Monday, April 22, 2013

Kickstart the Ginger Love!

So I have officially launched my kickstarter for my new product line: "Gingers Are Magic".

I need everyone's help. If you don't know kickstarter, it's an all or nothing crowd sourcing site. Basically, if I don't get people to pledge the entire amount, then I get NOTHING. But no matter when you pledge, you don't pay a penny until May 22nd, so please pledge now so I don't freak out from having to bolt across the finish line. Pretty please?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

This is just Great...

I find Simon Sinek to be one of the best thinkers/speakers alive today. This is a great 30 minute talk that would be good for anyone to watch, whether you own a business or not.

I'll make a real post soon, but for now I'll show the things that inspire me. Hopefully they'll inspire you.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Something I Constantly Forget to Do...

...Especially when I see a magician who appears to be constantly booked who I think horrendously sucks.

From the Life Without Pants Blog

I have to remember that I'm really only beginning on this path of my life. A new body, a new energy, a new market... and that other guys, even the crappy ones, can get successful by simply staying in the game long enough.

And it always helps to remember that so many uber-awesome professional magicians DON'T suck AND have been in the biz decades longer than I have.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Because Sometimes a Video...

...can do in two minutes what I took years to tell myself.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Aftermath of Depression, Artistic Kick-Assery, & A Little Angry Orchard

So yeah... I was depressed for the last few months.

A lot of people say recognizing the fact that you are in a state of depression helps overcome said depression. I think they are full of it. I think realizing that I was acting based upon a depressive state made things worse because I beat myself up more because I knew I was ignoring things or not getting things done because of my depression. It was both depressing and aggravating!

But I said I was depressed.

"You're suddenly not depressed now?"

Yeah. That's about right.

"Isn't that considered a little Bi-Polar?"

SCREW YOU DISEMBODIED VOICE! Sorry... what I meant to say is that it's not being bi-polar, it's just knowing the exact causation of my depression. I'm addicted to my work. Specifically: Magic. Specifically: the act of Performing Magic in front of an audience. When I'm not doing a lot of that, which brings along with it not making very much money (which is a whole different level of my psyche being injured), I get depressed. I think most professional performers face this little emo-swing (At least, I hope so) so I try not to complain too much about it. But it is an inevitable part of the life I've decided to lead.

The upside of this is when you come out of this state, it's like waking up from a really good sleep. You're refreshed, energized, and ready to face the next few months.

This awakening occurred because of my shows at Lyric Hall in New Haven. I came to several realizations thanks to these shows. 1- Snow sucks when it causes me to cancel shows and lose money. I luckily only had to cancel one show because of bad weather, and many people came back for the final day of shows. But aside from that, there were really no downsides to doing this set of shows.
(This is the Stage I was on. It's the theatre's stock photo as, me being an idiot, didn't take a photo of my show on the stage)

The common responses I got from audience members (including several magicians) aside from the usual positives was that the show was fun and original.  The word Fun is commonly heard with magic shows. I think Magic is generally supposed to be fun. Although Magic can really be scary, dramatic, thoughtful, and emotionally impacting- Fun is generally the experience of the ride Magic takes you on in most cases.

The word that stroked my ego a bit was the word Original being used by magicians and non-magicians alike. I think it's not hard to be original with Magic (Although, the number of magicians who can't see past the direction and "included patter" with a trick is staggering). It's hard to be original AND good with Magic. I think I achieved that with this show. My goal is to make Celtic Magic original and great. And I think it's on its way. There were several pieces that really clicked for me, and I was able to overcome a couple of theatrical issues that popped up last minute and ended up being happy accidents. The next incarnation of my show will be even better because of the lessons I've taken in.

The other awesome thing that Celtic Magic did was allow me to work with my wife for the first time, in such an intense way, involving my show.  Doing 8 (Okay...7) full evening shows in 4 days is taxing on anyone, especially someone trying to get inside my head artistically speaking. My wife Rachel did that amazingly. And my Head Swag Wench Kim ran lights and my brother Sean ran sound and they did great, too. And working with a small group towards my vision is really how I prefer to do things. I love working with a team and, when the show grows and the team has to grow, I'm going to love that, too.

So now- I'm pumped. And as I sit here typing this up, drinking an Angry Orchard at 2am, with a David Copperfield special open in another browser window, I can't stop thinking about my next creative endeavors. My shows at Wicked Faire with Wyck in Somerset, NJ, the Renaissance Banquet in Stratford, CT, The Midsummer Fantasy Renaissance Faire in Ansonia, CT, and all of the new performance opportunities 2013 will bring.

Alright 2013- LETS DO THIS!!!
Oh... and between shows, this happened:

(It's a FB video so hopefully, you'll be able to see it... and then hopefully for your sake- Unsee it)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Lack of Response, Bigger Goals, and a Straight Jacket

It's 1:45 in the morning... what the hell am I doing trying to put myself into a straight jacket?


You would be amazed the number of things a magician can get away with doing by saying that little word to anyone who knows him.

Why am I picking up a 6-pack of wire coat hangers, a gallon of white gasoline, and a random end table?

I'm Practicing.

What the hell am I practicing for?

Ummm... a... show... at some point later?

Yeah... that'll work.

This is a slight dramatization of many of my late night self-dialogues after my wife and our roommates have fallen asleep. But in this particular case, I really am practicing... almost on the verge of rehearsing. And yeah, believe it or not, those are two very different things.

This time, I'm practicing for a show I'm going to be doing at Lyric Hall in New Haven, CT. (It wouldn't be me without the shameless plug- Celtic Magic LIVE at Lyric Hall) and the concept is simple: 8 Shows in 4 Days with 75% new material or material I've only done in one or two other venues in the past. It's a little nerve wracking, but I need to do it. It's closer to the illusion show I've always wanted to do. A theme I've always wanted to tackle and hopefully one I'll be doing, at some point, for the rest of my life. No big illusions yet, just stage magic and one big, stupid escape with a message. So maybe it's not THAT stupid. We'll see.

I like to challenge myself. I like to be excited to the point of mild terror when I'm working on a show. Vince Lombardi said: Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence. And this journey scares the mary hell out of me. And doing 8 shows in 4 days means I get to be scared A LOT. I think that it's natural- fear of failure. But, like that moment when a trapeze artist lets go of one trapeze bar to do a 360 spin to grab the second swinging trapeze bar. That moment when they're free in the air, when the audience takes in a deep breath because they're not totally certain they will make it... and then the (hopefully) ecstatic relief and joy when they grab that second bar... That's the moment. I think I live for those moments. Doing improvisation for so many years and interacting with different audiences constantly gives me those moments all the time.
In Blogger related news, a trio of people randomly commented on one of my previous blog posts from two and years ago... over a year ago... and I never got notified of it. But they weren't happy. Oddly enough, they all responded nearly the exact same time. Two of the three were well worded and unhappy I had judged them unfairly. (To the Magic Greeter at Wal-Mart... I got nuthin' for ya. Live the dream, bro. Live the dream.)

They felt that I was offensive in my idea that people who do a multitude of characters and a large variety of show types are probably not offering any of them with any level of quality. And then for some reason, they felt like defending kid show performers (Which is idiotic because I think that Children's Entertainment may be some of the most difficult and creatively demanding work to do. I know, I've done it. And would gladly do it again) despite the fact I never degraded "kid shows".

I will clarify... if you spent weeks and months and years developing a character and then you developed a different character with that same level of fervor, then YOU ARE NOT THE PROBLEM. I will be the first to bitch-slap a bad Renaissance Performer, as I hope people who are purely focused on children's entertainment will bitch-slap a bad children's magician. Hopefully repeatedly with their own "Folding Banana Trick", especially if they're using the exact same routine they bought with the trick. (I've seen this painfully far too often from "Pros")

But... if you offer twenty totally different show types and different show types within those show types and you have twenty totally different characters I still stand by the idea that you probably suck. If you do 3 or 4 characters with a 30-year career and different shows with those characters... you have a highly less likely chance of you sucking. Hell, with any luck, you are AWESOME. Thank you for being awesome. However, if you suck... STOP IT! STOP IT NOW! YOU'RE HURTING US ALL YOU SICK BASTARD! TAKE UP STAMP COLLECTING OR POLITICAL AD WRITING OR ANYTHING THAT DOESN'T REQUIRE HUMAN INTERACTION! *Breathing*... I'm good now.

So to those who don't suck. I salute you. I hope to be among your ranks.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Answering the Ten Questions...

So recently, I was interviewed by for their "Ten Question Tuesday" Segment and was delighted to discover that the ten questions were the ones made popular by Bernard Pivot and Inside the Actor's Studio! Just damned fun.

I felt so special and giddy. So please check them out and enjoy!

Feelin' Ultra "Sessy" at the NYC DOC Premiere of the Magic Camp Movie