Greetings once again!!
I am knocking the daylights out of this miserable cold and believe me when I tell you, I am very thankful for that! Yesterday was spent laying around and today I am doing some more of the same, but my strength is returning and just in time too, because I have three shows to do. Two college shows, and a day care. General magic is what’s on the menu for this week.
Next week, I am in Maryland again for some shows. Five shows in all the next week. After that it starts to pick up a little more for the next few weeks. This is why I am determined to knock this cold out of the park!
Yesterday we celebrated my son’s 20th birthday and had some cake and ice-cream and the like. It was fun but I was in the mood for lots of chicken. The chicken meat helps in so many ways. Not that cake is bad in of itself, but for a real sicko like me, chicken is the ticket. I still have some left today and for lunch I will dine on that. I have been taking the vitamins and did I mention rest? I am almost stir crazy because of the rest.
I am noticing that my wife is starting to have symptoms also and that is no fun.
I am optimistic that by the morning, my cold will be all but defeated and that I will feel so much better! I have to say that compared with yesterday and today so far, I am feeling better.
No more colds for me! On to better things to talk about!
My last show was the Howling Halloween magic show and when I put it back into the car, I realized at that point that I would not be doing the Siberian Shackle escape for another year. I was a little disappointed because I was having some fun with that. I set a time limit of 5 seconds to escape, so as to keep the show moving along at a brisk pace thereby avoiding the bore factor. I may put it back into my show at a later time, but I did have it as a regular for one season when I did “Another Extravaganza” but few people were willing to volunteer for such things.
I was watching yet another documentary on Doug Henning and I was struck on how people liked Henning the moment he went on stage. He did not have to “win” the approval of the audience, because he was just so likable. I, sadly, am like so many other magicians in that I have to win the audience. I actually have to really work hard at that and so in my recovery time, I have been thinking about how and why this is so. First of all, this is not an unusual thing for magicians, since we are presenting ourselves to an audience as a type of cheater, an honest one, but a cheat. We magicians make the premise that we are going to cheat the laws of nature, or the laws of logic, but in reality, we cheat in the way of optics and perception. This intimidates a lot of people because to be fooled is generally seen as a negative and nothing more. I submit what one of my mentors have told me years ago; the reality of being fooled is a sign of intelligence. The magician shows a premise and you follow that premise but the magician shows a different conclusion. Your logic follows the premise to the logical conclusion and when you are brought to a different conclusion, you are fooled because your assumption is disproved. Take the example of a magician placing a coin in his/her hand. The hand is closed and the logical assumption is that the coin is still in the hand. When the hand is opened to show that the coin is gone, the assumption is not only challenged, but disproved completely. This is not to show the faulty logic of the audience, but to show how that the audience is indeed intelligent TO be fooled. It is because the audience is smart that this phenomena of being fooled is so effective. It also shows that assumptions can be challenged and that there are alternatives in life.
Doug Henning presented himself as the presenter of a different alternative; this idea of “magic” was something that he believed deeply in and it came through when he performed. This made him not only a presenter, but a participant like his audience witnessing the event.
I perform in a very different discipline than others in that I do not see my character of the magician as one just doing tricks and stunts. When I play the magician on stage, I play a character that believes that what he is doing, he is doing magically. I in a sense, am acting out a role of a play.
This is why I struggle when magicians do less than that. An audience is worth more than a magician coming on stage just to do tricks. In my note book “Going Pro” I cover the difference between an amateur show and a professional. In short, an amateur magic show is a show designed to show case the tricks, while a professional magic show is to showcase the magician.
My challenge is to explore how I can come across to the audience in a way that is not arrogant but attractive! Lots of smiles, prepared and positive!
Till next time!!