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Meet Your Instructor: Tom Hastings

Meet Your Instructor: Tom Hastings

Tom started Learning Magic at 4yrs old

Tom received The First Book of Magic when he was four and began performing in order to gain acceptance a year early into his local cub scout troup in Noblesville, Indiana. He performed for birthday parties and other social gatherings through junior high school and attended his first magic convention in 1963 at Abbotts in Colon, Michigan where he was a guest in the same house as Doug Henning.

Magician Doug Henning handles a deck of cards from his show, “Doug Henning’s World of Magic,” in Feb. 1981. (AP Photo)

He performed through his high school years and received scholarships to attend Antioch College in 1968. To maintain financial assistance, he had to work 15 hours a week and did so by presenting magic effects for psychology perception classes.

Tom Hastings - Rich Hill's School of MagicHe received his BA in Mythogenics from Antioch in 1973 and traveled to Zurich, Switzerland to study at the C.G. Jung Analytical Psychology Institute where he met his wife of 44 years, Ursina. They were married in Scotland where he lectured in high schools through grants from the Royal Scottish Arts Council.

Upon his return to the States in 1976, he began teaching poetry at the Indianapolis Free University and was creator and editor of the Indianapolis Broadsheet with a circulation of 50,000 bimonthly issues. He and his late cousin, James E. Powell, created the Indianapolis Writers Center, now the Indiana Writers Center.

In 1978, be began teaching language arts, archetypal psychology and theatrical magic at Harmony High School in Bloomington, Indiana until retiring in 2014. Since then, he has been teaching theatrical magic for the Ivy Tech Center for Lifelong Learning as well as demonstrating magical effects for Rich Hill’s Magic and Fun Emporium.
Tom performing at Rich Hill's Magic and Fun Emporium

Tom’s Magic Pedagogy

I teach that a deck of playing cards is a portable Stonehenge capable of “bold and subtle” miracles. Most card magic reaffirms the divine symmetry of the universe.

Children and adults experience theatrical magic differently. My poetry teacher, Robert Bly, insists that we tell or read fairy tales to very young children because it’s the only literature that reassures they’re not crazy. In a similar sense, magic returns adults to that time in their lives before adults betrayed their trust.

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