Magic comes to the Mattapoisett Library

Dec 28, 2022

MATTAPOISETT — Ed the Wizard doesn’t use the word “trick” to describe what he does. 

“People ask me, what's the difference between a wizard and a magician? I tell them that magicians, like dogs, do tricks,” he said. “Wizards do magic — just a little fun zinger.”

Ed Cope, who professionally goes by Ed the Wizard, performs and teaches magic effects at schools, parties and other events. 

On Wednesday, Dec. 28, he set up shop in the Mattapoisett Public Library to teach a few tricks from his book “Impromptu Magic for Camping.”

“The fun thing about this is that you can do it camping, you can do it hiking or you can do this at a restaurant,” he said to an audience of children and adults. 

And Cope knows a thing or two about the great outdoors. Before he began practicing magic as an adult — something he got into after being inspired by the first Harry Potter movie in 2001 — Cope taught rock climbing, ice climbing and worked as a whitewater raft guide.

During his show at the Mattapoisett Library, he demonstrated three effects: he made a bandana move on its own, made a toothpick disappear, and pushed a battery through the top of his hand and into his palm. 

Throughout his demonstration he emphasized that anything could be used for magic. Instead of a toothpick, use a stick. In place of a bandana, any cloth works. A carrot stick or coin can substitute for a battery. 

If someone comes up to a magician and asks to see a trick, explained Cope, “you can’t say, ‘I don't have my stuff.’ Because magic isn’t about stuff. Magic is about magic.”

“For me, it's not so much about a particular effect,” he said. “But the type of effect — close-up magic, things that I can do with ordinary everyday items.”

Cope made sure to mention that once his book, which deals in close-up magic, is properly categorized, it can be found on the shelves of the Mattapoisett Library. 

“You gotta read — the pictures make it more interesting but you still gotta read,” he said, noting that books on magic can be found using the code 793.8 in the dewey decimal system, the system used by libraries to organize books. 

He explained that his first educational magic program was called “reading is magic,” because everything he learned about magic, he learned in a book. 

For aspiring young wizards, said Cope, the best way to get started in magic is to “go to a library and borrow a book.”