREA STARR
or a small-town kid, Sean Watson has seen more of the world than he ever imagined.
Like so many of you reading this, magic first captured his imagination as a child,
where you could even say it saved him, and now he works tirelessly to pay it
forward. Sean has performed on stages all around the world over the last 30 years,
incorporating humour and his enticing personality into his performances; although it is
the work he does with youth that is his true passion. When Sean isn’t performing large-
scale illusions in corporate events, production shows, fairs and festivals, he is busy touring
schools all over North America, spreading his message of positivity in the face of adversity.
And he knows adversity firsthand.
While Sean has been fortunate to transform an interest in magic into a successful career, it
was the journey leading there that was difficult as a child coping with learning disabilities.
He was born prematurely, predisposing him to long-term challenges with learning, as well
as with behaviour, socializing, and managing emotions. Most noticeably, he developed a
speech impediment and struggled with dyslexia, making reading and learning in school
an uphill battle, as well as becoming a target for bullying. However it is Attention Deficit
Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) that has been his greatest life challenge. Aside from the
disruption in everyday tasks that require organized thought and focus, Sean also had
difficulty with communicating his thoughts, and therefore cultivating relationships required
more effort. Countless scattered thoughts, impulsivity, and a short attention span are a part
of everyday life, although it is his joyful spirit and warm heart that shine through.
Sean needed much guidance and encouragement from his parents, teachers and other
school staff members to keep up and keep moving forward. This began with a couple of
concerned teacher’s aides who noticed him struggling, where they reached out and came
to the rescue. One day they brought him to the library and told him to pick out a book.
He chose one called the Complete Course in Magic by Mark Wilson. When the aides told
Sean to read the book he replied “I can’t”. But the aides were prepared and ready for his
objections. Instead of letting him slide, they challenged him and said, “Yes you can. You can
do anything you put your mind to. Always remember these words, Sean!” As the teacher’s
aides had said and with the help of his father, Dale Watson, Sean was reading the book
about magic. Pleased with his son’s progress, and wanting him to maintain interest in the
subject, Dale decided to browse through Toad Hall Toys in Winnipeg, Manitoba and came
home with Sean’s very first magic trick, the Ball & Vase. Anyone who has studied and loved
magic probably could point to a person who gave them that first taste of magic or who took
the time to pass on their wisdom. This kind of ‘passing down’ of secrets and skill is one of the
things that makes the art form of magic unlike any other. To this day, Sean owes unending
gratitude to his teachers and his father for introducing him to magic and thereby changing
his life forever.
With Sean’s high-level energy and hyperactivity, his hands stayed busy with learning and
practicing new magic tricks. As he learned more and more, his self confidence grew. His
newly learned ‘superpower’ was impressive to schoolmates as they witnessed him showing
off his unique skills. This caught the attention of his principal, Dennis Nord of Darwin Junior
10 NOVEMBER | 2019
“People just love
Sean. He’s endearing.
They genuinely want
to engage with him.
Then he shows them
magic and they will
never forget him!”