A time to share

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Haven't felt

like posting in some time as my faithful 3 and a 1/2 who actually read this blog can attest.
Don't really know why, guess I am feeling rather boring.
Fifty one years old, er, young and still sometimes wonder what I am doing here. What is my purpose? To create magic for others? To be a good and faithful husband, to raise children?... to what end... sometimes I have it all together, sometimes I blow it big time... running around trying to achieve, for what???
Fishing, Golfing, Reading, Watching television??? Going to church?
Are we truly just here to learn to please Him?
Oh, I forgot work... is to work, to earn money, to feed your face, to put a roof over one's head???
Is it to have pleasure unlimited?
I always told our children when they said, "I'm bored". That if they were bored, then they are boring...
Maybe I have always been looking for some GRAND purpose to fulfill?
Anyway, what's been shaking lately?
Golf here and there, doing fine with it, but not spectacular, magically speaking, I think I got in a rut sessioning with magicians and need to simply just get out and get some gigs and perform.
I performed walk around magic or table hopping magic for three hours on Saturday. I found out, I'm a pretty good magician! :)
I mean that, because I do not perform often for audiences, I forget how powerful some of the stuff we do really is. Sessioning with magicians kind of has the ability to kill your remembrance of how magic affects others. And I think there is danger in this...
But working a gig or two always restores my faith!
I am also beginning to realize I don't need to learn every new trick that comes down the pike... I can't use them all, and when I am out performing, I forget so much that is in my repertoire.. so I end up sticking with about six favorites... Funny how that works... Seems so many magicians, me included, are always looking for the Latest and Greatest, or the holy grail of magic tricks, this is totally unnecessary, and counter productive. The truth is that all one really needs is a handful or two of really astonishing effects that are learned astonishingly well! Do them over and over again, thus making them your own, and allow yourself to shine thru them.
I have seen some pretty bad magic lately.
I am really amazed by the poorness of it. I did a walk around gig Friday night at Rogers High School for their deaf carnival. I went and it was a charity event.
As I walked in the door and introduced myself, a woman behind the desk said, "Oh, you're the magician!" I said "absolutely!" She replied, "I can't wait to see your show tonight!"
I looked at my daughter who came with me, and replied to her, "I didn't know I was doing a show tonight." As I traveled around the gym and lunch room doing magic I heard several times about this magic show that was happening later. I got a little worried that I had somehow missed something and I hadn't brought any of my stage props. I needn't have troubled myself as I found out that a two time world champion was performing that evening. His name was ... well, I'll leave that out, but he is a two time deaf champion of magic. So my daughter and I decided to catch his act, I was excited to learn something from him...
Sorry to say, he wasn't very good. He packed a thirty minute show into an hour. He turned his back on the audience repeatedly, I mean REPEATEDLY, for no reason at all when he was fiddling with his props. Several times he walked off stage completely to put a prop away or to go get his next one. I was really saddened watching this.
I wanted to talk to him and let him know that he could really use a choreographer of stage presence or something.
I guess I am supposed to cut him some slack because he is deaf? Well, I would if he was stupid, but being deaf doesn't mean you're stupid, in fact, working for the deaf carnival the last two years has taught me that the deaf are highly attuned in other areas. They see things that most lay people do not see, my magic has to be even better, tighter when I perform for them!
Another thing that I noticed was that he was up on a really nice sized stage. There were two curtains, (or four depending how you think about it)at least as far as stage forward and stage rear would be concerned.
He had the annoying habit of performing the majority of his magic at the very back of the stage. This made him really far away from the audience which was already far away as there was quite a distance from the front edge of the stage and the first row of spectators.
Too bad too, because he has obviously spent a lot of money on his props, and time and effort into doing magic.
His clothing was also ho hum, blue jeans, cowboy boots and a black cowboy shirt that was left untucked... I don't understand this. As I type these words I am getting angrier, why? Because for most of the people in the audience, this is probably their first time seeing a real live magician. I don't know if he is aware of this powerful truth, or because he had a show the following afternoon that people had to pay to see, he felt that he needn't give this one his best?
He trained at the Chavez College of Magic, and soon after became involved in the Academy of Magical Arts program whose home base is the Magic Castle in Hollywood. Now he is regarded as one of the world’s Deaf Premiere magicians. Currently he is recognized as a master magician and will be a thrill for all to see.
I guess it's true, as a magician, I am jaded. However, my daughter was bored with his performance and I doubt very much that she is jaded.
So, I guess I did learn a lot from watching this "professional, two time champion perform!"
My walk around for two hours was a blast! I enthralled the people with magic!see, don't they look enthralled!
Really, I had a blast. It is always fun to take some skeptical people, especially teen agers, and turn them into your biggest fans! :)
This group started out skeptical, but soon, very soon, I had tyhem eating out of the palm of my hand, and then they wanted to have a picture taken with me!

Saturday I spent the day in Seattle. Several hours aboard one of the Royal Argosy cruise ships on Puget Sound. I was hired by U.S. Oil to entertain for three hours. This was walk around magic and table hopping. This is the 2nd year in a row that I have worked this event. Several of the same people were aboard and many new faces. The day was beautiful, the Royal Argosy cruises out into Elliot Bay and the patrons get to enjoy the tug boat races. They actually have tug boat races with "heats" and all.
Hitting my stride! I am glad I did the Friday night gig at Rogers High school. It was an excellent tune up for the Saturday event!
I set up shop at a table with a couple, and performed Crazy Man's Hand Cuffs, then the Biddle Trick, One Eyed jack Sandwich, and finished with Paperclipped. The laughter was fantastic! The woman that hired me came over in the middle of this set and raved about me, there was a singer performing as well, he came by with her and was floored too, he gave me a business card and wants me to contact him to put me in touch with his agent, hmmm...
From there I moved on out into the general audience, mingling, schmoozing and performing. I had a great time.
My set list, or tricks I performed include, the three mentioned earlier and Tricky Wallet, Hot Rod, Jumping Gems, Bird catcher, Card in box, Twisting the Aces, Dr. Daley's Last Trick, and a few coin tricks...Oh, and a vanishing, reappearing silks routine...
I find it interesting how much I stress out prior to a gig. I spend countless hours preparing, and then I only perform a handful of the stuff I know.
Over preparing is better than under preparing I suppose!
After my gig I walked up to Pike Place Market. I stopped into the coffee shop where my friend Brian Masters works. He wasn't there. He was out Busking somewhere in Pike Place. I wanted to go see him work, but as I was getting my coffee, he walked in. We chatted a bit and he asked me if I wanted to see the best busker in Pike Place? Of course I said, you bet. so out we went into the street and immediately he introduces me to a young man (31) who so doing a Rubik's cube act. I watched his act and I think because Brian and I were watching him, drew a small crowd. Sorry to say, his act was sorely lacking in my not so humble opinion... what's going on here? The guy has a felt table on a stand and is showing how fast he can reassemble a Rubik's cube with two hands, I think it was about 19 seconds...then he says he will do it with one hand while spinning a book on one finger of his other hand. He did this in just under a minute. Now I know this would be extremely difficult to do, but really, it was well... lacking. He had a dvd to sell for ten dollars. I put a fiver in his coffee can.
I don't know, maybe I don't have the right to express an opinion on a street performers gig since I don't street perform? But I do have eyes in my head and a mind that works...
Brian had to leave so I strolled over to Market Magic. Am always looking to support our local magic store, especially since I had just been paid in cash from the U.S Oil LLC. Gig. Met a new guy behind the counter named Nathan, he is just over from Eastern Washington and I caught him on his first day working at Market Magic. Also got to meet the other fellow behind the counter, I think his name is Brian, an older fellow. Also there is a young man doing magic named Lewis. I met Lewis two weeks ago at the David Williamson lecture. He is form Germany, I think, He speaks with an accent and I have to really listen to him to understand what he is saying. He did several card tricks for me and... I hate to keep beating the same horse, they were very poorly done. I think it because he is attempting very difficult effects. I have to give him props for trying though. He is about 23 years old and someday, he might be very good, in fact, I would bet on it.
I made a small purchase of some special Bicycle cards and made my way home!

Mowed the lawn and BBQ'd A Fillet Mignon!
What a day!


Blogger markjens said...

Wow dude! When you update you really update! Sounds like you have been spending some time in your own head - careful there - its a bad neighborhood and you shouldn't go in there by yourself. Glad to hear the gigs went well - I know what you mean about the sessioning. Probably be good to perform three or four gigs to every session.


12:39 AM  

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