A time to share

Saturday, November 10, 2007

In My In Box

Tim, Do you benefit when I tell you personal stories? It’s time to share another one with you. When I was in college at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, my night job was performing card magic at the Magical Empire. I’d show up in a toga and entertain VIP guests and high rollers for five to ten minutes at a time, while they drank expensive cocktails in the beautiful atrium of the now defunct, glorious structure in Caesar’s Palace. As I look back, this was one of the most creative periods of my life. Over time, I have come to figure out what sparked the creativity. No, it wasn’t the toga. I developed so much sleight of hand back then, because I had a stable outlet to perform and experiment. As I mentioned in the last letter, you can only learn so much about magic in your room. You see how to execute sleights, and you can learn something about making your technique invisible from all angles. But that information, while essential, constitutes only the first skill you need to master to become a magician. Here is a partial list of other requisites needed to transform yourself into a competent magician: -How to approach, and encourage people on the idea of seeing you perform in the first place. -Learn why some magic techniques, maybe your favorites, arouse an audience’s suspicion. Though they look good in the mirror, they should be put away forever. -Talk with people, and listen to what effects they like. -How to be yourself. Have you mastered all of the above items? If you are one of the many who just perform at home, for members of your family, but now have decided to become a more competent magician - you have some work to do. When you find somewhere you can perform a few times a day, for people you don’t know, you’ll find yourself passing through the doorway to your own creative period. You’ll love your new creative identity. Moreover, your ideas won’t just be for novelty’s sake – rather, you learn what works for you and what doesn’t, by the only real method - experience. Then, your ideas will answer questions, and your solutions will solve real problems. Just something for you to think about. Remember that throughout the day, you have plenty of chances to perform for others. Take any opportunity to perform magic for someone in the next week or two. Cheers,Lee Asher Ps. now it's your turn to share with me Tim. Email me about your performance encounter(s), good or bad, and we'll discuss it. Speak with you soon.

My Reply to Lee:

I do benefit from your stories.
Personally, I think it very important to perform as often as possible for others beside family and friends.
Most of the stuff I do is for work associates.
I am fortunate to have lots of hours at work to practice and watch dvd's. (I am on an on call type basis) I can bring in my video recorder and use it as well.
Part of the challenge for me is that I have a full time job, a family and that I am 48 and got into magic at age 44.
These may all just be excuses, but I think that people who start into magic as younguns and develop into maturity in their teens have many advantages. They do not fear as much. It is like trying to learn to ski or ride a bike at age 5 and growing into it, or trying to learn at age 40 plus. I don't know, maybe these are all self imposed limitations.
Trying to find your own niche is a challenge as well. Where does it end? Rope magic, card magic, coin magic, mentalism, balls, thimbles, rings, and on and on...
Easy to not get a focus.

I have been "cramming" in magic for four years. I met you in Seattle when you brought Michael Ammar to lecture at Seattle Magic (now gone).
I was fortunate to be able to spend every Tuesday night at Tom Franks home for a year and a half. To me this is a critical piece to the puzzle of why some people move forward in their endeavors and others do not.
An example from my life will illustrate this point.
I was about thirty and at work when a fellow approached me selling a book, tape and a harmonica for a fun raiser. I surprised him by agreeing to purchase the set. But more than that, he invited me to join him during breaks and lunch to practice. He had been playing himself for about a week or two at most so he wasn't that far advanced than I, harmonically speaking. It soon became a healthy competition between each of us, pushing each other to become better.
I think that many young magicians find someone to do this in their lives. I have read so many stories of guys like you and Tom Frank (My mentor) etc. that this must be a key ingredient to your success.
So, now I am trying to find gigs, recently performing at a senior center, our church, and two birthday parties. Generally I don't perform "card" magic at these venues as cards aren't easily seen from a stage. However, after or before the gig, card tricks are great!
Trying to become well rounded in the magical arts.
One more thing, I would love to mentor someone or a bunch of someone's. So many have given to me magically, I want to give back. That would also force me to perform and be diligent and to be "perfect" in teaching others.
So, I love this journey, and I thank you and others for your hard work and love for the art as well.
In Magic,
Tim Flynn


Post a Comment

<< Home