A time to share

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A New Mentor!

I have submitted myself to the tutelage of a master magician recently.
I am ready to make my magic Elegant.
Will I put in the work required? I don't know, I am kind of lazy, and I have many excuses not too. Work, family, T.V. other hobbies etc. etc.
This mentor is amazing. He is the greatest sleight of hand man I have ever seen. I am hoping that he will rub off on me by osmosis. Too bad that will not work.
It will take hard work, time and effort.
He busts my chops every time I am with him. He tells me to "take the boxing gloves off Tim."
At first this annoyed and hurt me, I thought I was doing fairly well, (And I am) but by whose standards?
My biggest challenge will be to honor his time and effort into my magical life. He has me working on several card tricks that require many different sleights. They are not easy to do and require finesse to make it look as if nothing is taking place. I look forward to the future and my growth as a magi.

The Emperors New Clothes (Stylin'!)

Boeing bribed us employees with 5000 dollars to accept a new contract almost a year before our old contract expired. This was last November, right before December which is Christmas time. I was apposed to the contract offer, but I did not get to vote as I am a "Beck objector" which means I do not agree with the political arm of our union. The way they spend it's members money on political activities. I am still a union member but do not have full rights because I choose to not allow any of my union dues money to go to what our union calls "Non Partisan Political league." However, our union only votes Democrat which is totally liberal and against many of my beliefs.
So, any way, we at Boeing got a lump sum payment of $5000.00. I call it a bribe. Our union went behind it's members back to meet secretly with the Boeing counter parts to get this done. Gotta love Unions, just like Democrats, all believing they know what's best for the people but do not want the people's input.
So I decided to enjoy the money as best I could. I spent about oh, I don't know 2-3 thousand on Christmas gifts for everyone and then....

I went to Men's Wearhouse and spent a couple of Thousand on new clothes for me!
Three suits, a nice overcoat for wearing over the suit in the cold weather, six or seven shirts, a couple pairs of pants, three pairs of dress shoes, eight new ties, and a belt, some socks too.
I figured it was time to start looking and acting the part of a magician.
I am excited to look nice and to have many colors and styles to choose from. In the past, I only had one suit jacket and a vest to wear, and I changed the "look" by changing my shirt, tie and pants...
But now I have an arsenal of clothing. It was quite an experience, one I hope every man gets the opportunity to enjoy!
I picked out a purple suit jacket to set myself off a little from the idea that I am wearing a business suit, also I bought a Tuxedo, but I still think I want to get one with tails...
I felt a little bad about spending all this money when so many I know are struggling. A friend of mine pointed out that this economy needs people spending too, so I felt a little better, but still, this is something I have never done.
It feels good though!

Happy New Year!

As I type these words it is January 24th, are you kidding me!
It is already flying by. Magically I just performed a private party at O'Asian Restaurant for a birthday party 0f mostly 25 year olds. I had a wonderful time and so did the audience. It was an interesting venue for me. It started out interesting from the initial phone call,and continued to the end...
I received the call on Friday the 20th, and spoke with a young man looking for a magician for his girlfriends 25th b-day party. I asked several questions like, Time of event, place of event, how many people, (25-35) did he want a stand up show or a walk around show?
He did not know the difference so wanted clarification. He opted for wanting a stand up platform type show. I gave him a price and he said he'd call me back in about an hour. Three or four hours later I had not heard back from him, and as the event was the next day, I called him. He told me he had two other magicians in mind. I asked him who as I might know them. He told me and to my surprise I knew neither of them. They both came under my price so Lowered my price a little bit.
So I got the gig, but since I did not know Duke, I asked a small favor, could he pay me in cash as I normally send out a contract requiring a small fee and payment after the show. He agreed and we were all set!
I did my normal stand up set and enjoyed "working" the audience. I am getting more comfortable being able to stop mid trick or in between tricks and step out into the audience to simply converse or remark upon things said and or done by them. This is important as it tailors the show to them and makes it seem unique.
I had several opportunities for this and took full advantage of them.
The Birthday girl, Joyce got up to use the rest room as I was just going to perform my Linking Rings, I noticed, made a comment like "hey, I didn't leave when you showed up." Got a laugh, and so I waited by stepping out into the "crowd" and performing the Crazy Man's Hand Cuffs in the Round! Since it is a close up trick and requires studious concentration by your audience, of course some people missed it so I performed it again,(Which I was going to do anyway) and then after that I had a young woman stretch a rubber band between her hands and performed it in her hands. This went well, and allowed me to fill enough time for the Birthday girl to arrive back to move forward and continue my performance!
After the show, I did a few card tricks close up for some people and at one point the man who hired me, Duke confided in me that he was glad he chose me for the event. (Music to my ears) I told him that I was too! :)
He then told me he was scared about the whole thing. I mentioned that I understood that perfectly, and that I take it very seriously when I am hired to do my best all the way thru the whole process.
Which brings me to some observations about this craft of magic. If you are going to "sell" yourself as a magician, and an entertainer, you better always do your best and always give 100% of whatever you are capable of bringing to the table. Someone is "choosing" you to entertain his or her friends or clients. You are the "head liner" for their event whatever that may be.
It is an awesome responsibility.
A little later while I was packing up my equipment to leave, another gentleman approached me and told me he knew all of my tricks except one. (I Highly doubt it) I asked him how this is so, are you a magician? He told me that as a kid he was... But he continued to tell me that I was very entertaining and that is why he doesn't do magic anymore. (So, maybe he did know how many of the effects are worked)
I took this as a compliment.
This brings up another thought I have about magic. Is it simply okay to know how to do a trick? Or is it equally or even more important to be entertaining with it?
I believe that it is more important to be entertaining with an effect, or better yet to be able to marry the two points into a cohesive whole. How do you do this!?
Practice until you know the effect inside and out, and then get out and perform it over and over again, making the effect you and you the effect, This is how you will be able to entertain with your magic. This will enable you to ad lib, and stop and pause and go out into your audience and make the show unique.