Mr Fox’s fantastic world

2018-04-17 11:05
Photo: Supplied

Photo: Supplied

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In a world were literacy is taken for granted by most, Russell Fox – Magician Insane – has a unique insight into the challenge facing the millions of children learning to read.

Fox was born with an array of life challenges including epilepsy, asthma, dyslexia, ADHD and a mild form of Tourette’s. As a child, he was told that he was “uneducatable”.

“Having dyslexia was a huge challenge in my life for most of my childhood. The form of it that I have prevented my mind from processing the information in the same way most people do. So if I read a page from top to bottom, by the time I finished reading I could not tell you what I had read. However, listening and reading at the same time was what made the difference. Today I spend my self-investing and learning time either with podcasts or video tutorials,” he explains.

Fox’s early love for the magical arts opened the door for him to overcome the many challenges he faced as a child.

“I think more than anything else as humans we tend to gravitate to the negative way quicker than the positive – as I did for most of my life. But through understanding the human perception [I realised that] most of what we experience or understand is through how we perceive these experiences.

“For example, to the world ADHD is an extreme problem – and it is – but how you look at it determines how you handle it. To me ADHD is not the curse that most see it for, but a blessing as it means I have a busy head. Yes, I needed to learn to manage it and have done this through various means, but to be really great at what I do – writing and producing shows and illusions – I need this busy head. To me this is a blessing that I have learnt to manage so that it produces in my life rather than controls my life.”

Today Fox is an internationally acclaimed Master in the Art of Magic, as well as a brand ambassador for Spec-Savers, a partner in the Perfectly Posh High Tea Party.

As a brand ambassador, Fox is involved in some of the Spec-Savers literacy programmes, including The Life Matters Foundation, which will be the beneficiary of the Perfectly Posh High Tea Party.

“Improving literacy adds so much value to one’s life; being literate opens one’s world to information, understanding and knowledge that would not be there if one were not literate. But literacy today is a lot more versatile – being able to learn to read and write is available in many ways with technology at our fingertips.

“My mother’s dream was to study and at 74 she finished her final year at the end of 2017. Find a superhero in your life who has broken down walls and overcome fears created by our perceptions, like my mother is to me, and seek inspiration and guidance from them.”

Fox will be performing part of his latest show, Mindhacked, which demonstrates various psychological influences, at the Perfectly Posh High Tea Party taking place at Kelvin Grove Club in Newlands on Thursday morning.

“I’ll be getting into heads and reading minds, demonstrating feats I’ve learnt on my travels and brought back from other cultures and countries – such as bending metal with what appears to be the mind, predicting information and numbers directly associated to audience members, reading minds, walking on broken glass and inspiring minds to see the truth behind our perceptions and how they hold us back from our true potential.”

Fox’s love for magic started over 20 decades ago, when he met a magician while working in the food industry.

“It took me about a year to convince him to teach me anything and the first thing he taught was not even a trick – to roll a dollar coin over my fingers, drop it to my thumb and load it back on top of the index finger and roll it down the fingers again. It sounds bazaar, but that was him seeing how badly I was wanting to learn the art. Here I am 20 years later and loving every minute of it,” he says.

Magic allowed Fox to understand the human mind, and with that, the way we hold ourselves back.

“I recall sitting in front of a mirror practising many years back and suddenly understanding why people fear and misunderstand the art. It seems so bizarre and unreal – how can a human have these abilities? And it was then that I started seeing the human perception for what it really was and the power of the mind. I’m a mentalist and perceptionist, being able to alter the human perception and create illusions. For me it was the beginning of my perceptions about my challenges and how I saw them changing from a negative to understanding that these labels can be changed by myself.”

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