In 2013 I competed in a magic competition hosted by magician/linguist/mathematician Richard Hatch.
There were some fun acts, and I ended up winning with my cups and balls routine. The prize was $100 and the books Card College Vol 1-5. It turns out that Richard Hatch, who speaks I don't know how many languages, translated the books from their native German into English. The publisher gave Richard many copies of the books, and Richard thought it would be nice to give them out to whoever won the competition.
I recently started a regular gig doing close up magic at a famous chocolate shop in Salt Lake City called Hatch Family Chocolates (I'm told there's no relation to Richard Hatch, just a happy coincidence).
My original plan was to pick a few of my favorite magic tricks and only do those every week, but we soon starting seeing the same people show up every Monday. Having regulars is, of course, fantastic but it put me in a bit of a dilemma. I don't want to bore the chocolate shop customers by doing the same tricks over and over again, but how do I keep a weekly show fresh? How do I learn new tricks every single week?
The Card College was the perfect opportunity! I resolved to perform one new trick from the books every week!
That was two years ago. There are 5 volumes of the Card College series, and I am almost at the end. I know a whole lot of card tricks now, hopefully enough to keep the chocolate lovers entertained! Otherwise, I'll be forced to compete again with the hopes of winning a new and amazing set of books that will last me another two years.
(a few chocolate shop regulars)