Who you are

I follow a few magicians online. I learn magic as a hobby. I don’t think I am a good magician, but I love the storytelling that goes along with all magic performance. Storytelling is what I enjoy.

Here is an extract from one of the wizards I learn from online – I like the message here:

I recently heard a magician, reply to the applause from his audience by saying, “Thank you so much. It’s a very difficult trick.”

And it got me wondering, “What makes magic impressive?”

Traditionally, it’s the mystery of the secret method: The Unknown.

Though more recently, there seems to be a trend towards overt displays of manual dexterity: The Difficult.

But if literally ANYONE can learn the secret to a trick, and MANY people can learn to execute a difficult sleight or flourish with enough practice…

…what’s so impressive about either?

Maybe this is why so many comedians, TV shows and movies make fun of magic.

Because they know, almost anyone can walk into a magic shop and buy the secrets, or lock themselves alone in their bedroom and practice shuffling cards for hours.

But the art of magic isn’t about buying secrets, or easily gained dexterity – any more than the art of music is about buying a guitar and having nimble fingers. (Though at least guitarist don’t walk around saying they have super natural powers!)

The art of magic, is about what we DO with the basic tools of knowledge and dexterity.

And especially how our performances inspire people to think and FEEL.

At its best, a magic performance is also a creative expression of the magician’s unique perspective on the world.

If we share nothing about our personal selves through our performances, then in a sense – anyone could have done it. And there’s nothing inherently creative or original about mere dexterity and keeping secrets.

Knowledge in itself is nothing. Skill in itself is nothing.

As performers, I think we should keep in mind the Greek myth of Narcissus, and how he fell in love with his own reflection – with disastrous results.

The New Pastor

A delightful angelic little boy was waiting for his mother outside the ladies room of the gas station.

As he stood there, he was approached by a man who asked, “Sonny, can you tell me where the Post Office is?”

The little boy replied, “Sure! Just go straight down this street two blocks and turn to your right.  It’s on the left.”

The man thanked the boy kindly, complimented him on how bright he was and said, “I’m the new pastor in town. If you and your mommy come to church on Sunday, I’ll show you how to get to Heaven.”

The little boy replied with a chuckle; “You’re shitting me, right?

You can’t even find the Post Office.”

Gender in Kabul

Barbara Walters, of 20/20, did a story on gender roles in Kabul, Afghanistan, several years before the Afghan conflict.

She noted that women customarily walked five paces behind their husbands.

She recently returned to Kabul and observed that women still walk behind their husbands. Despite the overthrow of the oppressive Taliban regime, the women now seem happy to maintain the old custom.

Ms Walters approached one of the Afghani women and asked, ‘Why do you now seem happy with an old custom that you once tried so desperately to change?’

The woman looked Ms Walters straight in the eyes, and without hesitation said, “Land mines.”

Moral of the story is (no matter what language you speak or where you go) :

BEHIND EVERY MAN, THERE’S A SMART WOMAN.

WHAT DO YOU NEED … thought for the day

I’ve been sick and NEEDED a doctor.

I’ve encountered trouble and NEEDED a police officer.

I’ve lived through times of war, when our nation NEEDED our military.

I have even NEEDED an auto mechanic, a plumber, a house painter and a lot of other every-day people.

But I have NEVER, not even once, EVER, NEEDED a pro-athlete or Hollywood entertainer for ANYTHING !