A time to share

Monday, February 13, 2012

Magic For the Chamber

Last Friday I was contracted to perform an hour of my stand up show for the Maple Valley Chamber of Commerce's annual Presidents Dinner and Auction... whew, that was a mouthful.

I was informed it was a black tie event, but who knows what that means nowadays?
I secured this gig back on about January 12th... just so happens that The Boeing Company I work for and our union bribed us employees with a $5000 incentive to take a contract offer a year early. I didn't get to vote on the contract as I am a "Beck Objector" which simply means I do not want any of my union dues money to be used by "my" union for political stuff. They always give money and endorse the Democrats which is the opposite party I favor mostly.
Anyway, that was a long winded wind up to mention that I used the bribe money to purchase new clothes which I mentioned in an earlier post... see "The Emperor's New Clothes (Stylin')"
It is partly because of picking up this gig that I went all out and up graded my wardrobe... I am glad I did. What a difference dressing up can make in the way you carry yourself!
Not only the way you view yourself, but also the way others view you. Get on an airplane in shabby looking jeans and a dirty Tee shirt, or wear a decent suit, see which way gets you the better treatment. Right or wrong it is what it is.
I sent out emails to magicians I know asking for advice on a set list. I gave them options and a list of many of the effects I do. I got back four different avenues or order of effects if you will that they thought might make a good show. Both of the magicians that responded have seen video of my show so they know my character and performing persona.
It was really fun and eye opening to read their thoughts. I went thru their set lists and actually practiced my effects in the order that they suggested. This was very enlightening for me. I noticed some things about why I perform them in the order I do, and why that is a good order. (For me)
Logistics, and timing and other factors.
I think one of the most important aspects I learned is that is is extremely important to do material you are familiar with and like to do. Also doing them in an order that is comfortable for yourself.
This creates a relaxed-ness for yourself that makes your show much smoother and thereby creates a confidence that shows in your demeanor when you perform.
Since I don't perform as often as I would like, most of these 'shows' are major events for me and I stress over them. Stress is a killer to a performer. So being familiar and comfortable with yourself, your work and your eventual show pays huge dividends and translates outward to your audience.
They may not "know" you are scared spit less, but they can "FEEL" it.
As a performer you can feel when the "Vibe" is right and a good flow is happening between you and your audience.
We hit it at this event!
I love that! People laughing, gasping, clapping, hooting & hollering... music to an entertainers ears!
The woman that hired me I am sure she was stressin' over whether or not this magician she hired was the real deal. After the show she approached me and said, " you were great! I am so glad we hired you, I wish my 14 year old son could have been here!"
That is all the praise I really need from my employer!

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Smoked Fish

Been doing a lot of fishing in the last three months,
Mostly river fishing as the boat costs so much to put in the water,
Parking, oil, gas, gas... but even then, after fishing it takes a lot of time and work to clean the boat and flush the motors.
This year (last year actually)was an odd year and that means that it would potentially be a great year for the Humpy's return, or Pink Salmon... and it was. We caught so many Pink Salmon out of the Puyallup river that I have smoked 4-5 Large Racks of fish.

I also was shown some fishing spots on the Cowlitz River. Particularly Barrier Dam, and a place about 6 miles down stream called Blue Creek.
At Barrier dam we caught some large Silver Salmon and some Black mouth as well.
Down River at Blue Creek is prime fishing of Steel head.

So here are some pics of what I like to called Smoked Gold!

Who Are We Performing For?

Several days ago I volunteered to perform for a group of children for their Tiger Cub, Cub Scout Meeting. It was a woman from our church that asked me to do this. I felt a little weird about it. No money was talked about. It wasn't even brought up. I kind of felt like it was expected of me. Why? Because she knows me? Because we attend church together. I hardly know this woman. Sure, she is the assistant pastors wife... but..
I spoke about this with a magic friend and he compared it to someone asking their surgeon to come and talk to their group free gratis... A surgeon is a professional and somewhat rare. A magician, hmm, are we the same? A professional, and somewhat rare?
Actually a talented, professional magician is rarer than a surgeon, in my opinion...

So I decided I would go ahead and do the "gig... I recently purchased some new clothes. I was excited to "dress up" and go to the school to see these young people. My wife asked how com I put on some of my new clothes, In other words, "why are you getting all dressed up for this?"
I thought of Criss Angel, and the IMAGE he projects. I am working on projecting my particular image.
There is just something different about the way people look at you when you carry yourself well. They simply treat you differently.
I arrived and found the room. It was about ten minutes before I was introduced. It was fun sitting there knowing everyone was wondering, "what is this guy here for?"!!!
Like I said earlier, I was kind of out of sorts doing a free gig. But when I got rolling, it turned out that I think I was blessed more than I blessed them.
I started with a magic trick called Acrobatic Knot. This was just to let my audience know that I am a capable magician.
Funny but as soon as I showed the white rope, a child yells out, "Oh, I know this one..."
That is so typical. I am glad I read Silly Billy's book where he talks about this happening. They don't really know, but have seen something similar, and it empowers them to acknowledge that they do.
Then I performed Needle thru balloon, and while I did not show them how my needle thru balloon works, we did put some cellophane tape on theirs so they could do the effect.

Jumping Rubber bands were next. We all had a great time as you can see.
But again, the serendipity of it is that I was really blessed by taking time from my own life to share my love of magic with others!