Monday, January 21, 2019

What Inspires you?

In my opinion the biggest obstacle to creativity is stress. The stress of daily life and work can often overwhelm even the most creative people and lead to mental blocks and at worst even depression and no one can move forward in that case. So what inspires you?
I've found that as a magician whose job is to bring amazement and wonder to my audiences, I NEED to keep the creativity flowing. So I thought I'd share with you my dear blog reader what I do to keep the new ideas coming and fresh perspective for my magic.
Firstly, I surround myself with things and people who remind me of creativity and previous experiences that fed my creative side. Two examples that come to mind you'd find on my nightstand. My two friends Figment and the Maker Bot

Figment of course is a Disney character who speaks about the importance of IMAGINATION, and the Maker Bot is one of the logos and representation of the Maker Movement, the ultimate in using creativity, art and science to solve problems and improve the world.

On the dresser there are two small busts of two other inspirational men, Houdini and Ben Franklin. Both were important to their times, and innovative in their fields. There are also a number of my Steampunk items, like the lamp and light switch. I feel the Steampunk genre is one of deep creativity and imagination which is why I've embraced it in my current magical performance persona. Lastly there are the many Star Trek items I keep to remind me of the philosophy behind the stories and themes of that universe, which I find very inspiring.

Then of course there are my notebooks. I take one of these everywhere with me. I write down ideas and thoughts about magic and routines and even notes about how performances went. The other is more of a dream journal which I learned to keep after learning about it from a Jeff McBride class back in the early 90's.  In the morning after waking if  I had an interesting dream I write notes about it and then write the whole story later. Some of the memories that come out in dreams are really cool and a few times I've remembered something from my childhood which was an absolute thrill.
Once in a while I'll refer back to these notes to help come up with routine ideas.

The other source for ideas are books. I read books about magic, history, science, philosophy, and science fiction. Reading in many areas and exploring other ways of thinking are a very big influence on the creative process.
As time goes by and magic and performance take up more of my professional time, its very easy to get set in my ways and lazy. When a performer does the same thing for long periods of time its easy to get jaded. Sometimes the performances begin to lack enthusiasm and it will really show to your audience..this is when your creativity and need to recharge your creative batteries is really important. So What inspires you?
Feel free to post a comment about this, and please if you find anything I've written enjoyable or thought provoking go ahead and post a comment.
Also please let your friends and followers know about my blog, every post I enjoy seeing more and more readers.
Until the next post.......Keep being inspired,
Be Well and Keep 'em clean

Thursday, January 10, 2019

More Buskers Please......

I was looking around the posts in the magic cafe,( and someone posted an article about a city in Massachusetts that is looking for MORE BUSKERS!

In a nutshell, the city is eliminating the fees and restructuring the permits to encourage an increase in street performers recognizing that much of the character and ambience of a tourist city can be improved by buskers and other colorful cultural enhancements.  Obviously Magical Street Performers will be a part of this.....I hope.

As I've discussed in previous blog posts, I investigate the busking situation everywhere I travel. We take many driving trips during the year. Some for business and some for vacation. Before each trip I spend time online and on the phone with the local chamber of commerce of our destination finding out the rules in that city on street performing. Some places require permits, some don't, some have clear laws against it. If there is a chance to perform we schedule that into our time away. Usually the family goes off shopping or to some other attraction and I look for a pitch. For me....It's heaven.

You see NY has over the years become a very difficult busker market. Often the police or park police will ask you to move along, " you can't do that here", "You need a permit for that".....all of which is untrue, they just don't know the law and like to flex their authority. Silly Police...go to and read your own laws!
 I fell in love with Street performing when I was in College at NYU and lived in the dorm around Washington Square Park. This was 1987-89. The golden age of busking was before this but things were still very active in and around the park on a daily basis. I highly recommend the book, "Drawing a Circle In The Square" by Sally Harrison-Pepper for a perfect accurate description of the busker scene in NY.

I watched performers for hours between classes, and studied technique, crowd management, etc. My favorite performers were a magician named  Chappy Brazil and a Juggler Uni cyclist named Joey-Joey. Over time I got to know Chappy and was honestly in awe of him. His grand finale was stealing a spectator's watch off their wrist while holding their arms during a sponge ball trick. Then as a thank you for helping him he offered them the gift of their watch.
His cigarette and card manipulations were quite impressive.
Just imagine this street act today? Smoking and stealing an audience members watch on the street, they'd have a fit and call the cops! They'd come after you and the video would be online in seconds!
I started performing north of Washington Square Park at Union Square Park at the entrance of the farmers market. I never thought I was qualified to work Washington Square so I stayed away. I performed three days a week for a year and a half on that pitch, and never had any negative interaction with police. I was never asked to move on, or stop the show, in fact they often stayed to enjoy my show!
I followed Chappy's career and watched it grow. I even hired him to perform at a College Club show I produced. We tragically lost Chappy after a fatal motorcycle accident. I was told he was heading towards a taping for a video teaching watch steals. I have always missed watching him work he was a talented innovative magician. Recently in an issue of VANISH magazine someone ran an article remembering Chappy. It was great to see and I wrote a note to the editor thanking them for its publication ensuring we won't forget this young talent lost much too soon.

I would love to see buskers thrive in NY and get the respect we deserve for bringing art and culture to the city and adding to its character not only for the tourists but for the native NYers as well; at the Seaport, in the Parks, all over the City and in all 5 Boroughs.
And when you're walking down the street and you hear live music or see a live performer, thanks them and applaud then drop some money in their hat!
Be Well and Keep 'em clean

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year Blog Post..what else?

It seems some sort of Blogging rule that there's supposed to be a Happy New Year or New Year's resolution post on or about January 1st or 2nd so here we go

Its a New Year, 2019 what should we change, what should we do more of? Well as far as I'm concerned its quite simple. I would like to perform even MORE. Magic is a performance art and therefore it must be performed!!! For people!
I used to have this conversation with a friend of mine about going to magic club meetings and that if you just stay home, you'll end up performing for yourself in a mirror and that can be very lonely.
You must get out and do stuff. That means as magicians we need to get out and perform our art for live people. Some like to make YouTube content as their performance for the public but I personally think that's a poor replacement for the real human that's magic. I've written about this before, that's why I'm in love with Busking. Its REAL interaction, not scheduled, or planned in any way, just strangers who aren't expecting to see magic stop to watch your performance.....that's the real magic...the chance to affect someone's day or mood by showing them something unbelievable even if its just a small effect, or simple trick you can really bring your audience to the magical place in their minds.
When my family and I do our Clown rounds, (which we haven't had time to do in a while but would love to get back to - talk about your New Year's Resolutions!) We would work very hard to "change the energy in the room" We'd go in and interact with the patients and the families and even the staff to take them out of the moment and change the emotional energy which improves mood and outlook helping the healing process.
Magic is a wonderful art form and Magic on the street or in parks is one of the best ways to view and enjoy this art form.
SO as we start 2019 I will work hard to keep that magic in my life, Busk more and everywhere I go.
Oh yeah and Loose more weight, exercise more maybe join a gym, eat healthy etc everyone else..boy those have become cliche resolutions.
Honestly, we have some exciting events coming up this year, lots of volunteering and volunteer shows, lots of travel and performance, and participation in busker festivals and Steampunk Conventions, so keep reading and following me, and PLEASE tell your friends to follow along on all my social media posts, they're all @drmolarmagic.
Be Well, Happy New Year and of course
Keep 'em clean

Steampunk Show Case Manheim, PA

What a great Steampunk Convention!. While performing at another event I learned about this one. Tucked away on the second floor of the Spoo...