Not fame or history or legacy … not connections or networking or any of the trappings.
What matters is the show. What matters is the audience and how I can reach them. That connection: the love I pour into every moment of preparation and execution. That I leave them with a gift.
I didn’t bleed and cry and agonize over my choices for a sign with my name on it. I didn’t do it for a place on a wall in the future or a dusty statue.
I did it for You. And I did it for Them. I touched Your heart … and I touch thousands more.
I did it for Love. Love rules me and Love should be the only reason.
The trappings can be nice, but they can be traps, too.
I’m grateful for the gift, as I am grateful for You, my love.
Happiness … is the Road.
The journey continues.
Last night I performed at a ‘private’ show, courtesy of Erika Larson. As it turns out the guest of honor was Darren Lynn Bousman, his lovely wife Lauren, and their guests. Darren is the director of Saw 2-4 and Repo! The Genetic Opera. They were gracious and spectacular.
Just as the show started, the back lights in the room went out. It created a very focused element to the performance, and i believe I’d like that to be a thing all the time. Happy accidents, right?
Today I went in for a physical, and then to lunch with Sarah. Clean bill of health: all the vitals are well within normal, even the BP and blood sugar. Full check for STD came up negative, because of course it did. The doc did a bit of fat-shaming, but nothing horrible. We talked about sex and he readily agrees with my therapist … I check out on all the levels. Nothing to be afraid of.
My harem will be so pleased. (In case you missed this bit of sarcasm, check out the last post. Or some of the rumors that got passed around about me …)
I suppose I can laugh about it. Yeah? Right now the majority of my intimacy is expressed in my stories and my growing art. And some of the poetry I send to a special person.
The rest? Well … all is well. Okay?
I’m meditating and writing and not focusing on next week. If anything, my patience is getting a great workout. I’ve got love, I’ve got art … and I’m finally getting some balance.
More soon as the story unfolds.
On New Year’s Eve, while working at the Hat & Hare pub, I was given a phone number. This happens so rarely that it took me quite by surprise. Let me give you the short version.
During the climax of on of my routines, I ask someone to write a word on a playing card, and I attempt to guess the word they wrote. In the lead up, I intuited that the young lady who was participating, let’s call her Claire, had written a name – so i did a bit of fishing. I asked if she had written the name of a crush … and she acknowledged shyly that she had. I realized by her body language that she had, in fact, written my name. I was quite flattered (because blatant flirting does not happen very often to me) and, after the show, we chatted. She gave me her number without being asked and suggested that we text, if I was interested. She seemed sober and sincere (and reasonably close to my age) and so we corresponded over the course of the following week.
Feeling confident, I suggested we meet somewhere and talk over food. It’s a fine way to get to know someone … across a table. Yes, friends and neighbors: I was going on a date. Claire was very enthusiastic at first, happy to see me and full of smiles. She kept repeating that she couldn’t believe her luck. And then …
Over the course of the next couple of hours she became less and less interested. She asked the usual questions about my career and places i’d been, but was very reluctant to discuss her own life. Flags started to go up. Finally I realized the problem: she wanted stage Hannibal, not everyday guy Hannibal. In fact at one point she made the statement, “Well, this was fun, but I think I’ll just be part of your audience.”
It was a mild surprise. I was … a bit hurt. But similar things had happened before, getting to know someone who first me as a performer. We finished the meal up with friendly chatter, but I could tell she was ready to part ways. This happened amicably enough and I drove home just a wee bit sad.
No, I’m not looking for a committed relationship (and this information seemed to make Claire angry a little, because she instantly disqualified what we were doing as being a ‘date’) but I certainly have no objection to exploring romance and intimacy with consenting partners. Part of the consent means liking me for me: both the guy on stage and the not-quite-as-bombastic guy just wanting conversation and connection.
Alas: this time my ‘celebrity’ got in the way.
Early morning, airport … Charlotte. Chats with friends last night have left me extremely lonely.
“You should find someone who can love who you are.” “You should be more social.” “I worry about how isolated you are.”
I hear you … and I don’t really think about it much until you bring it up. This morning I’m tired and weary, and I wish I had someone waiting for me.
Ah, well. I’ll try not to become maudlin. Nothing worse than a maudlin magician.
Quiet, quiet, quiet
Spent much of today wrapped up in solitude. Meditating on the year past, and the year ahead. Challenges and changes.
I had a very special visit in the evening with some relatively new friends. I still have anxiety in social situations, but I was eventually able to warm up and be friendly. I hope i wasn’t too statue for too long.
Tomorrow I am up very early to fly to New Mexico. There is a venue there that is interested in having me long-term. We’re going to have a discussion, and a possible offer might be made. This will be the first such meeting of three I’m going to have in the upcoming week. It’s both gratifying and terrifying at the same time.
Show business is like that. I’m really, honestly glad that I’m a part of it, Even under stresses like these.
I’ll keep you posted.
My resolution for 2018 was ‘Have Less. Be More.”
In February I reduced my footprint by two thirds and moved to Los Angeles, where i immersed myself in the Magic Castle and the creativity and art that grows there.
Tonight, on the closing night of the year, I’ll be performing in the Hat and Hare Pub inside the World Famous Magic Castle. A spot of honor.
Resolution 2018: Nailed It.
My grandmother was a gentle, kind woman. She was a nurse during the war, and had a very angelic quality about her healing. Way before her time, she believed and exercised the idea that ‘food is medicine’ and acted accordingly. She was loving and nurturing.
She was also scandalized at an episode of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, wherein a black man was invited to soak his feet in the same pool of water that Mr. Rogers did. At the same time. She snapped it off and lectured me for quite some time about how awful that was.
Thing is … even at however old I was (8 or 9) I felt that she was wrong, somehow. Which is a very confusing thing to think about one’s grandmother, when one is 8 or 9.
Fred Rogers, sometimes subtly, sometimes blatantly, taught me to love my neighbor.
More than the Bible.
More than any pastor I ever met.
More than Jesus.
Gran was unselfish, loving, and kind. She would also be a Trump supporter, if she were alive. Because she was partially blind, not of the eyes, but of the heart. Daveed Diggs coined the term ‘Blindspotting’ to define this. The limits of one’s own perception. My friend Susan helped with this and pointed me toward the movie of the same name. I highly recommend it.
I love my Gran despite her blindness. In my lifetime, I have overcome the anger and hate I was taught by otherwise loving humans. I purged my system.
I don’t know exactly what my point here is … but it’s been on my mind that love can help clean up the blind spots.