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132: Supporting Parents of Children with Special Needs: Fun with Magic Tricks- Gorillagician (Full Transcript)

Jey (00:08.964)

soak it in, soak it in, soak it in, soak it in.

Jey (00:15.172)

They say there's a first time for everything and there is a first time for everything on the Young Dad podcast. We've talked to all kinds of different dads. We've talked to right -wing dads, left -wing dads, straight dads, gay dads, bi dads, religious dads, non -religious dads. We've talked to every dad in between. So before we get started, make sure you have your juice box, make sure you have a snack and make sure you're very comfy for this episode.

Before I introduce our guests, if you're watching on YouTube, you're waiting, you're antsy, you're ready. If you're watching on Spotify, wherever you get your video podcast, you're waiting, you're antsy, it's coming. First and foremost, before we jump into the podcast, I need y 'all to go down to the description of each and every episode, whatever episode you're listening to, and subscribe to the email list. The email comes out twice a week. Once during midweek, once during twice a week. You'll want to be subscribed to that because some months...

We have two episodes dropping per week. So it's important to drop that to drop your email into the email list so you never miss an episode. There we go. Without further ado, I am with a gorilla today. Gorillas have kids too. Gorillas are people of sorts too, because they stem. We're all homo sapien, right? We all come from gorillas. Just some embrace it more than others. With me today is Harry.

Harry the Gorillagician (01:26.582)

Thank you.

Jey (01:42.916)

The Gorilla Edition. Also great if you follow him over on Instagram for Gorilla Affirmation Fridays. Those are my favorites. Pretty much the whole thing is our gorilla friend here is a gorilla that performs magic. This gorilla is also a dad. This gorilla is also a divorced dad. This gorilla also has a special needs. What's a gorilla's cub? What's a gorilla's kid called? Is it?

Harry the Gorillagician (02:08.054)

I just call him my son. Yeah. Yeah.

Jey (02:13.604)

Okay, just they're just called sons. Um, you know, um, so our gorilla friend here is a lot like you and I gorillas experience these things, um, much like all of us. So Harry, welcome to the young dad podcast. Never did I ever think I would have a gorilla on the podcast, but here we are embracing it.

Harry the Gorillagician (02:31.222)


Harry the Gorillagician (02:37.398)

I'm glad to be your first, you know, maybe the first of many, who knows? I mean, there might be, I don't know. I spend most of my time with the humans.

Jey (02:41.284)

Are there more gorilla people?

Jey (02:48.132)

Okay, okay, that's fair. I would probably, being a human, I would spend more time with the gorillas.

Harry the Gorillagician (02:54.614)

Yeah, but they're cheap. They don't pay well. So humans are the way to go. That's a yeah.

Jey (02:57.604)

Do gorillas need mental health?

Harry the Gorillagician (03:02.07)

I think everybody needs mental health nowadays. With the world the way it is, 100%, everybody needs a little bit of mental health.

Jey (03:07.396)

Okay, so I might.

I might be able to have a lucrative career then among the gorillas.

Harry the Gorillagician (03:14.39)

I'm telling you though, they're cheap. They're real cheap. They rarely even buy clothes for themselves.

Jey (03:20.932)

Hey, if I don't have to wear clothes and I get to do what I do? It's a dream.

Harry the Gorillagician (03:24.918)

That is the dream, let's be honest. If I read the Bible correctly, paradise was walking around naked and eating fruit. So gorillas basically live in paradise. Yeah.

Jey (03:33.668)

It was, it was Adam and Eve. They were naked until they ate the forbidden fruit and then they realized their nakedness and all that. Genesis, book of Genesis. So yeah, you're spot on there.

Harry the Gorillagician (03:44.246)

And now you guys have to wear clothes all the time. It's horrible. We gorillas really know how to live.

Jey (03:49.988)

But I really appreciate you clothing up for the episode. I'm glad I don't have to see the gorilla nips. You're wearing the sunglasses. Eyes are probably a little goopy. Maybe have some banana in them. I would totally, I totally understand. So Harry, tell us about yourself. Tell us about Harry, the gorilla addition, please.

Harry the Gorillagician (03:56.982)


Harry the Gorillagician (04:10.678)

So, yeah, so I'm Harry the Gorillagician. I'm a magic performer. I perform all over the place. I also work at an elementary school where I'm the elementary school librarian. That's actually, I'm actually in my library right now. And it's the greatest job in the world. I call myself the fun uncle of the school because the kids come to me, their teachers have worked so hard all day to get them to, you know, be in line and.

and be paying attention. They bring them to me. I read them a story. I give them books, show them a magic trick. I'm all riled up and then send them back to their to their teachers who then have to try and get them back in back in line, which is which is really fun. So I've been I've been doing that for a while. I do a lot of performances for the schools in my school district just as kind of like my way of giving back. We do fundraisers and things of that nature.

Jey (04:53.732)

I love that.

Harry the Gorillagician (05:07.222)

And it's a lot of fun. I've been performing magic for a good long time. And it's kind of a passion of mine. It's something I do for fun as well as make a little bit of money.

Jey (05:21.38)

I love that. So Harry, how did it all start? You started as a school librarian, so you started from the bottom. Now you're here. What was the initial steps that got you going down this path of magic and gorilla additioning and all the things that you do? You're a very tech savvy gorilla doing podcasts, doing Instagram. I'm impressed to say the least. So how did it all start?

Harry the Gorillagician (05:48.406)

It actually started, I had a friend who was doing a magic show and he needed an act. He needed an act. He usually did these corporate shows. He had this really cool act. It's quick change. I don't know if you know what quick change is, but it's where they, well, they change quickly. I guess it's all in the name there. And he was kind of an ethnically ambiguous looking guy. And so his act was magic from around the world.

And it was this beautiful thing. He would go, he had a backdrop and he'd walk around the backdrop and he would start in one costume, walk around the backdrop. And when he came out, he was in a different costume and he'd throw a different country to be the backdrop. So the backdrop kept changing. He'd walk around, flip the thing over, come out in a new costume and do a magic trick from that area. It was really a really cool show. Yeah, I wish he still did it. He doesn't perform.

Jey (06:37.636)

That's cool. That's super cool, super unique.

Harry the Gorillagician (06:46.294)

really at all anymore, but he reached out to me that he usually performed with a girl and there's one part in the act where he has to do an actual change. And so when he had to do the actual change, usually this girl would come out and she was super talented. She had fire eating and juggling and did all sorts of cool stuff and she wasn't available. And so he reached out to me and said, hey, can you come out? And I said, well, what do you want the theme to be? And Harry, the Gorillagician was born. It started out.

When I first came out, I didn't know what my name was going to be. I hadn't thought about that until I walk out onto the stage and I realize I have no name to tell these people. And it's a bunch of like, it's a bunch of like guys in their twenties. And so, and it was, yeah, yeah, it was a bunch of young executives, bunch, it was almost entirely dudes. And so kind of thinking on my feet, I,

Jey (07:30.02)

Was it a corporate gig? Oh no, those are rough. Oh, those are rough.

Harry the Gorillagician (07:41.302)

the Harambe thing had just happened and I walked out and I said, hello, my name's Harambeanie the Gorillagician. You may have heard of my mentor who died tragically during a failed bullet catch attempt, which for most audiences is the most horrible thing you could say, but for this audience, it killed. And so we shortened the name to just Harry because it's a little bit less aggressive and Harry the Gorillagician was born.

Jey (08:00.484)


Jey (08:11.62)

That's beautiful. I love that. And so you've been doing Harry, you've been doing magic since a long time then for.

Harry the Gorillagician (08:18.966)

Yeah, about 2016 is when I started. 2016, 2017, yeah. And...

Jey (08:24.356)

So 2016, you started doing magic. 2017, as I understand, no, 2007, your son was born. So your son was about 10. Okay. So what was his initial reaction? What was he thinking of it?

Harry the Gorillagician (08:32.15)

Yeah. So he was about 10. He was about 10 at the time. Yeah. And he.

Oh, he loves it. He's, he's really funny. We do. Uh, we do. I throw cards around for him and that's one of his favorite things. And then I just go, Hey, Jake, is this your card? And he's like, ah, and he just loves it. It's, it's, it's one of his things. I mean, uh, Jake has a, he has a, uh, kind of particular disorder. It's called Angelman syndrome and it's kind of a cool, um, I don't want to say a cool disorder, but.

Compared to a lot of other things, it's a little bit easier. They used to call it.

Jey (09:13.476)

Take us through that. What is that? Because I bet the listener has never heard of Angelman's disorder. Angelman syndrome.

Harry the Gorillagician (09:21.718)

Angelman syndrome. Yeah. Um, and it's, it's, they used to have a much less politically correct name for it. It used to be called happy puppet syndrome. And because the kids who, yeah, yeah, it's, it's a, it's a real thing. That was the like official diagnosis. Imagine somebody coming in and saying, hello. Um, so we have diagnosed your child. He has.

Jey (09:31.972)

whoa okay no it's amazing

Harry the Gorillagician (09:48.342)

happy puppet syndrome. And that was a thing that actually happened. They changed it to Angelman syndrome. And the reason why is the kids are always happy. It's a neurological disorder. There's some mental deficiency, right? It's...

Jey (10:03.62)

Mm -hmm.

Harry the Gorillagician (10:15.606)

similar in a lot of ways to some of the other mental disorders, but it they don't talk is one of the is one of the big things like my my son may only learn like five words his entire life and he's doing pretty like he's doing pretty good. But they just sit there and they're happy all the time, which is a huge blessing because imagine if you had a kid who was only happy all the time. It's it's wonderful, right? Yeah. Yeah, it's.

Jey (10:27.844)

Wow, okay.

Jey (10:39.812)

That would be so fun. That would be so fun. I wish my kids were happy all the time. I wish they were happy all the time. And just, and just for a second, I bet.

Harry the Gorillagician (10:44.31)

Smiley happy all the time, but it also makes it hard because then you don't know if they're like really hurting because they're still, you know, unless, unless it gets pretty bad.

Jey (10:52.036)

That's true too. But just imagine, I can only imagine like being around someone all the time that's just happy. Like the impact that has on you as a person, like as a dad, like he's going through all this. His life is just happiness, laughter, smiling, you know, 100%.

Harry the Gorillagician (11:16.342)

Well, it's contagious. I mean, you cannot be around my son without being happy. You just can't. He is, he brings joy wherever he goes. He's just the happiest kid and it's wonderful.

Jey (11:23.524)

Mm -hmm.

Jey (11:30.628)

That's so cool. That's so cool.

Harry the Gorillagician (11:30.998)

So yeah, so as far as, as far as like, uh, disabilities go, uh, it's, it's a blessing and, and, and, you know, everybody, no matter where your kid is, everybody has their difficulties. Um, my, for my son, it just happens to be a little bit more obvious. You know, he's able to, you're able to just kind of see, Oh, so he has a hard time walking because he also has cerebral palsy. You know, his, his motor skills are not spectacular.

And he's a little delayed on his understanding, but he's really delayed in what he's able to communicate. The communication part's really the hardest part for him. And so, yeah, so he understands and you can tell sometimes that he understands and he's just not able to communicate what he's trying to think. Or he'll look at people or he'll laugh at those times where we all wish that we could laugh, but it's not socially acceptable and he'll just laugh.

You know, so which makes which makes going to church just a blast because there'll be moments where everybody's kind of like looking at each other awkwardly and then you just hear is here my boy going like that. This is yeah, it's it's glorious. And then and then everybody's trying not to laugh with him. Yeah.

Jey (12:31.46)

Okay. Gotcha.

Jey (12:45.508)

I would love that.

I would, I would laugh. So yeah, so looking it up here, I just wanted to, you know, give it the diagnostic what it is. It's a neurogenetic dis