MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. --
Chapter 1: Early years of magic
His fingers flipped through a deck of cards, all eyes fixated on him watching his hands move carefully. Machine-like movements and mastery of situational awareness are just a few of his tools.
Growing up with four siblings, he wanted to do something no one in his family had done before, become a magician.
“Magic has always been a big part of my life,” said Airman 1st Class Fermin Garcia, 5th Munitions Squadron armament maintenance team member, “I saw my first magician in kindergarten and was amazed at what he could do. I wanted to be like him.”
Garcia was born in Corpus Christi, Texas. During his early elementary school years his parents would buy him magic kits at the book fair for practice.
“In 3rd grade, I upgraded from scholastic magic,” said Garcia. “I performed my first magic show for my 3rd grade class and the teacher loved it. I was nervous but excited because I was doing something that I loved.”
The love for magic that started years ago blossomed into more than just a hobby.
“After that, read more about magic and practiced card tricks,” said Garcia. “But I never worked up the courage to actually show somebody.”
Garcia’s dedication to perform magic increased as the years passed.
Chapter 2: Executing the magic
As a freshman in high school, Garcia regularly visited his usual magic shop, where he developed a friendship with the owner.
“It was filled with magic and mystery,” said Garcia. “Every time I went in there it was an indescribable feeling for me.”
The owner, a professional magician whose stage name was Valdino, took Garcia as an apprentice, showing him tips and tricks of the trade.
“Valdino referred to magic as having an old coin,” said Garcia. “Before you show anyone the coin, you want to make sure it’s polished. It’s the same with magic, because you polish the trick until it’s perfectly executed.”
Garcia describes having Valdino as a teacher and mentor was career changing for him.
“He taught me magic methods such as sleight of hand and magic secrets,” said Garcia. “He also taught me some of his philosophy which helped me grow as a magician and a person.”
Chapter 3: Air Force life
After high school, Garcia continued to purse magic instead of attending college. His step-brother serving in the Navy and his sister in the Army, convinced him to join the Air Force as a back-up plan.
“I didn’t initially want to join the Air Force right away because I was fresh out of high school,” said Garcia. “Eventually, I wanted to enlist but my parents and siblings convinced me to join right away.”
Garcia joined the Air Force in June of 2016.
“My favorite thing about the Air Force is seeing the mission get done,” said Garcia. “It’s really cool to see when all our hard work pays off.”
During his short time in the Air Force, Garcia realized his magician skills transferred into his everyday life.
“My skills as a magician have helped me become more vigilant and sharpened my situational awareness at work,” said Garcia. “I’m also more open and confident due to the amount of social interaction when performing in shows.”
Garcia spends his time off performing at shows in downtown Minot, kid’s birthday parties and some events on base. He also teaches kids at a non-profit magic camp.
His favorite part about being a magician is giving back to the community.
“When I perform magic it makes people happy and I use that now because you never know what somebody is going through,” said Garcia. “Showing them a simple magic trick can turn their entire day around.”