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David Copperfield Quotes

David Seth Kotkin

David Copperfield quotes: the richest magician in history tells us what’s up.

“We all possess the need to dream.”

“Stop saying ‘I wish’ and start saying ‘I will.’  Consider nothing impossible, then treat possibilities as probabilities.”

“What you think is impossible in life actually is possible.”

“When people say you can’t do it – that it’s impossible – never lose hope.  Just because they couldn’t doesn’t mean you can’t.”

“Passion.  Fall in love with something as early as you can and then go for it with everything you have.  Passion will keep you going when the going gets tough.”

“Persistence.  Get used to the fact that there is no substitute for hard work.  The old saying is true.  The harder you work, the luckier you tend to be.  So is the other old saying, ‘God is with those who persevere.’  Learn from setbacks, use them to improve.  And charge your fears.  Run at them.  Use fear as energy.”

“Preparation.  Learn everything you can about your dream – others’ mistakes, potential drawbacks, the history, etc.  Then work your tail off so that you are completely prepared.  There’s an old saying I’ll paraphrase: ‘The will to be great is far more common than the willingness to do what it takes to be great.’  Improvisation and spontaneity are crucial but they must come from a base of enormous preparation.  Learn to fly, but not by the seat of your pants.”

“Before there can be wonders, there must be wonder.”

“My advice is, never do tomorrow what you can do today.  Procrastination is the thief of time.”

“I learned that there were two ways I could live my life: following my dreams or doing something else.  Dreams aren’t a matter of chance, but a matter of choice.  When I dream, I believe I am rehearsing my future.”

“For me, it’s about risk taking, taking things in new directions.  Because every single time, no matter how much you learn, you can never say, ‘Okay, I did the hardest thing I ever did.  I’m prepared now.  Now it’s going to be easy.’  Of course it’s not easy.”

“I see people’s need to dream, people’s need to escape – you see it!  That’s why people come to comedy shows, that’s why they come to your movies.  We’re so needed in this world.  Not as much as medicine, but to dream for a while.”

“It’s amazing just watching emotions in an audience change when they see you happy.  It’s amazing how it really affects their experience.  I think whether you are on a job interview or on stage, like me, or just walking down the street, you can influence how people react to you.  A smile, of course, is kind of the beacon of that.”

“It’s amazing the progress that has been made in dentistry.  It’s a great opportunity for people to feel better about themselves.  It’s not just appearance.  It’s the way you feel about yourself.  You can walk taller and you can just feel better.”

“I was an only child.  We were so poor, my parents and I had the same room.”

“When I was a kid, people wanted to be an astronaut.  Today, kids want to be famous, and that’s totally the wrong approach.  You have to have authenticity in what you’re doing.  You have to really care about the core message of what you’re saying, and then everything else will fall into place.”

“When the time came to say, ‘Mom, I want to do this as a job,’ it was brutal.  She was really against it.  There were screaming matches.  Some people are shut down by that and get defeated by it, and other people are empowered by the negativity.  My father kind of encouraged me through that.”

“I really wanted to succeed.  I wanted to be accepted.  I read every magic book that I possibly could, studied every move, and by the time I was 12, they really accepted me, they embraced me.”

“My father told me to live the impossible.  ‘Live the impossible!'”

“You’d go in the magic shop as an eight year old, and you’d walk up to the magicians doing stuff, and they’d turn their back on you.  ‘Oh my gosh, I wish they would accept me.’  It really lit a fire.  I really wanted to succeed.”

“For my father, being kind was natural… I have to really work at it.  I love competing and winning, conquest – not words you usually associate with kindness.”

“The most important thing is presentation.”

“To make parents happy, I went to Fordham University for three weeks, while at the same time running ads in Variety: ‘Magician-actor David Copperfield.'”

“Producers took me to Chicago at 18 to star in a show that ran for almost a year.  And that’s when my parents said, ‘Okay, I guess you can quit Fordham.’  Of course, when that show closed, as you can imagine, I came to New York and starved for years, but it’s never an easy road.”

“Usually, about two years of work go into each illusion, whether it’s big or small.  Two years of work on each five-minute piece.”

“I was published in Tarbell Course in Magic when I was 12.”

“I was teaching magic at NYU when I was 16.”

“My job is to make people dream.  Of course, there’s a lot of technical stuff behind the scenes and a lot of hard work behind it, but I get to watch people see the result of that hard work and feel that wonder and feel that discovery, all the time.”

“I try to help people realize their dreams by using magic to tell stories that educate, move, and inspire.”

“Watching people react, watching people be inspired, be taken on a journey, forgetting their problems, looking ahead in their own lives to doing impossible things.  That’s kind of what drives me, gives me a sense of focus.”

“For me to grow, I have to know about the foundation that came before.”

“I love what I’m doing, I love creating new things.”

“I love creating experiences that haven’t been seen or felt before, and if I get it right, I’ll be pushing my art forward.  I’m blessed and cursed with never being satisfied.”

“Years ago, when I decided to make the Statue of Liberty disappear, I had a lot of people rolling their eyes.  After I did it in front of a live audience, the doubting vanished, just like the statue.  When I tell my audiences to ‘live the impossible,’ I’m not kidding.”

“You work so hard to get respect for your craft.  That makes me feel good when you get recognized.”

“I’m the luckiest man in the world – performing 500 shows a year and loving what I do – illusion is my day to day life.”

“I hope that real love and truth are stronger in the end than any evil or misfortune in the world.”

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