Oz Pearlman - Israeli American, Emmy-Award Winning Mentalist, Magician & Finalist of America's Got Talent Season 10 in 2015

Ep 48: Oz Pearlman (Emmy Award-Winning Mentalist, Magician & America’s Got Talent Finalist)

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Welcome to Episode 48!

Our guest for STIMY Episode 48 is Oz Pearlman.

Oz Pearlman is an Emmy award-winning mentalist & magician who recently emerged as the runner up & finalist in America’s Got Talent Season 10 in 2015. 

He has performed for an impressive list of A-list celebrities, Fortune 500 companies, politicians and professional athletes, and also appeared on numerous networks including NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The TODAY Show & ABC World News. He is also an avid marathon & ultra-marathon runner, having competed in events like the Badwater 135 Miler, Hawaii Ironman World Championships, Western States 100 and Spartathlon.

Here is his journey.

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    Who is Oz Pearlman?

    In this STIMY, Oz shares what he was like as a child, discovering magic on a cruise ship to Bermuda and how that transformed his life as he obsessed over mastering magic. 

    • 3:47: Being a child math prodigy (scored a perfect 800 for his SATs at age 12)
    • 4:36: Discovering a love of magic
    • 6:19: Meeting Ryan Hertz & Bruce Kessler
    • 9:41: Getting his first magic gig at age 14
    • 12:13: Knowing how to break the ice with strangers
    Everything looks perfect in hindsight, but the first few years. You don't know what's going to happen. So you really have to believe in yourself and not give up.
    Oz Pearlman - Israeli American, Emmy-Award Winning Mentalist, Magician & Finalist of America's Got Talent Season 10 in 2015
    Oz Pearlman
    Mentalist & Magician

    Building His Career as a Magician from a Side Hustle to Full-Time Gig

    • 16:34: Deciding to stay behind in USA & pay for himself through college
    • 19:00: Finding his own magic community
    • 20:49: The balance between sharing magic tricks & keeping your secrets to yourself
    • 26:54: Simple magic tricks for anyone to learn
    • 31:30: The Off Broadway Show, Watch Magic, that attracted Ethan Hawke & the New York Times
    Oz Pearlman - Israeli American, Emmy-Award Winning Mentalist, Magician & Finalist of America's Got Talent Season 10 in 2015

    Becoming One of the World’s Best Mentalist & Magician

    Oz Pearlman’s career really hit new strides once he plucked up the courage to quit his job at Merrill Lynch & go full-time. His teenage years spent hustling in restaurants came into good use as he learned to hit New York restaurants and incrementally build his reputation and skills.

    And then, came America’s Got Talent in 2015. 

    • 35:44: “Making it” as a full-time, freelance magician
    • 37:46: Why Oz thinks he didn’t make it the first time he applied for America’s Got Talent in 2012
    • 38:46: Coming up with new magic tricks on AGT within days
    • 39:56: Competing on America’s Got Talent while training for 3 marathons!
    • 43:17: Impact of COVID-19 on Oz’s business

    If you’re looking for more inspirational stories of people in the startup/VC space, check out:

    • Nick Bernstein (Part 1, Part 2): Senior VP of Late Night Programming West Coast (CBS) & Executive in charge of the Late Late Show with James Corden
    • Robert Ashe James: Head of Post-Production, CONAN Show
    • Azran Osman-Rani: CEO of Naluri Hidup (formerly CEO of AirAsia X & iFlix)
    • Guy Kawasaki: Chief Evangelist of Canva & Apple
    • Dr. Julian Tan: Head of Esports & Digital Business Initiatives at Formula 1

    If you enjoyed this episode with Oz Pearlman, you can: 

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    External Links

    Some of the things we talked about in this STIMY Episode can be found below:

    Oz Pearlman - Israeli American, Emmy-Award Winning Mentalist, Magician & Finalist of America's Got Talent Season 10 in 2015

    STIMY Ep 48: Oz Pearlman - Emmy Award-Winning Mentalist & Magician, Finalist of America's Got Talent Season 10 (2015)

    Oz Pearlman: All those successes that you see that are overnight success, had years and years of buildup to that. There's almost no instance that if they did have overnight success, how rare it is, it's almost never continuing. You have to have a work ethic. You have to decide on what you're going to do, and you have to make a lot of mistakes and learn from those mistakes.

    So for me, again, I went back to the fact of walking that half a mile to that restaurant when I was 14 and getting that job. And that's what I knew how to do. And I knew that if I passed out business cards, it's a numbers game. I give out 60 or 70 at night, one or two of them are going to call me in the next six months.

    And just imagine that's a snowball that you push down a mountain that keeps growing and growing and growing and growing. So you have to put in the work. The Malcolm Gladwell 10,000 hours.

    So I went to restaurants, I would get restaurant gigs, and I found the way to do it. I go to like once, you know, I'd learned a formula for success.

    And New York city has so many restaurants. And I found that the neighborhoods that I thought I can really get known in, and it was just small, incremental, like I got known in this section, then this neighborhood and this neighborhood, and then I'd reach out to other people. And I just learned how to network effectively.

    And that was it. That was it. It was years and years of slow growth which eventually led up to America's got talent, which is if you want to call it the turning point, it's the ultimate turning point in my career.

    Ling Yah: Hey everyone!

    Welcome to episode 48 of the So This Is My Why podcast. I'm your host and producer, Ling Yah, and today's guest is Oz Pearlman. An Emmy winning mentalist actor, magician, and ultra running champion. Perhaps most well-known for coming in third in America's got talent season 10 in 2015 and later on as a contestant in the champion in 2020.

    Oz shares his journey from being a child math prodigy, to discovering a deep love of magic at a young age, and how he managed to secure his first paying job at $50 an hour a year after.

    He became so good at magic that he managed to pay for himself from the age of 16 onwards throughout university, until you took on the job at Merrill Lynch, all the while maintaining a lucrative side hustle as the magician and a mentalist before going full time.

    I thought this was such a brilliant episode, not just because of the fascinating life story that Oz shares, but also his drive and his passion.

    His insights into the often obscure world of magic. Why he thinks magic is a soft skill that everyone should learn and how his abilities as a mentalist allowed him to read any person he needs and get on a good side. Certainly something I'm sure we'd all have to be better at.

    So are you ready?

    Let's go.

    You were born in Israel until the age of three, when you moved to Michigan and as a child, you was something of a daydreaming child, but you also had this slightly obsessive compulsive personality.

    So how did that translate in real life? What were your interests?

    Oz Pearlman: That's definitely thank you for having me on, Ling. I would say that's pretty close to the truth in terms of daydreaming. My mind was always all over the place. I think as a lot of kids do, and they're very imaginative, I would write little stories. I was very imaginative is the way I would describe it.

    And so I didn't really find my current passion which is magic and mind reading and mentalism and the art of deception, if you will, until I was about 13. But even before then, anything that I got into, I got very, very laser focused on, I think that was one trait that has served me well in life to some degree also. Sometimes it's not a good thing because you have blinders, but generally speaking, I get very, very into things.

    Ling Yah: And I think that laser focus translated into math because you were something of a prodigy weren't you? You got a perfect 800 score on your SAT at the age of 12.

    Oz Pearlman: Yeah, I was very good at math as a kid.

    I don't know why. It wasn't something that I loved. It was just something I was very good at and came naturally to me. So I embraced it, but I always had just a very mathematical mind. Even when I was younger, I would count everything.

    When we would go to a store and you know how they have a sales tax or in some places that, and it's a percentage. Even as a very young child, six or seven, my challenge to myself was always, can I calculate it before they say it?

    If something was $12 and 40 cents, I like try and do the 9% in my head really quickly and know what it's going to add. And then I say the change before it was almost like one of those rain man stunts, but I got very, very good at it where my parents were just like, every time I would do it, they go, how are you getting this so fast?

    That was my challenge.

    Ling Yah: That's incredible. So when you were each 13, you mentioned briefly you fell in love with magic because you were on this trip to Bermuda for your bar mitzvah. Could you bring us into that moment? How did you fall in love with it?

    Oz Pearlman: So I was on a cruise and you know, they have entertainment on the cruise every night.

    You go see a show, maybe it's dancing, maybe it's singing. One night they had a magician. And I bet I've seen magic before then, but it never really impacted me. It's kind of like you might've seen something, but it felt like I was seeing it for the first time. In my mind, it was the first time and I was just blown away.

    There's no other way to describe it. It was kind of like a before and after this moment situation in my life.

    My dad convinced the guy. We saw him twice. So he had another show later in the week and I'm pretty sure my dad can fact check this. My dad, I don't know if he bribed him. I don't know if he went up to him backstage and said, you got to get my kid on next time.

    But somehow I got onstage for the second show and that really, really cemented the fact that this was something I was going to be obsessed with. Then the rest of the cruise, the bad part about a performer is that he's stuck on the same ship as us. So I was looking for this guy all over the cruise ship every day.

    I was just looking for him and I'd run into him. I ran into him twice and I drove him crazy. I'm like, show me another one. Show me the trick. And now as a performer, I know he must've been biting his tongue to be like kid get away from me, but I just needed to see more.

    And I got home afterwards. I went to the library. That's what I normally did.

    I went to the library. I went to Borders bookstore, which is now bankrupt and doesn't exist. But at the time I went there, I'd saved up all this money from my bar mitzvah gifts. And I started spending it all on magic books. That's how I thought to learn. And then I went to a magic store and I met other magicians.

    And then I started learning from them and going to, they have lectures where they have kind of a touring person who teaches you. And that's how I started learning and picking up the craft.

    Ling Yah: I think one of the persons you met with your classmate and freshmen in English, Ryan Hertz, and he-

    Oz Pearlman: Wow. You know his name. Amazing.

    Mentalist.

    Ling Yah: So Ryan sounds like he was really instrumental in your life. He introduced you to lots of people like Bruce Kessler as well. yeah. It must have really helped you and opened your eyes to the world of magic.

    Oz Pearlman: Yeah, unbelievably so.

    I think that in a lot of instances, until you see someone doing what you want to do, a mentor, if you will, or even a peer who's just more advanced than you, it jumps you to another level because suddenly you see someone doing it that you can emulate.

    So in the case of Ryan, which unbelievably- your homework was unbelievable how you know that, but he had been a magician throughout, I think, middle school. And so everybody knew him.

    And then the high school we went to was two or three other middle schools combined. Do you see what I'm saying? So everybody came to a school and then he you'd have to talk to him about this, but suddenly he wasn't as much into magic.

    He wanted to more define himself as a musician. And so he got more into music and less than the magic, but I was just starting as a magician and knowing that this kid was so famous as being a magician, I would pester him incessantly. I would go, show me another one. Oh my goodness. How do you do this? Can you teach me this?

    And he didn't really want to do magic anymore. But he was very helpful. And I think within our craft, there's a lot of people that just want to know the secrets. How did you do that?

    And once they learn the secret, they're not interested, it kind of spoils it. So you really have to go through jumping certain hoops to make sure that you're serious, that you have a real commitment to the art of magic before people will take you under their wing and start teaching you the secrets and see that you're really dedicated. That you're not just doing this as a quick hobby, but that it's really a passion.

    That you will in turn, keep the secrets from others. It is a very unique thing where a lot of the mystique is not knowing how it works. If that makes sense. If everybody knew how it worked, it wouldn't be as fun. It wouldn't be as entertaining. So with him, I had to learn.

    And then Bruce was somebody that was a mentor who was older than me, who was never a professional, but showed me all these different paths of new people to look at that were more modern, kind of magic builds on the shoulders of giants. You learn stuff from people in the 18 hundreds, the 19 hundreds, and then the two thousands.

    And I learned about a guy named Paul Harris, who blew my mind as a kid, had all these different closeup tricks that were very unique and new and different. And yeah, I have to tell you, my teenage years were just obsessed with magic.

    Ling Yah: What is it that drew you? Because if you want to be really good at this, you have to spend hours and hours just working with it by yourself in the room.

    And just failing until you get it so perfect. And it's easy to just give up. So what was it that kept you going?

    Oz Pearlman: I wonder, I wish I knew that. I wish I could answer that for myself. I think it's one of those things where. I loved seeing reactions from people and I loved the craft of it. So when I say the craft, it's almost like if you were juggling or it's almost like now I like to run.

    That's one of my big passions. So I think that things that are repeatable and that you can lose yourself in. You can literally sit there. And I, at the time my folks had gotten divorced and kind of looking back was very, very traumatic and I needed something to fill the void. And in a lot of instances you can get in trouble.

    You can rebel. Both of which I did to a degree as well, but I think that the magic was kind of the foundation. The structure and the backbone of me at the time of something that I could put my efforts into other than schoolwork and kind of release that pent up energy.

    During that time, you're trying to figure out what am I into?

    And I found something that I was really into and gave me a sense of community.

    Ling Yah: And I think that, the fact that you were going through all these difficulties at home also drove you to really go out and look for ways to monetize this talent. In one year from discovering magic, you already got a gig, at a local Italian restaurant.

    How did that happen? How did you get them to pay you $50 an hour? That's a lot of money.

    Oz Pearlman: I guess honestly, the amount of money was shocking because it kind of fell into it. I didn't really know what to charge. I didn't have any competitive market analysis at age 14, but it became a thing where I kept buying magic tricks at the store.

    And my mom's like, hey, I'm not going to keep buying this stuff. You're going to have to go to work. And so she instilled in me that we need to start earning. And at 14 I had also, I had another job. I worked at a bagel store. Cleaning the bathrooms, making bagel sandwiches. And I liked it. I really enjoyed working.

    I enjoyed having my own money and kind of a big sense of self-worth that you get from doing things of that sort.

    So she said, hey, you got to go get a job. And I didn't really know where to get a job, but I knew there was a restaurant called Max and Irma's, that was a chain that had magicians.

    And I think I was a little too nervous to go to a restaurant that already had magicians. So I walked to the closest one to my house, which was less than half a mile away. It was like a seven or eight minute walk. And we'd eaten there before. And I don't know, in hindsight, what gave me the confidence or the nerve.

    But just, I went there and started doing tricks for the manager. I said, hey, check this out, check this out. And they go, wow. And I didn't even have a sales pitch. I think they just said this kid's great. Why don't you want to do it for some of our people? And I said, sure. And I wish I could go back and know the negotiation, how it happened, but I started and in a funny twist and the first night I did it, I went and got business cards printed.

    To this day, I have my first business card, laminated in my little scrapbook, which was so funny. I went to Kinko's I think I printed a hundred of these. They cut them for me and just had these really cheesy little ones. I stole the artwork because you know, this is before computers. This for me would have been 1995.

    It was just like a photocopy. I stole the artwork of somebody else who I liked. And it was like one of these little people like playing a flute with a little snake coming out of a like a box. I don't even know it was so funny, but yeah, you go for it sometimes it's better to be ignorant.

    And not know the odds against you and just go for it. If I had known, I probably would've been too nervous.

    Ling Yah: Well, I mean like you were going around giving a business cards. I imagine at least initially you had to really learn who to approach and how to approach. Because as you've mentioned, in many interviews, people go there to eat. Not to be interrupted and there's this young kid coming, interrupting them.

    So what were the lessons that you learned to break the ice if you will, and allow them to let you come and entertain them?

    Oz Pearlman: So I think certain lessons you learn, you iterate, right? It's the same way you do something. It goes wrong. You change again, you change little things incrementally and see what happens and you internalize those.

    And from a young age, I started doing internalize. I think the main lessons of salespeople, which is you want to diffuse tension. You want to get people to like you be comfortable around you and also social dynamics. So when you learn very quickly, And it's an awkwardness that you feel in your bones and you walk up to a group that doesn't want you, right.

    You can feel it. Even a two year old, like my three kids, but they can feel. Even in a playground, if somebody, as you approach, you learn their faces, you learn their body language. Like it's a subliminal level. You don't learn this in the top of your mind, you feel it in your body.

    So I started to learn, how do I approach a group in such a way that they want me, you know, it's not even that I want them, how do I flip that around? Because I imagine if you call somebody who, you know, you would want, like, let's say you want it to interview Oprah Winfrey. Right? Well, what if Oprah wanted to talk to you?

    it would be incredible.

    So how do you switch the dynamic?

    So I learned very quickly, you need to do something very quickly that establishes your credibility. Wow. That was amazing.

    And then the next thing I noticed is people get very nervous because they don't know if they have to give you money.

    That's a very big source of tension.

    Do I tip him, do I not? So I would address all of them, these things in very quick order. When I say quick, I mean, within the first 10, 15 seconds, I say, hey, how is everybody tonight? And I'd give a big smile and go, you're so lucky and right away they go, you know, why am I lucky?

    I go, because the host has brought me in tonight. You know, as a treat to all of you, so also of to use the word treat, they understand, oh, this is something special and being given. They feel a very different feeling very quickly. As opposed to I'm begging I was hired by the host by the restaurant to do this for you.

    And so all these things I learned in the first few weeks, and it started to become this dynamic where I didn't need to go up to tables, tables wanted me because they saw other people cheering and they saw excitement. And they realized this was something special and unique that they don't get every time.

    And all of these lessons, I think I learned at a very young age have helped me in all facets of life. How to approach a group, how to learn like everything around entertainment. And, and more than that, I was actually a bus boy at a certain point. How do we engage people depending on what you're selling, because you're always selling something in life.

    You know, even if it's not a monetary transaction, you're selling your attention.

    Sometimes you're just selling time, which is the most valuable thing. We all have getting someone to pay attention to you. That's the whole content game nowadays. What are you selling? How to learn, how to sell whatever it is.

    Ling Yah: And clearly you sold really well. I think, you know, tying back to what you said about your business card, one of the customers took that business card and called you later to join and help National Tire and Battery. How did that happen?

    Oz Pearlman: So I remember that vividly because that was a very early restaurant at that place that he is.

    And I didn't think these two women liked me. You know what I mean? We talking about, like, I did a trick, there wasn't a big reaction. It wasn't really applause. It was just kind of, you know, very, very, very neutral. And then I did it a couple more and then, you know, I was like, okay, well I have a great, and I gave them business cards and I just did not assume anything would come of it.

    It was very much and I, I believe maybe the woman even asked me for a card. I I'm trying to remember. And then she called me and it was so pronounced because in a night. Two or three hours, you'll see a lot of people. You might see a hundred plus people. So I remembered this woman, which is not always the case.

    You know, I've, I've done this for tens of thousands of people at restaurants, or there's more than that even. But I remembered her and I couldn't believe that she was calling me because I just like, I'm telling you, I didn't think she liked the show. And then she said, we're opening these three National Tire Batteries.

    And we're going to have the Detroit Redwings who are very, very big deal at the time in Detroit. It's the hockey team and this team won the Stanley cup. So when I say it's a big deal, it's a huge deal in that area.

    And I had a chance to meet them and I ended up getting in the newspaper because they took photos of me with these players because they hired the players and me to do tricks for the guests who are coming to get their, car batteries change. It's such a random thing.

    But it was great credibility where you're in the paper. So more people call you and then you can put that. I didn't really have a website at the time. It was too early, but I collected all of these accolades to, my promotional materials when somebody calls.

    Ling Yah: So you were clearly doing really, really well. And then you graduated at 16, but then your, I believe your mom went back to Israel first and then your dad, and you were left in that situation of, should I also moved back to Israel as well or stay?

    Oz Pearlman: Right.

    Ling Yah: How did you end up deciding to stay? Cause it sounds like it was a lot harder. You had to fend for yourself and pay for yourself entirely.

    Oz Pearlman: Right. So it came down to pretty much a assessment of where do I feel more at home? And for me, I had grown up in America. I grown up here, both my sisters lived here at the time. and it was just, you know, I was going to university and it was a big move.

    And if you go back to Israel, which is a great place as well, my cousins, my family, most of my family lives there.

    You, at that point, you go into the military. So, cause it's compulsory. Everybody goes to military women for two years, men for three years. And that's the foundation of your later life, if that makes, since everyone's in the military together.

    So it's a huge bonding.

    So it pretty much came down to, am I going to move there forever? Yeah. Or am I going to stay here? And I just weighed the options and said, you know, this is kind of my home now. So I ended up staying here and going to college. And doing magic was a big part of that because that paid a lot of my tuition and my, bills.

    Ling Yah: So you end up going to University of Michigan when you were 16 and you enrolled for computer science. How did that end up switching to electrical engineering?

    Oz Pearlman: Because I'm a terrible computer programmer.

    So.

    Ling Yah: That's surprising for a mathematician.

    Oz Pearlman: You would've thought they overlap. Electrical engineering is much more mathematics.

    Computer engineering is just a very. You have to have a brain that's designed for it and you have to really enjoy it, have a passion for it. I did not have either. And I realized quickly how much better everybody else was.

    It's a lot of my roommates and friends did it. And I didn't know what to switch to and I didn't really have a career path in front of me.

    And so, you know, I just kind of said, what's the closest thing to this. And they go, most of my credits that I already did apply to electrical engineering because there's similar programs. So I wouldn't lose all the courses I've already taken. So it was much more a matter of utility and function than it was passion or excitement.

    I kind of switched into it because it was the lesser of two evils. it wasn't that hard. And I wouldn't recommend to people. And at the same time I thought to myself, cause my sister was older and she worked as a recruiter, she was, you will have great options with this degree. So it was much more pragmatic and practical.

    I want to get out of school and have options. I don't know what I'm going to do. I had no idea, but you know what? This will give me options. So I'll stick with it.

    Ling Yah: I love that you had that pragmatic side that was going on, but you were clearly very, very passionate about magic. You were so active. You were buying lots of books, I think like Transpasm, spectacle, simply Harkey you were very active online as well on forums, like magic cafes.

    So how were you finding all these people and just, continue to build yourself up as a magician while juggling that with university.

    Oz Pearlman: So I started with a company called penguin magic. They make instructional magic videos. It's two guys that started in their dorm room in their apartment, and then it grew and it became huge.

    And we all had this amazing timing where we came together and it was at the start of the digital revolution where streaming started happening. Like this is pre Netflix, the way you used to get magic tricks. If you were a magician, is you go to a store and you have the magician, who's there show you tricks and you go, Oh my that's amazing.

    And then you buy the trick. Okay. In most cases, and then you get taken to like a back room and they teach you the trick. Does that make sense?

    You kind of are taught, you're brought under the wing and they're taught. So what this did, is it upended it because they started having the way to stream video content.

    They didn't have this before it wasn't fast at the center. So what penguin did that revolutionized it is you would watch a demonstration online and then you could buy the trick online as like an instructional video where somebody, me, teaches it. So what started happening is we did all these demonstration videos and they have hundreds.

    There's thousands of tricks. Magic is a very big field. And so we would sit there for hours, hours, and hours, 12 hours a day. And I opened up these tricks. I'd learned them. And then we'd go out on the streets and I'd shoot magic tricks of me doing them, kind of like David Blaine, who became very famous and may exploded the popularity of magic around the world.

    And so I got very well known within the magic community for doing all these tricks cause everybody would buy them on the site and they'd see me performing them.

    And I had my own original videos as well, but that really just. was one of those things that like blew me up in a certain way and, and got me very well known.

    Ling Yah: I think your born to perform card magic sold over a hundred thousand and it has the highest ratings in the history of penguin magic?

    Oz Pearlman: I think so. Definitely one of the top ones, top three, for sure. I don't know any more, but it's up there. Cause it was the first real blockbuster success they had.

    Ling Yah: I mean for someone who's not in the magic world, it sounds very much as though you know, the tricks that you have is almost proprietary.

    I mean, what's the thinking behind sharing with other people and other people know your secret and can do it themselves. And it sounds as though you would be less unique.

    How do you balance that?

    Oz Pearlman: So you have certain things that are like reputation makers that are things that are very unique to yourself and that you kind of like there's things that I did on America's Got Talent that were very, very unique, but once they're out there, other people can see them. It's different than comedians, like in the world of comedy, stealing someone's joke is kind of career ending.

    It's very much in magic, we all build off of each other. There's an element where everyone is doing a version of everyone else's thing. It's frowned down upon to do it exactly the same. But at a certain point, once people learn it and see it, they're going to be able to do it themselves. And it's part of the craft.

    I don't know how to explain it. It's not the same as comedy or a writer who would plagiarize. You're supposed to change it and give it your own spin. But for example, the card tricks in that video you said, those are old card tricks. They've been around for decades. They were all changed in a certain way.

    Like the presentation, the handling, all these things were modernized that like you could have found the same tricks that I released in books from years and decades before. But what's old is new. You give it a new spin, a new touch, you know, even nowadays look at how many things. Every TV shows are just the same as an old TV show, but a little different or movies too.

    So. I think that the reason we released it, I don't release as much anymore because of exactly what you said is once you attain a certain level, you don't necessarily want people to do what you do, because it is very unique and different, but early days I was releasing things much more often.

    Ling Yah: That was the thing that intrigued me. There's so much out there that you can learn from other people. And they are obviously built on someone who's been doing it since the 18th century.

    For instance, I saw in one of the threads on those forums where they were basically saying, oh, if you want to figure out how this particular magician did it, you should go and buy their book or buy their product as opposed to just trying and figuring out how they did it without purchasing.

    I think, is that something that is a part of the, I suppose, expectation in the community?

    Oz Pearlman: I think it is, but again, it's one of those things where all the rules are gray and they're written by the people as they go. So people that are older. Like every generation has their own. It's kind of like, you know what I mean before?

    It's kinda like when Napster came out 20 years ago and music changed and now Spotify and streaming, and nobody even thinks about downloading and kids that are now 15 or 16. They can't even imagine they have to download music and they have to buy CDs. Everything gets modernized. So at the time when I was doing the instant downloads, it was also very controversial.

    And now if you go on YouTube, there's videos that expose everything that are just, and a lot of them are very wrong, but people want those clicks. So some people will do it. And is it frowned down upon? Of course. It's looked down upon greatly. But honestly, for a lot of. these things, what's the biggest commodity? It's time.

    And most people don't want to put time in, especially now there's so much content online. It's impossible to consume it on every day. There's billions and billions of more hours created of anything you want. If you're into cooking, if you're into, anything pottery, juggling, running, any activity, fitness, there's so much being put out every day.

    That your attention is the most prized item. Nowadays, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram, like everybody wants your attention, your eyeballs. And so I think that if people are that into magic anyway, they're getting it, ideally support it, support the creator and buy the thing. You're probably going to get a better instruction from buying a video from the actual person than a YouTube video, exposing it from somebody who barely knows how to do it.

    So yeah, I would tend to agree with that, that it's much better to buy the items. Than it is to pirate them or get them off YouTube.

    Ling Yah: So you graduated. And how did you end up going to Merrill Lynch and into the global tech services department?

    Oz Pearlman: I had an internship. So the year before I had interviewed and done kind of an internship where they come to your school, And I had a leg up on the competition whenever I did these interviews, think about my resume.

    My resume says professional magician for seven years. people were like, first off, you're a little cute. How could you be seven years? I'm like, I've been doing this. I was, you know, 14 or 13. So I had that on my resume of almost, you know, when I got graduated college. 20. And then I always would throw this nickel, what do you mean a professional magician?

    I always say, hey, at the end of the interview, if we have a couple of minutes, maybe I'll do something for you. And that's a very intriguing way to do it because now. People are intrigued. Anytime somebody is intrigued, they're listening closer, right? Versus being bored. Think about it. If you've seen a hundred other resumes, you're just going through the motions.

    You're a little bored. You're a person to the person interviewing you. But now if you give them something where they're listening to you more closely during the interview and other waiting for this moment of anticipation. And now at the end, I'm ready. I have boom, boom, boom. Two or three very, very strong tricks.

    And in some of these interviews, I felt bad for the people after me because I would eat into their time, my interviews, 30 minutes, but at 27 minutes I do drift to like, Oh my God, do another. And suddenly we go, eight minutes passed and the next guy, they walk out, they're shaking my hand over those amazing.

    And the next person's like, what, what just happened to them, this interview? You know, and when they get in there, they can't even pay attention. And they're like, how did he, how did he know this? How did he do this? And they're trying to like, get themselves back to neutral. Right now, they're in a heightened state of emotion.

    And so honestly, I don't think I've ever had an interview that didn't lead to another interview because even if they didn't want me for the job, they want to see more magic tricks.

    I've done instructions throughout life where parents will have me teach their kids some tricks.

    And I tell them, I go that this is a soft social skill, meaning even if you never pursue this professionally, if you want to take a few months and really commit to learning a few of these types of tricks. It will give you a leg up in life anywhere if you travel and you do not, you're not able to connect on the basis of language, right?

    Language is one of those things that can be the language of amazement is universal. If you go somewhere and you can do one or two magic tricks, I don't even mean card tricks or anything. Advance just a couple easy tricks. You will watch people's faces light up that can't speak your language and they will help you.

    They will be nice to you. You will connect with them. I've done this all over the world. It's one of those things that connects you with everybody young and old alike.

    So I've told people that, and same with interviews. It's a great way. Competitive advantage, no matter what you end up doing in life.

    Ling Yah: So what are some of the simple tricks that we can Google or YouTube later to add into our repertoire?

    Oz Pearlman: I would go to that website. Penguin magic that I referenced. It's still, I'm buddies with those guys to this day. They're incredible. They built the site, like I said, 15 years ago, and it's still going strong, stronger than ever go there and type in beginner magic.

    And they're going to have all, I have a video, lots of other people have videos the best magic tricks are impromptu. What that means is you don't need any items. If you're with someone, you know what everyone has nobody's with them. They all have a phone. They all have their AirPods or their headphones, or they have rings or they have a wallet, or they have coins where they have money.

    The best thing is to know a few items that you can do anywhere, any place with anything. I'm at the point where I could go with you right now, I can be wearing shorts at a beach, and I could do a one hour show with nothing. With nothing at all, no sleeves, no shirt even, even though I don't think you want to see that, but that's what you need to be prepared with.

    And if you're just an amateur, have two or three tricks, you know, with money, with a phone with cards or matches. Someone's glasses. That's the best. To have things ready at a moment's notice.

    Ling Yah: And clearly you will always ready as well at work because I think you were the guy who used to stop employees from spending too much money and you managed to still make them love you with your magic tricks. How were there any memorable incidences?

    Oz Pearlman: I mean, there were so many people, you know, would meet me and they'd be so mad. Cause you know, the way the department was positioned was exactly that. Red tape.

    In a lot of these companies, they have internal organizations to make sure that they don't spend too much money. Right. I think of it as like a accountability office. So I had these people that were far smarter, far more senior than me, who I would tell them, Hey, you want 3 million bucks. We're giving you 1 million.

    Like he can't do it for 1 million, so they'd be all mad, but then we'd go out for drinks, a happy hour. And then I do all these tricks for them. And then they would exactly, like you said, it would take the sting out of it. Where suddenly it's very hard. It's very hard to dislike somebody who's making you laugh or making you smile, right?

    It's a natural human emotion that people will generally like you more, even if they're mad at you for something else, if you can win them over.

    Ling Yah: So another thing that you alluded to earlier that is a huge part of your life is marathons. And in 2004, you did your first marathon in Philadelphia and you've called it a disaster and a death march. Why was that?

    Oz Pearlman: So now that I've had worst races, I would dial that back and say that it was just not great because I've had things that are much more along the lines of a death march, I wasn't prepared fully for what was involved.

    when I trained, I just did it similar to when you say magic. I didn't read any book or a playbook. I just kind of said, well, If I have to run 26 miles, I'm just going to run before that this many and see how it goes. And that's not really the best plan, but I finished.

    And there's something to be said for finishing because a lot of people don't finish. and I fell in love with it. So that's the next thing I realized I can do better. This is, this is a challenge. And then every one I did got better and better for quite a few years. And that really became my biggest passion.

    Whereas magic was more of my, livelihood and something I still loved, but I'd go through peaks and valleys, like creative bursts, where sometimes it was more of work. Like when I was in college. When you were saying that, and I was doing it to support myself, It was much more of a work. Of a job, which means you're not learning as much.

    You're not as creative. You're just doing it because you're good at it. And it pays the bills. It's still much better than digging ditches. You know what I mean? There's I could have much worse jobs. I don't want to for a moment complain, but then there's other times where I really loved it and embraced it and was passionate about it again.

    Ling Yah: Did you ever reach a point where you felt like you wanted to give it up? That's the big thing about turning passion to work, right? It just isn't the same. And you reached a point where you might think, I don't want to do this ever again.

    Were you ever that stage?

    Oz Pearlman: I don't know that I ever never wanted to do it again, but I definitely had moments where it became monotonous.

    Like when I was working at a lot of restaurants and I was doing it all the time, it was a means to an end. I was doing this because I need to earn money. I knew how to earn money this way I had other businesses I was doing on the side, but At the time, if I didn't need to earn money, I think I wouldn't have been doing it as much, if that makes sense.

    I would have been seeking other interests or just having fun. You know, being in college, you kind of want that. A lot of my friends didn't have to have side jobs. They didn't have to be working three, four nights a week.

    I'm not arguing. Like, that's great to have that, but I built a lot of resilience if I didn't have that. And I had parents supporting me, I might not be where I am today. You know what I mean? All those things come together to me, if you who you are, and generally you need to be hungry to get successful.

    If you're not hungry, it's very hard to work those extra hours into to build up to that. But since then, no, I've, always enjoyed it. I love the rush of entertaining. I love the feedback from an audience. Yeah, it's great.

    Ling Yah: I mean, hunger is something I definitely detected just in doing the research and realizing you were always hustling and hustling and in 2004, again, you launched this nine month run one man, off-Broadway show, Watch Magic.

    What was the inspiration behind that? You were like at the back of a yoga studio and you had teenagers who were ushers and you bootstrapped it.

    Like you attracted Ethan Hawker. He came and then the New York Times.

    Oz Pearlman: He was blown away.

    There's a guy named Mark Kwan who, big shout out to Mark if he ever hears this.

    But Mark reached out to me through penguin magic, he was a fan and he realized I lived in New York and he, like I said, he was a fan of my videos and he goes, why don't we put on a show? And again, it's people need to kind of like, you might have a match, but until you get the other surface to light it, people can give you that inspiration.

    I go. Yeah. And so. I needed somebody in his momentum and his energy bounced off me. And we found this yoga studio on like Craigslist, and it was just the craziest thing. And they weren't using an uncertain dates and we got it for next to nothing.

    And then again, we didn't really have it. I didn't know how to do a show. So we just made a show. Do you know what I mean?

    Like if you don't know how, you just invent it.

    We found these teenagers who would be the ushers for free because they love magic. So they just wanted to see a show. And they were like, we'd love to see show. And they thought we knew what we were doing, but we didn't know what you're doing.

    It's kind of like any startup. I don't know what I'm doing. So I'll invent it and hope it works. And then you fall into what works. And we started marketing it and it started making a little bit of money. And then we took that money and try to kind of get publicity and then publicity gets more publicity.

    And then you get Ethan Hawke there. So suddenly the New York Times comes in. Do you know what I mean? All of these things led to something else.

    When you start it, you don't know where it's going to go to, but it was very fun. It was a great learning lesson. If I were to watch the show again, I would cringe the whole time and hold my eyes and face.

    But for me at the time at that age, it was great. It was a rush and, you know, having your own show in New York off Of Broadway that started getting real traction and selling out every week. Was amazing.

    Ling Yah: Would you consider that to be the turning point for you where things really started to pick up.

    Oz Pearlman: I think well, the turning point was when I quit my job, I can tell you certain conversations. Like I had a conversation one time with another performer and kind of the established professionals. If you're doing events in your book, let's say on a Saturday night, which is the most popular night. If you're doing private parties, you'll get more than one call for that night.

    As you get busier and busier.

    So someone calls you. And they go, well, do you have someone else for me? So what you end up doing is call it overflow work. You will give other people that work and they'll pay you a commission, and now they get to do the job for you. So I had a guy who was farming me out and having me do all these shows.

    And at one point he asked me, why are you still working your day job? And I w I w I was, I was like, I didn't know, like this, I stuttered. I'm like, well, of course I'm gonna work a day job because I didn't know that you could quit your job and just be a magician. It sounded crazy. So I didn't.

    He asked me like very direct questions, like how many shows you have to? What would you have to make?

    And I kind of answered them and then he stopped me. He goes, well, why don't you do it? Like why? and all of a sudden I did the numbers if I could do this. I could you're right. You're right. And so it flipped a switch. It's like a switch in your head that just flipped. And I go, Oh my God, I could do it.

    And so once that happened, I started working towards that. But before that moment, I just, it never dawned on me that you could actually do this. So I think that, to be honest, that moment got me down on the path where I think I'll be a professional. And then there were all these other moments stacked on top, but that flipped a switch in my mind in a big way.

    Ling Yah: So that conversation, that was a different person from James Gorman, was it? The CFO of Merrill lynch.

    Oz Pearlman: Yeah, no, the, the James Gorman was like more of a passing joke where it was a big, that was probably later. That was much later than this other conversation where that was very close to the time when I quit, when I'd already gotten things in motion, I already thought to myself, you know what?

    I don't think this is my life. Like I'm not going to climb the corporate ladder.

    And then James Gorman told me, like, what are you doing working here? And he couldn't believe I worked here and then he was like, well, what are you doing working here? And it was very funny because when your boss's boss's boss's is what are you doing working here. Like, literally, why are you here?

    You take it to heart and, but what am I doing here? And so very shortly thereafter I decided to quit. And everyone that I worked with was very supportive. Nobody said to me, you're crazy. They all were like, this is your calling. You're not meant to be here.

    We, you know, a lot of them wish they had something like this, like a monetized skill that they love, that brings you joy and can potentially bring you success.

    Ling Yah: That is so encouraging to hear that everyone was so supportive and just said that this was what you were destined for. But I imagine like transitioning out and suddenly realizing I'm a freelancer, I need to make this work. It must have been scary.

    The first few years, must've been hard. Did you have a plan or some kind of tangible milestones that you wanted to hit all the time.

    Oz Pearlman: The first week after quitting was just one of those you wake up and it's that weird feeling of what do I do now, right?

    Because you don't have a boss. You don't have any thing to do. There is no magic formula. I always remember when you used to see people on TV and I'm like, oh, they got so lucky and he go, there is no such thing. Nobody was just outside singing at a subway station. You're great. I'm going to put you on a record and now you're going to be a star that doesn't exist.

    All those successes that you see that are overnight success had years and years of buildup to that. There's almost no instance that if they did have overnight success, how rare it is. It's almost never continuing. You have to have a work ethic. You have to decide on what you're going to do, and you have to make a lot of mistakes and learn from those mistakes.

    So for me, again, I went back to the fact of walking that half a mile to that restaurant when I was 14 and getting that job. And that's what I knew how to do. And I knew that if I passed out business cards, it's a numbers game. I give out 60 or 70 at night, one or two of them are going to call me in the next six months.

    And just imagine that's a snowball that you push down a mountain that keeps growing and growing and growing and growing. So you have to put in the work, the Malcolm Gladwell, 10,000 hours.

    So I went to restaurants, I would get restaurant gigs, and I found the way to do it. I go to like once, you know, I'd learned a formula for success.

    And New York city has so many restaurants. And I found that the neighborhoods that I thought I can really get known in, and it was just small, incremental, like I got known in this section, then this neighborhood and this neighborhood, and then I'd reach out to other people. And I just learned how to network effectively.

    And that was it. That was it. It was years and years of slow growth which eventually led up to America's got talent, which is if you want to call it the turning point, it's the ultimate turning point in my career.

    Ling Yah: So that journey to get onto America's Got Talent was something that you tried the first time, in 2012 and you didn't manage to get, and then you try it three years later. Why do you think the first time didn't quite work out?

    Oz Pearlman: Bad luck, bad timing. If anything, I would've said that.

    I probably wasn't ready yet. I think that I wasn't ready. Like, I, bet I improved tremendously in three years and just came in there with a different energy.

    So much of life is luck. Like nailing an audition is how you feel in the moment. The first time I went, I was much more nervous. The setup wasn't right for me, just the way it ended up happening, just wasn't set up for me correctly in the room.

    So I didn't have a very good chance. I didn't have any spectators, so it didn't really look good. And then the second time I came, I didn't really care. to be honest, I had no pressure. I said, if this doesn't go well, I don't care. And when you go in there, there's a lot of freedom in going into something when you don't think it's going to work, because you give off this atmosphere, this attitude of I don't care.

    And when you do that, you end up doing better. You're less nervous.

    Ling Yah: was it like, having to go through six rounds and every week you only had a couple of days to come up with something new, bigger, and better. How did you come up with those original ideas?

    Oz Pearlman: Just so intense. It was, I had a, kind of a few people, people that I would brainstorm off of, but there's nothing like a deadline where somebody says, Hey, you're going to be on national TV live.

    In a week and you have another two days to figure something out and 15 million people are going to be watching. There's just, no, I don't have any other, you either crumble under that pressure or you reach a new level. And I think that every single week, two weeks, when I had to do that, it, just jumped me as a performer to another level because you don't know if you can do it, you have to do it.

    You know, so many things in life are you get given like in school, here's how you solve a problem. Here's the steps now solve the problem and you learn the steps. This is one of those things where there is no playbook. And so you have to create the playbook as you go. And I think that learning how to think of solving problems in that way gives you kind of an experience that you will use forever to this day.

    If somebody says. You're going to do this thing. Can you do it? Yes, I answer yes all the time. And then I just find a way afterwards and I think there's a lot of power in saying yes to things.

    Ling Yah: And at the same time, weren't you also training to run three full marathons?

    Oz Pearlman: Oh, yeah. I mean, I was always training like during America's got talent, if there's some bittersweetness I had run my fastest marathon the year before, and I was training, I was so skinny.

    If you ever see America's got talent, like the first round, I'm emaciated. Like my wife sees it. My cheeks are sunken because to run very fast, you have to get very skinny. I would diet and I would run, train tremendously, very, very healthy and very regimented. And I was getting ready right then to run this marathon in Chicago.

    And I was going to run my fastest whenever, and then America's got talent happened and it just takes over your life. When I say takes over you're in the studio, every day, you're shooting press you're- there is no way to train at the level that I was, even though funny enough at rehearsals I would tell them, can I wear anything?

    And they'd be like, yes, it was a weird question. Like, what does it matter? Like, is there a dress code? No. So I go run.

    If they said you have an hour and a half right now between this and this, I would be in my running clothes and I would just go run for an hour and a half and then get back to radio city music hall.

    And they, started knowing me. They're like, who's this guy who just leaves to go run. And then I would do the rehearsals in, you know, short shorts in a running shirt. Everyone else was like, what are you doing? I got to get my runs in when I can. And so I would always be running. I was just like Forrest Gump.

    Ling Yah: Incredible. So you ended up with third place and you've described, that win, that exposure as a rocket machine or as tsunami. So how do you leverage on all that exposure and interest in you to bring your career to the next level?

    Oz Pearlman: It's exactly that. It's that once you have that, bit of heat, that bit of, you know, agents see you, other TV producers see you, you just start getting as many performances and appearances as possible.

    And like I said, say yes to everything. If you hear something Hey, these people are interested. Hey, let me get in the meeting, let me go show them what I do. And every single time you can keep kind of widening your circle and your network. And the more people that see you, hopefully the more people will give you opportunities to do new things that you didn't expect.

    Ling Yah: With all the people that were noticing you, did you feel that you had to change the way that you were running a business as well? I think that's when you got your manager in?

    Oz Pearlman: Manage things.

    So I absolutely, I just couldn't handle the volume. It's kind of like the difference between being more of a local act.

    Local being I'm known in the New York city area and I get booked to New York city and you have a certain volume and you can handle it to yourself to just it's like, if you want on shark tank and your business just grew so overnight, I became more of a national type act because all these people saw you on America's Got talent.

    The phone starts ringing off the hook. Because people see this in the way that I positioned myself was corporate. So it was very much done on purpose. When, when we started the show, America's Got Talent doesn't just sell talent. It sells stories.

    Your story is one or two lines. You know, in a lot of cases, I had this adversity, I overcame it, and this is my dream to now in Vegas.

    So mine was very clear. It was positioned. As I worked on wall street, I had a really good job. I quit this job and took a leap of faith on my dream, which is being a professional mentalist. And, you know, everyone said you were crazy. Family, everyone else. People did really think like, are you sure you want to do this?

    You know they'll tell you, go for it. But at same time, I'm sure behind my back, they're saying, what's this guy doing, especially the first year where you're not making very much money. I'm on my couch all the time. I'm doing all these shows free on bono restaurants for free. It didn't look like success at the start.

    You know what I mean?

    Everything looks perfect in hindsight, but the first few years. You don't know what's going to happen. So you really have to believe in yourself and not give up.

    Ling Yah: So I want to jump to now, and obviously we've gone through COVID and a lot of what you do is in person, seeing how people react so you can read their minds.

    How has it been like transitioning such that you are doing, as I understand, a lot of virtual events and it's been very, very successful.

    Oz Pearlman: It's been successful beyond my wildest dreams. If you dial back from now to March of 2020, when the world was melting down, my last flight was on March 12th.

    I'll never forget it. You know, before the pandemic hit. And I just thought, there's no way we're going to do shows on zoom. Like who wants that? You can't believe that people would want to do it. And the first few were so brutal. Because it's a new art form. It's a new medium. You have to learn.

    You can't take what you used to do and pretend you just do it on a computer screen. You have to learn what works, what doesn't work, how you create that engagement. Because everything about what I do is creating memories is having that feeling of wonder, but also feeling connected to the audience around you.

    And so learning how to do that over time, I started realizing. Normally I have to fly to a place to do a show or drive to a place and I can only do it for the people that are present.

    What's crazy about zoom is now you've opened up the world. I do shows all over the world, you know, six continents I've performed on at this point.

    And you can do a short one in the morning for, you know, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, and then it can be doing a show at 9:00 AM for London and Barcelona. It's wild. So it's expanded the reach.

    And it's also made it so that you can do so many more of them in a day. I can do three, four, five, six shows in a day because I don't have to go anywhere.

    I don't have to be there. I just have to go to my studio, turn on the computer and all my lights and, you know, that's it it's wild. There's, parts of it that I'm going to miss when this is done. I hope some of it sticks around. It will never compare to live. The energy of a live room is always going to be better, but the work-life balance of family and seeing them every day and being home 10 minutes after I finish a show is incredible.

    Ling Yah: Fantastic. Well, thank you so much for your time. So I normally love to wrap up all my interviews with these questions. The first one is, do you feel like you have found your why?

    Oz Pearlman: I think so. You know what? I can't, I can't end this without at least doing one fun thing for you. So I want to try your why for a moment.

    So much of our, why is the things that go beyond our work, right? Like you decided to create this podcast to explore other people, to put this content out in the world so that people can, you know, get gravitate towards it and hear interesting stories about interesting people and what made them tick and do their thing.

    Tell me, I'd love to know like, name three of your passions outside of your podcast.

    Ling Yah: Gosh.

    Travel, hiking, just doing something that's wildly different?

    Oz Pearlman: So let's jump into that. The first one you said is travel. Do you have anything to write on there? Do you have a pad of paper or a pen?

    Yeah.

    So I want you to imagine this.

    Okay. Because. Some of us are creatures of comfort. There's places that I love to go over and over because yeah, I know what it's going to be. I know that I'm at this food and this experience and this language. Here's what I want you to do. I want you to close your eyes right now. In the moment and think of a place you've been to before.

    Okay. And I want to be clear right now at this moment, you could be thinking of anywhere, right? This is, this is anywhere that you have been to before. This is not set up. This is not staged at this moment. You're being impulsive. You're thinking of anywhere. Have you got a place in mind?

    Ling Yah: Yes.

    Oz Pearlman: You've been to this place before.

    Is that right?

    Ling Yah: Yes.

    Oz Pearlman: And open your eyes. Now here's why I don't like this type of question because you did your research on me. What if I have done the research on you? The past is knowable. The past is out there, but the future is unknowable. That's what I'm intrigued by. So I want you to change, change, get rid of that place.

    I want you to think of the number one place that you would love to go that you've never been to. Right. This is, I like to call it the bug. This is much better because this you've never been to before. Okay. Can you picture that place as if you were looking at a map of the world and as if you had found it right there.

    Can you picture that place right now for me?

    Imagine what that place is, and I don't want to see it, but write it down on the piece of paper. So we know it's the number one place kind of place. If you're looking at the map, you can see it right there. Have you got it written down?

    Ling Yah: Yeah.

    Oz Pearlman: And can you share with the listener there is knowing the world that could see this, is that right?

    There's impossible. I could see what you wrote down.

    Ling Yah: That's right.

    Oz Pearlman: I think, I don't think it's in the USA. I don't think it's in Europe. I don't think it's in Africa. I just have this feeling. I said to myself, South America, Spanish, I think you said hiking and you want scenic vistas. You want all different climates, all different things.

    And I don't know if there's any family connection, but it's a country. Is it a country? I think it's a country, not a city. Am I right? Is it a country?

    Ling Yah: It's a country.

    Oz Pearlman: And it starts with the letter M. Mongolia. You were thinking of Mongolia, weren't you?

    Yes, I was.

    Show us the paper. I don't know if you're on video. I can't see the video, but show that

    that's right. It is Mongolia.

    You are absolutely correct. I want to give you for your why I, in terms of my, Y my why, definitely found my why. I think that my why is my family, my wife and my dog getting to be with them. And then obviously running is a big one.

    And just my passion is my career. That every single time I get to do a show, if it goes well, if it doesn't go well, I love the rush of performing. I love the rush of seeing the audiences face and quite frankly, giving someone a memory that I hope that they're going to cherish for a long time, that's going to stay with them.

    I don't care if people figure the trick out. I don't care if certain parts don't go great. Like I love the fact that it will be remembered. There's something about the fact that. Somebody who takes this with them? That my worst fear is that I'm forgotten that at the end of the thing, it's like a movie that you watched with popcorn and you said, Oh, I forgot what happened a week later.

    Good or bad, as long as it's intriguing. And it stays with somebody, I feel like I've accomplished my goal.

    Ling Yah: So do you feel that that is your legacy? What kind of legacy do you leave behind?

    Oz Pearlman: Well, I think my biggest legacy, I hope will just be family-related. Just like having kids that are well-educated, well adjusted good people.

    In terms of my career, my profession, I think that I would like to leave just audiences that remembered me that really liked it.

    Within the actual mentalism community, people will remember some of the incredible things I've done and some of the creations and pass the torch. Pass the torch to the next people that are gonna kind of do great work. And I love to see what the new young generation of like performers does. That's even bigger than what we've done.

    Ling Yah: What do you think are the most important qualities, a successful person would have?

    Oz Pearlman: I think determination and persistence. I think persistence is the big one you're hearing about all entrepreneurs is to not give up. And it's very easy to give up. It really is at certain points. I look back and there's all these little forks in the road where I could have given up and I could have easily gone to another path that's easier.

    And then exploit timing because if I had had a family younger and I needed money, and it's very easy to talk about this stuff when you're able to pay your bills, but if you're not putting a roof over your head and putting food on the table, that's a very different story.

    So take a chance and take chances that make sense at the time.

    Don't do it recklessly, but don't be scared. Like little milestones can lead to big milestones and you see it time. And again with entrepreneurs, performers, artists.

    Everybody is find your passion. And sometimes it takes a really long time to find it, but then try to build towards it and be smart about the way you do it.

    Ling Yah: And obviously, I mean, you have such an interesting story. You have such an interesting career.

    If people wanna learn more about what you're doing, support you, watch your shows, where can they go?

    Oz Pearlman: I mean all social channels are going to be the big ones. Mine is oz the mentalist. It looks like Oz. Like the wizard of it's an unusual pronunciation, but so it's O Z the mentalist you'll find me on- Instagram is my biggest one.

    YouTube channel, all my TV appearances, Facebook. And then my website is ozperlman.com Oh Z. P E R L M A N.com. And that's where you can find out news about my next shows.

    My virtual shows and my touring shows all over the world, knock on wood. COVID, we'll be done with soon enough. Or if you're hearing this in the future, hopefully it'll be a distant memory and we'll be back to life performances.

    Ling Yah: Fantastic. And I'll add all of that in the show notes as well, so people can go. Is there anything else you'd like to share that we haven't covered so far?

    Oz Pearlman: No, I want to thank you so much. I want to commend you. Keep going. I see all the guests, you've had some very interesting ones so far and just keep at it.

    This is one of those games where you grow slowly and surely. Like podcasts, people share them. And I love listening to podcasts when I'm running. It's really, it's kind of an absolute, so, so I've enjoyed them as well.

    Ling Yah: And I hear that you love hardcore history, which is really, really long.

    Oz Pearlman: Well, you do a lot of hardcore histories. WTF with Mark Marin.

    There's so many good ones. Lewis house school of greatness. I've been on that one. He's a good friend. He's got a great one similar to yours where he kind of digs into successful people. And I love hearing just how people tick. I was just with Tony Robbins recently, another guy who just really has taken and distilled success from people learned.

    What can you find?

    What can you learn from all these people that you look up to?

    And they are just people end of the day, all these people are just people that have done steps to get to where they are. There's no magic formula.

    Ling Yah: And that was the end of episode 48.

    The show notes and transcript can be found at www.sothisismy.com/48, and there's also a link to subscribe to this podcast 's weekly newsletter.

    And stay tuned for next Sunday, because we'd be meeting the son of Tun H S Lee. Malaysia's first finance minister, and also one of the founders of Malaysia's largest law firms, who also witnessed the very founding of the Malaysian legal system we know today.

    It's a fantastic journey into Malaysian history that you probably don't want to miss out on. So see you next Sunday.

    Do you want exclusive, weekly updates on new STIMY episodes & a chance to submit your questions for upcoming guests? Sign up now!

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