Essay Questions

What is your most memorable childhood experience?My most memorable childhood experience comes from my seventh birthday. As a young boy I was fascinated by stage magic. At the time the biggest name in magic was Lance Burton who was headlining a show at the Monte Carlo casino. My mother graciously bought the family tickets to see his show. On our drive to Las Vegas, we ran into truly horrific traffic and didn't pull into Las Vegas until after 11pm. Due to a mix up in communication my grandmother had booked rooms at a downright unsavory place off the strip. My parents flatly refused to stay there after seeing the place, so we went out in search of a new hotel room. In Las Vegas. On a Friday night. After multiple calls to nearly every casino on the strip we finally settled at the Circus Circus casino after midnight. I passed out immediately upon hitting the bed. The next morning my family and I decided to go out and see some of the city before we went to see Lance Burton that night. But nearly everything was closed. We couldn't ride the newly opened ride on top of the Stratosphere. Likewise, all the shows such as the Trapeze act at Circus Circus were also shut down due to mandatory inspections which would need to take place before it was safe to perform again. Feeling somewhat dejected we walked over to the Mirage to see Siegfried and Roy's lion exhibit. But due to some freak illness all the lions were sick at the time, and no one could visit them. We decided to hop aboard the tram which takes us down the strip and after a short wait we boarded. While on board an elderly lady asked me how I was enjoying my trip and I told her I wasn't due to all the aforementioned reasons and that it was my seventh birthday. Out of the blue this old lady and the rest of her group start singing me Happy Birthday and by the time we reach Circus Circus the entire tram car was singing me Happy Birthday. This seemed to completely reverse all the previous bad luck which had plagued our trip. My father and I were able to see the trapeze act at Circus Circus as well as walk down to see a performance at Treasure Island. We then enjoyed dinner at the Monte Carlo before walking down to the theatre to see the Lance Burton show. While queued up outside the theater my father (a man who flatly refuses to gamble) decided to play a slot machine. He inserted a single quarter and won a $20 silver coin with an image of Lance Burton on it. We then went inside the theater and much to my surprise our seats for the show were front and center of the theater. The show begins and it is every bit as magical as anything I'd seen on TV. Lance floated a car across the stage, made a lady appear out of a giant deck of cards, and everything else one might think of with a magic show. He then took a short break, and a juggler came out to perform. While the juggler was busy tossing around a chainsaw, flaming torch, and a bowling ball he looks me dead in the eyes and says "Hey kid, catch this" then proceeds to toss the bowling ball at me. My father dives in front of me like a secret service agent protecting the president from a bullet while I let out an ear-piercing scream. Midway through its flight path the bowling ball turns into a balloon and sputters out at my feet. My father picks himself up off the ground and the audience laughs while I sit there red eared and embarrassed. Lance Burton takes the stage again and continues to amaze everyone with his stagecraft. At the end of the show, he pulls me up on stage and tells me happy birthday before pulling a dollar bill from my ear and presenting it to me. The show ends and we leave the theatre. On our way out my mom asks to see the dollar bill and then states she'll be back shortly. While waiting for her my dad again decides to play the slot machine and on the same machine and wins another $20 silver coin. My mom returns with the dollar bill signed from Lance Burton and I cradle it like a precious artifact. We make our way back to the hotel and I pass out from the most hectic and exciting day of my life.
What immediate family member do you closely identify with and why?I most closely identify with my father. As a young boy I could be somewhat timid, and he helped me come out of my shell. Whether it was encouraging me to try new things or push hard through trials and tribulations, my dad helped me develop into the person I have become.
What character traits do you admire in an individual?To me the most admirable traits are composure, kindness, and excitement. To see someone who can keep their head about themselves when under pressure is really admirable. Kindness is equally important. The ability to be nice even when upset proves that person will be good to me and those I care about even when things are going poorly. Lastly is excitement. A person who is not so restricted by societal norms that they can show they are passionate about something and who doesn't attempt to hide their excitement means the person is not putting on a false face. Seeing someone get excited means I am truly witnessing the best parts of that person.
What is the funniest thing ever to happen to you?The funniest thing which ever happened to me occurred when I was 10 years old. I had recently begun riding dirt bikes and one of my dad's friends had a Honda XR50 which he'd left at our house. I had taken to cruising about the thing on my family property and was starting to feel quite comfortable on it. While thrashing it up a hill near the family grove I gave the bike far too much throttle for my mediocre skill level. The bike launched over the top of the hill like I was in a crusty demons of dirt video. After finding myself 10 feet in the air I let go of the bike and it continued to travel away from me. I landed and rolled in the dirt (completely unscathed) but the bike landed on top of one of my family orange trees 15-20 feet past the jump. My parents rushed over to make sure I was okay and upon seeing I was fine they fell about themselves laughing at how I'd gotten a motorcycle into a tree. Upon seeing what I'd done I laughed right along with them.
If time and money were not an issue, where would you travel and why?If given a blank check and a private jet to travel wherever I chose I would travel to Mongolia. It has long been my dream to take a horseback riding trip across the steppes of Northern Asia. I'd spend my days sleeping in a yurt and riding a stallion across the plains.
When and if you ever have children, what would you like to pass on to them?I have a daughter and if given the chance I would love to pass on to her a passion for living and the outdoors. Some of my greatest joys have come from time in the mountains or out on the water. When I go out now, I take her with me and show her how amazing life and nature can be.