New Insights

January 25, 2011

So, I’ve just been given a kind of injection of new motivation and inspiration.  Yesterday afternoon, I chatted for an hour on Skype with my ol’ magic buddy, Rev. Timothy Walker.  We both lived in Little Rock many years ago during my early years in magic.  We became really good pals over the years but then, I moved to Fayetteville for that whole college thing and he moved to Indiana.  We haven’t gotten to talk a lot since then, but the stars aligned yesterday and we had a great talk.

I hate to say it, but I had forgotten how good it was to talk to him.

He’s one of the few people I know in the magic world who I feel understands me and what I’m all about; probably better than I do.  He had some great thoughts on venues for me and what it’s like to really work as a professional.  But perhaps most importantly, he reminded me of what I was like when he first saw me perform.

It was almost 10 years ago.  I was just out of high school and did magic all the time.  Strangely enough, at that early point in my magic life, I had a strong and certain direction and character.  Now, if you have been following me here, you know that I’ve been fretting these past months wondering who I am as a performer and what my style is.  I had forgotten that a decade ago, I KNEW THE ANSWER.  Looking back over that decade, I think what happened was that as things around me changed (age, school, moving to a new city, relationships ending and new relationships beginning) I thought that I was changing too and that I couldn’t go back to that old way because it couldn’t be me anymore.  I’m realizing now, that what I did over the last ten years was not change;  what I did was GROW.  On the surface, those things seem to be the same thing.  The important difference here is that I’m not a different person.  I’m the same person just with more.  I deeply apologize for this sounding all new-agey.  The point I’m getting around to here is that I feel released from worrying about the whole issue.  Just hearing someone say that at one point I had a performance style that was really me lets me know that it is in there somewhere and I don’t have to go looking for it anymore.  Whew…

I’m filled with a sense of renewed motivation and I feel like I know what I need to do next: get out there and perform.  Now the really hard part: doing it.

Looking for Opportunities

January 20, 2011

Ok, so it’s been a while since I’ve blogged about anything.  The holidays were nutty as they usually are so I didn’t have time to put fingers to keys and scratch my thoughts into the wet cement of the information superhighway.  But, finally, things have calmed down and it’s a good thing too,  because my brain has been going crazy these past few weeks.

I’ve been really spinning my wheels trying to flesh out my own performance character and style.  The really frustrating part about all this is that I know, consciously, that it is completely impossible to work out these things inside my own head.  The only way to really figure this stuff out is to perform.  A lot.  The problem is that I’m having trouble finding opportunities to perform regularly enough to learn at the pace I want to.

For most magi in the close-up arena, a regular gig is to be had by getting a job performing at restaurants.  This sort of gig has a lot of advantages.  It gives you a regular place to work on and perfect your stuff as well as a regular income.  Unfortunately, working in that kind of environment is really hard for me.  I just find it really difficult to walk up to people cold and perform.  I actually find being in front of a group on a stage easier because even though I’m still very nervous before going on, when I’m up there it’s MY space, I’m in control and I’m supposed to be there.  Surprising people at a table or on the street makes me impossibly nervous.  This need to perform that I have coupled with these feelings has just left me feeling stuck and frustrated.

So that’s where I am now.  It’s not a very productive place, but I’m pushing through and looking for any opportunity to perform that I can.  Hopefully, by being vigilant, I’ll be ready when the right opportunity comes along.  Back to work.  More to come…