Welcome to Common Core Texts, a project by Michael DeJoseph. Here you'll find high-quality reading passages for grades 3 to 12 in ELA, Social Studies, History, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and many other topics.

A Highly Unique Career
A Reading Comprehension Passage by Common Core Texts

My career is highly unique. I use a specialized skill set that took me an entire lifetime to learn. I can earn thousands of dollars in a single day, and the tools of my trade can fit into a single briefcase. Am I a lawyer? A surgeon? A banker? None of the above. There are thousands of lawyers, surgeons, and bankers in my city alone. But in the entire world, there are only several hundred people who can do what I do.

I’ve kept you in suspense long enough; I’ll reveal my secret. I am a prestidigitator, an illusionist, a sleight-of-hand artist. I am a magician. However, I don’t perform at children’s parties, in concert halls, or on street corners. Those venues are for amateurs. They use distractions and distance to fool their half-awake audiences. My clients demand a higher level of performance, and they are willing to pay a high price for it.

My performances take place in a luxurious suite on the top floor of a fancy hotel. My audience, no more than eight people at a time, comes from around the world to see my magic. They sit just a few feet away from me. Before their very eyes, they see wonders performed. Aces appear from thin air. Rabbits are transported from one end of the room to another. A rope full of knots turns into a bouquet of flowers.

A lesser magician could never perform such complex illusions with their audience only an arm’s length away. But I am the best of the best. Never once has an audience member figured out one of my tricks. But don’t be fooled: I’m no wizard. My secret is simply a lifetime of practice.


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