A time to share

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I've Heard it Said

that you learn more through failure than success. If that statement is true... then Friday night I learned a ton!
I performed for a small group of about 75 people at Farrington Court in Kent Washington. It was a rather intimate setting as I was set up in the Tuscany room. It was rather cramped and the audience was right on top of me and semi surrounding me. No matter, I was being paid to perform. Besides, I was excited to share my magic with young and old!
I had invited magician and friend Gary McKibben to watch me perform. I also asked him if he would like to perform an effect as well. He agreed and we had a blast.
It was Friday you know, that sometimes means I don't get a lot of sleep. Why? Because I have to stay up or get up early so I can sleep Friday night. No excuses! On with the show!
I opened with the Chinese Sticks. It was amazing to all. Gary told me later as we enjoyed some barley at H.D HotSpurs in Kent that it was a lovely, fascinating effect. It brought smiles to his face. I open with this effect because it doesn;t require much in the way of knuckle busting slights and it also gets the audience clapping right away.
Then I performed the Cut and Restored Rope with the Professors Nightmare ending by Jim Cellini. We all had fun with it and it dove tails nicely into Lassoing a card. Again, Gary mentioned that Lassoing a Card was excellent. I performed a lot of magic, maybe too much. We had an hour time slot to fill, and I wanted to fill it. You know, give them their money's worth!?
Egg Bag played really well and no flaws, then disaster! Murphy's law crept in. Actually it wasn't all bad, but the banana didn't vanish! Oh my GOSH! There it is slamming itself onto the floor. What do I do?! The Vanishing Bandanna is a hilarious effect. At the conclusion, the banana is supposed to vanish. Oh my, quick thinking needed. The audience had been laughing along with the effect up until this point... at the opening of the effect, I mention something like this as I open the box, "Oh look, there's directions", as I pull out a sheet of printed directions, I say, "men never follow directions", as I toss the paper over my shoulder. This gets a good laugh, so now, there is this banana on the floor that isn't supposed to be there, I quickly retrieve the directions and holding them up, I say, "Now you know why you are supposed to follow directions!" This gets a decent laugh and no one is the wiser. What did I learn? That the audience isn't aware of where you are going with an effect. Whew, by now I am sweating bullets.
The show must go on. I'm the star! Ha!
I move on to the Cups and Balls, and Gary is going to do an effect and I'm going to come back and end with my first ever live performance of Sterling Dietz' paper tear.
The cups and balls went smoothly until I asked a young boy to pick a cup that all the balls will return under. This is about 4/5Th's thru the routine. I show the cups to be empty that he didn't pick, as I am reaching over to pick up his selection to reveal the first orange, I accidentally knock over the cup furthest from his choice, revealing an orange, now I just showed this cup to be empty, and immediately there is an orange under it. I'm freaking out because this is not when I want to reveal this orange, but the audience is gasping because it was no more than a second or two from when I had lifted this cup and it was empty!
I make some lame comment about not getting the right cup and move on. Later when I am revealing all the rest of the oranges, I lift that same cup, but there is no orange beneath it and I WAS EXPECTING ONE THERE, another thing to ad lib, so I immediately say "Oh, it's over here," as I lift my hat and reveal a pumpkin. Again, turning a mess up to my advantage! WHEW!
Sweating bullets now profusely, I take a break while Gary performs a nice relaxing signed dollar to box routine. I needed the break! Gary did a fine job, many years of performing showed! Relaxed and confident!
I came back and closed the show with the paper tear. Technically it flowed well. But after listening to Gary telling me some advice about angles and watching the video, I have a lot to learn yet about controlling my magic and my surroundings.
It has a very nice message and I will work to improve.
It's funny, but everyone had a great time, the audience was laughing and applauding and carrying on, everyone was smiling, having fun. This is what I have been reading about in many of the magic books lately, that it is more about connecting and sharing than being flawless. Being an engaging personality rather than a stuffed shirt.
The children in the audience were entertained and the children inside the senior citizens came out a Little too. Some teenagers were leaning forward in their seats as well. (I'm told)
A boy of thirteen who is interested in magic, and whom Gary and I entertained privately a little before the show, told me, "so, you're a comedy magician." I hadn't planned on being that, but I'll take it if they all had a blast!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paper tear is notorious for bad angles. Seen may a magician flash the hec out of it. Hope that didn't happen to you.

Sounds like everyone had a great time and that's really what it is all about!

7:14 PM  
Blogger Timmy Jimmy said...

You are so right, And everyone had a great time and I learned a lot!
I did some flashing during the paper tear. I will be working hard to correct it. It wasn't really terrible, and maybe laymen didn't catch it too much, that is my hope anyway.
I think it was the closeness of the audience to me. The room was crowded and the audience was right on top of me. If that happens again, I will choose not to perform it.

12:15 AM  

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