Like the great Harry Houdini, magician Dorothy Dietrich came from a poor background and felt lost until she found her passion for magic. She has made it a priority to let her passions guide both her career and personal life choices. Dorothy is best known for her shocking stunt she performed for the International Brotherhood of Magicians, where she caught a live bullet in her mouth, which was a stunt Harry Houdini even refused to attempt. She explained, “At that point in my life I had been getting recognized and was doing a lot of TV appearances. Around that time was when I was invited to perform for the International Brotherhood of Magicians, which is a great honor! Many magicians from all over the world came to watch. I thought I could do a pretty routine where I produce a duck, a rabbit, or doves, and that would be nice and beautiful, but I really wanted to do something that would make the men react and say ‘wow!’” They said wow indeed! After that moment, she became a much respected figure in the magic community and truly was recognized as a magician and not a “female magici-anne,” like she had previously been identified as. She had proven herself to her male counterparts and put herself on an equal playing field, which was her goal from the beginning. Other than the incredible bullet catch, Dorothy has performed other innovative stunts such as, a straitjacket escape where she was suspended from a burning rope and sawing a man in half, which is typically the other way around.
On top of her devotion to the preservation of history, Dorothy also plays a role in creating history as well. Besides proving that women have a place in magic, she also works to prove women have an equal place in the world. During the interview, she expressed her passion for women’s rights and politics in general. She was a part of the Women’s March in Washington earlier this year as well as the featured performer, starring in artist Elaine Byrne’s contemporary art exhibit entitled “Women Boxed” in NYC.
Through her incredible and insightful stories, Dorothy was able to express many important tips that she feels are essential for living a full and purposeful life.
Dorothy’s Magic 8 Tricks for Success
- Find and Follow Your Passions: “Find out what’s in your heart and what makes your heart beat faster. Follow your passion, whatever or wherever it is.”
- Never Stop Learning: “When you find your passion, learn everything about it.”
- Be Independent, But Know It’s Okay to Ask for Help Too: “It’s important to be independent and learn things on your own. You should have a good sense of things and how they work, but know when you need help and know how to ask for it.”
- Everyone Is Approachable: “If you know that a person is the superstar in your field of interest, approach them. No one is unapproachable. If you want the best outcome possible, talk to the best in your field. If they don’t get back to you right away, don’t consider it dead ended. Maybe you’ll get to work together sometime in the future.”
- Don’t Let the Haters Bring You Down: “There are always going to be naysayers and the bullies in the world.” Dorothy warns to not let those people crush your passions. If you believe in yourself, fight harder to prove the haters wrong… just like she did.
- You Should Live Your Life like you’re Writing Your Own Book: Dorothy advises, “If you do something you wouldn’t share with your grandkids someday, you probably shouldn’t do it.” This is a motto she has lived by. Fill your book of life with a bunch of positive experiences that you want to share with the world.
- Be Open-minded, Creative, and Live to Help Others: “It’s very important to keep an open mind. I try to do unique things and make the world a better place.” Be flexible to new ideas and remember to always harness positivity in everything that you do.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY: “Don’t be afraid to be different and be the first one to do something. Back in my day, society had a specific idea of roles for woman. There was no encouragement for women to be their own creative person, or their own boss. At first, I wasn’t even allowed to join magic clubs, because they were men only in the beginning.”
Dorothy has dedicated her life to fulfilling her passions, while also remembering to help and respect those around her. This is something she urges young people starting out in their careers to do. Strive to live a passion-filled life that will ultimately have a positive impact on those around you.
Contributor: Ally Massimi