VANISH MAGIC BACK ISSUES vanishmagazine64 - Page 10

SEAN WATSON BY ANDREA STARR F 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 some phenomenal magic and they will never forget him!” James Cielen