Friday, February 8, 2019

We have seemed to reach that point in life.....

I was watching one of my favorite movies from one of my favorite franchises, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of The Crystal Skull, and I heard a line that I had forgotten and when I heard it I thought s was very profound......" It seems we've reach the age where life stops giving us things and starts taking them away" Wow, that's serious stuff. But is there such an age? I mean is there ever a time when life stops giving us things? Should we ever stop giving away to others, giving of ourselves? That's when I focus on my feelings about magic and its performance.  I have always strongly believed that the performance of magic, the creation of mystery and wonder is a gift I give my audience. The former Dean of Mystery School the late Eugene Berger often spoke in class about gift magic and it's importance. I make it a point to "give away" something to my audience with each performance. It could be simple as a signed card, the torn corner of a card from the effect or even a napkin rose- those are easy and wonderfully received.

Now I don't actually believe that by seeing my magic their lives will improve, or their illnesses will be cured or their mortgages will get paid faster but for the moments of the performance as the audience focuses their attention on my script and my hands I can take them to a magical place.
We work with the same philosophy when we perform at clown rounds and enter a room. We can't effect the illnesses or the seriousness of the condition  but we can effect the people there and in that moment to change the energy in the room, and change their focus. That what magic is and can do. In fact that's what all art should do, is have some effect on the viewer or audience. And after all is said and done, Magic is an art form, a performance art form. Magic isn't just tricks and secrets, or it shouldn't be. It needs to be more.Often times magicians will start their performances with the statement," I'd like to show you something," when what they mean is they want to show you something that you will enjoy watching, or a mystery to get you to think about things differently.
If we as performers can achieve that simple goal of effecting our audiences and giving them the gift of wonder even for a few minutes then we have created great art with our magic. SO go perform an give away some wonder and magic.....then keep doing it!
Just an update I just got some new promotional's one

Be Well and Keep 'em clean

Friday, February 1, 2019

How many of those have I read?

Once during a class, the professor took everyone from the lecture hall for a walk to his office and as we all gathered and crowded into his office he said," take a look around what do you see?" His office was densely packed book shelves on three sides. We all replied, lots of books! "how many of them do you think I've read?" We all took our guesses and we were all very surprised at the wasn't that many and my surprise soon turned to disappointment.....I really thought he had read, or should have read all of them.....
This brings me to the theme of this post. I enjoy books, one of my prides and joys is my magic book collection. And after that day I went home and looked at my magic book collection and asked myself, " how many of these books have I read?"

It was an interesting question, I decided to go over the shelves book by book and see if I've read everything. My feeling was that I had completely read 95% of them.
I thought there were a few different types of books, those you read and re read often, those you buy to read once then keep as collectibles, lastly  those you start and put down after a few pages because it didn't meet your expectations.
So off I went to review each and every book title. I realized that I was almost right, it turns out that I have completely read about 75% of the books. I found a few that I didn't even remember I had,  and rekindled my love for certain titles that I haven't gone through in years.
I did find many book marked and dogeared pages for effects and concepts that I wanted to revisit to improve or enhance my performances. Out of those ideas many of them have actually made it to my act, some of them went in and didn't make the cut.
Reading magic books is often a great way to relax. Last post I wrote about things that inspire you to be creative and often times reading through certain classic magic books helps solve creative problems. For me whenever I come across a magic or routinizing challenge I can't wait to crack the binding on one of my favorite texts.
How do you decide on what books to buy? You really can't just get every book that comes out as they do take up space and they are not all relevant, so where do recommendations come from?
I encourage you to join discussion groups and speak to other magicians about the books you read and undoubtedly they will have recommendations. I have gotten the last few book recommendations from discussions in the McBride Mystery School and some from The Magic Word Podcast, two sources I've mentioned before in my blog posts. My most recent books have been about performance skills, script writing, magic philosophy and history.  I've made it a point to email or post my thanks to those who recommended the titles and that I really enjoyed them, kindness and gratitude are always in order.
So that brings me back to the question, "how many of these books have I read" I've made a neat pile of books that I havn't read and started to add them to my reading list. So far I've found lots of great information that was right there on MY shelves all this time......yup, there was great stuff right in front of me, and I didn't even realize it.
Be Well and 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...