Saturday, May 29, 2010

College Renaissance Faires, Karaoke, and Beating My Head Against the Wall

So I know I've been particularly vacant from my blog the last month or so... and my excuse isn't that I'm overly busy or have a lot on my plate and can't write a blog. I just got lazy. Unfortunately, it is an epidemic in the magic community (and really the entertainment world at large).

There's a lot of magicians who use the following line (and myself included) when seeing a bad magician. "Why is THIS guy getting gigs and I'm NOT?" And from what I've determined, there's 4 main reasons.

1- He/She's actually a good magician and you're just jealous /don't realize you suck (which could be my problem... I may never know).
2- He/She's charging way less than you... which is EXTREMELY likely in so many cases.
3- He/She's got connections you simply don't have. Family friends, people he/she met while working the Fryer at Burger King, etc.
4- He/She's putting way more work into promoting themselves then their actual act. Ahh... now there's something to talk about.

I'm not talking the shameless self-promotion like I do without thinking ( but the actual leg work of promoting a show. Making calls, sending out press kits, taking out ads, etc. etc. etc. Which notably, is an art form in itself. But it lies more in the power of numbers than most other things.

And unfortunately sometimes (or more than some times) I'm just too damn lazy to get out of bed and do the work. It's a horrendous downfall that costs me my dream... at least I think it does. Reason number 1 still constantly sticks in my brain, but I'm hoping it's just natural self-doubt.

I performed at the Kutztown University Renaissance Faire in April and it reminded me why I love working colleges. Enthusiasm and passion are two things that accompany so many performance-based students (Not yet completely jaded by the vicious bastard that the world of acting can be). And if not, they're at least a frickin' riot to hang with afterwards. (Thanks to all the awesome folks at Kutztown University!)

Also, the long drive (3 1/2 hours each way) got me hooked on audiobooks... specifically The Dresden Files. I bring it up because I would LOVE to see an act created in the world of The Dresden Files (Properly approved by Jim Butcher, the author, of course). It certainly wouldn't be easy, and I don't think it suits my own personality but the books are giving me so much inspiration in terms of creating a world of fantasy. If you haven't read the series about this modern day Wizard... you really need to do so.

So, as some of you may know, I host karaoke a number of times a week. It's the closest to a "real job" I'll ever have. As a host, you're forced to try a lot of new songs (to keep people from killing you for singing the same stuff all the time), come up with funny (i.e. stupid) things to say on the spot, and really push your own comfort zone. I think singing in front of a crowd really strips people down to their core. And as a host, you have to be willing to fail. There will be times you try a new song and it sucks. you just have to suck it up and make it right or stop singing that song. It really translates into magic for me.

In magic, you have to be able to tell when something you do sucks. It's something a lot of magicians aren't even remotely good at. They don't listen to their audiences at all. They think that "polite applause" counts as "Uproarious CHEERS!" when the truth is they just do it out of a reflex to be nice. After doing enough shows, I'd like to think you learn the difference. But I'm an optimist.

This weekend, I'm heading off to the Midsummer Renaissance Faire in Lehighton, PA for the next two weeks. for all the info.

1 comment:

  1. 1. You don't suck, by any stretch of the imagination.

    2. We have those same undercutters (and better promoters) in the law, soapmaking, and face painting fields. It's pervasive. The undercutters make me sad, the better promoters make me want to take a look at how to do as well myself.

    3. All the applause I've ever heard for you has been real.

    4. I had no idea you could sing. Nifty!

    Have fun in PA!