“Good magic is simple, but the execution is not simplicity.” ~ René Lavand
The man is an artist. His effect “Three Bread Crumbs” is one of the most poetic, moving pieces I have ever witnessed. Strike that: It IS the single most poetic, moving piece. I have performed it hundreds of times … for myself.
This piece of theater is infused with pure magic, whimsey, pain, love and loss. To execute it poorly, or to try and imitate the man who wrote it would be a crime. (To be sure, I have seen some very well executed homages to this man and his creation. Eric DeCamps is a master at it.) For myself, I just could not bring it to the public. It just wasn’t me. It felt clumsy and wrong, somehow. It’s one thing to put on your Father’s suit as a young boy and play to the mirror. It’s quite another to try and pass yourself off as the man himself.
So the props rested in the top drawer of my desk for years. When my creativity became stagnant, or the Blues got a hold on my soul, I would pull them out and perform the piece, teaching my hands to work the not-so-simple magic with just three pieces of balled up putty and an espresso cup. Over and over until I could relax and allow my ideas to come freely. The blues would fade and the road would become a bit more clear.
Then, completely unbidden, the muse landed on me. I was sitting in a cafe in Norfolk, VA with my beautiful companion and Muse, Dawn. There were small coffee cups on the table and a loaf of bread. We were discussing politics or fairy tales or something earth shattering … and a song came on the radio. Frank Sinatra singing ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green”. My mind wandered to Frank, then to Muppets and finally to my Muppet hero: Gonzo the Great. He has a song in the very first Muppet movie entitled “I’m Going to Go Back There Someday”.
The song is very simple: three verses and a bridge, just under three minutes long but it speaks of longing, love, pain and dreams. I found my self tearing off pieces of the bread and balling them up. I performed “Three Bread Crumbs” while singing the song aloud … it fit beautifully. The people I’ve shared it with so far have been moved by the magic and the story.
This is how magic is made – years of dedication and dreams and then a burst of inspiration that locks it all into place. The courage to put it out there and possibly fail, only to be surprised with success.
I hope I get to share this piece with you, someday soon.