How Martin Nash Taught Me To Shine My Shoes

Here is a wonderful and insightful story from Shane Cobalt's Patreon page

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"When I was in my early 20's I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Martin Nash. I was attending a Canadian Association of Magicians convention with a few friends from Toronto. As you can imagine, we were the youngish, of finger flickers and we often missed events entirely or were late because we just got so in to our magic chat and hang outs. In any case, it was early evening and the stage competition was slated to start, which meant being bussed or walking to the venue. 

As time would have it, we were a touch late. Big surprise! But we weren't too late. As we crept in the back door, my friends and I sort of split up to find good seats. But in the back of the theatre to my right was what appeared to be the back silhouette of Martin Nash and his lovely wife. Nobody was anywhere near him... WHAT?? 

So! Off I went! I quickly scurried down that aisle of bolted to the floor folding seats, "Do you mind if I sit beside you?" 

Martin was a gentleman every second of the day, beloved by anyone that met him. He was truly spectacular and his kindness just beamed from within. He smiled, like only Martin Nash can, and off we went!

Obviously, because we are in the midst of a contest here, I wasn't about to strike up a big conversation. Silence. That was it. 

The evening stretched on far longer than the program stated, as is the case with all magic competitions, and eventually the stand out act took the stage. Classic bird act. By all measures the clear winner here.

Finally an opportunity to ask Martin! 

"So, what did you think of the act?" I asked knowing full well it was the act to talk about. 

Martin then rocked me with a hand full of words. 

"His shoes weren't shined" 

We just saw the winning act and all that was lost on Martin, or rather, I'm sure it wasn't lost. Martin was a masterful performer with an extremely fine eye for detail. It was simply a glaring error on the part of the performer in the eye's of Martin. He was all dressed up, everything on point, magic is great, but those damn shoes!

Martin was right. It was like being woken up from a sleepy haze after that. Attention to appearance, anything that can draw the attention of the audience in a negative way should of course be prevented. 

In that one little line, and we continued to chat throughout the evening after the competition, Martin imparted the importance of that type of detail upon me. It has literally changed me life. It seems silly until you start to make it a point of priority.

Here's what I found. 

Every single time I performed a show with well shined shoes, at least one person commented on it.

Since that faithful evening I have found myself being more aware of those details in others as well as myself. Incredibly, as they say, you can tell a lot about a person by their shoes. 

I don't know why, but I feel the sudden urge to go shine up all my shoes right now... Must be Martin smiling down. "

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Make sure to check Shane's Patreon for more magical content, stories and philosophy. His patreon page is a treat and I have been a patreon of his for months now.

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