Monthly Archives: February 2015

Interlude. (a respite and a declaration)

This isn’t part of the ongoing saga, but it’s relevant. I suppose. A purging? A confession?

The diary has been interrupted by personal drama I’ll write about at a later time. I’m sorry for that. I’ve discovered that I’m a pretty big disappointment to some very precious people and I’m trying to deal with that, because I am unable to reconcile it.

So yeah. Purging. Confession.

Inspired by various works. Lewis, Hemingway, Fitz, Hogarth.

I love being embarrassingly straightforward. (Not embarrassing to myself, but to those without the experience and freedom of fully exposing their hearts.) I love sending reckless text messages and telling people I love them and telling people they are absolutely brilliant, magical human beings

I love saying; “Kiss me harder,” and “You’re a beautiful person,” and, “You brighten my day.” I live my life as straight-forward and heart-out as I know how to. I do card tricks that sometimes bring tears and sometimes I return to naked.

Because one day, I might get hit by a train.

Maybe it’s weird. Maybe it’s scary. Maybe it seems downright impossible to just BE – to just let people know you want them, need them. To feel like, in this very moment, you will die if you do not see them … hold them … touch them in some way. Whether it’s their head on your chest on the couch or their tongue in your mouth or your heart in their hands.

We are young and we are human and we are beautiful and we are not as in control as we think we are. We never know who needs us back. We never know the magic that can arise between ourselves and other humans. So I tell it. I shout it. I text it and I write it into every post and act I create.

I bleed for it and I hope You never have to question where You stand with me.

We never know when the train is coming.

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They don’t really know me here. (Friday, February 20)

I mean, the promoters do, obviously: they didn’t pay this much to get me here for no reason. It’s the attendees. I’m standing with my friends, some real ‘names’ in the business and I’m the ‘who is that?’ guy. “He doesn’t look like much …”

I arose this morning and wrote. Looking back, it wasn’t bad. It could certainly use some editing, but that can be fixed if need be, later. You want raw thoughts, right? It’s a diary …

Breakfast was thick bacon, tomatoes and home fries. Eggs of … some description. There was dill. I recognized that, at least. Quite tasty and filling. I hid the tomatoes. Sorry, Mom.

I made may over the venue for what turned out to be a largely uneventful day. I  sat in on a session or two. Stayed near my table in the dealer’s room, chatted with some old friends until time for my show. There was a small argument backstage about whether or not I was good enough to close the show. (This was a showcase of seven close up performers.) The talent ‘handler’ was telling the show coordinator that I had to take the closing spot. He wasn’t convinced and was vehemently arguing that I was a no-name and had to settle for the second to last. A coin was flipped. That’s fine. My ego needed some trimming anyway. I ended up in the closing spot.

So, yeah. I took the stage with the ‘Memories’ act. Ice Cream and coins. I laid out my story and I feel it was received well. Perhaps tomorrow they’ll know me a little better?

The rest of today will be food and sessioning. Magicians helping magicians. Everyone on an equal field, showing their craft; helping and being helped. Brothers and Sisters truly striving to improve the face of this craft. THIS is where real magic and friendship happen.

Until tomorrow, friends.

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… will take you there. (Thursday, February 19. End of the day)

Having hauled my overstuffed bags up three flights I settled into my suite. Literally a 10 foot by 15 foot room. Cozy. I love it unsarcastically. If I sit on the extreme corner of the bed, I have a WiFi connection. I took an hour long power nap and then hauled said bags BACK down the stairs and walked over to the venue at Winter Gardens,

Winter Gardens reminds me somewhat of ‘Boardwalk Empire’. It’s a strange combo of modern world and carnival style architecture. Grand, sweeping ceilings and old, musty carpeting. Hundreds of lights and vanity style arches. Fun. After some searching I found my little vendors table and unpacked. There’s a few familiar faces and we exchanged some initial hellos with promises to dine later on the weekend and catch up.

On a recommendation from Garrett Thomas a few of us went to a nearby Thai restaurant: Wannee Wah Wah’s. (Due to a pernicious spellcheck it took me four tries to write that name down) According to veterans the food in Blackbook is hit and miss, but this was delightful. Extra spicy Chicken Pad Thai with curry and fresh vegetable spring rolls. The gourmet (glutton) is happy.

Jon Allen introduced a new prop, and it’s quite simply incredible. We hashed around a few ideas and a kind of impromptu jam session started up. Being full and at once overtaken by the length of the day and travel, I excused myself and wandered out to find my way back to my room. Apparently I took a wrong turn, because I found myself at the beach. The streetlights reflecting off the clouds and the moon made the surf appear glittery. Each wave pulling back on the sand left a sparkling wash, like diamonds on black velvet. Reminds me of you … somehow.

I turned around and walked back to where I thought I started, but came to realize I was totally lost. It was dark and of course I had no way to call anyone so I just wandered, seeing what I could see. I looked into shop windows and restaurants, bars and bakeries. I watched the people. Playing children under a statue. The families, the lovers and the loners. It was kind of like a play, set in 1970s England a few days before Christmas. I kept anticipating a musical number. I almost got one: I passed by a very narrow Irish bar. Very vintage looking but featuring karaoke. Ultra surreal.

My journey through the streets solidified in me the feeling that we all have our own place, our own path to follow. I have a purpose and a gift and all of my loneliness and self doubt does not diminish the gift or the responsibility that comes with it. Not one little bit. I’m me. I’m being me and living my life. Even getting lost in Blackbook was a good thing. And if you know me, entirely predictable.

I stopped under a blue streetlight. Not kidding. A for real as it gets BLUE streetlight. I daydreamed there for a little while, groggy and oddly not at all anxious for my lost state. I remembered a Dylan quote Dawn once painted on a jacket of mine. “Some of our greatest discoveries come from a state of being lost.” They certainly do, and I certainly was. When I realized I was in danger of falling asleep on my feet, I moved on. I decided not to long after that the best course of action would be to swallow my pride and hail a taxi.

I stepped off the curb and looked up and down the street … and there was my hotel. Just three or four buildings down. Just perfect. I came in, shook off the cold, spoke with the owner for a few pleasant minutes and came up. Took the time to write the first part of this missive, then took a sleep (for about 7 hours, off and on) and finished. Now … here we are.

I’m going down for the English breakfast I’ve conjured in my mind, then off for a day full of magic stuff. I’m on a new road and I kind of know where I’m going, but I’m more excited for the journey than the destination.

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Any Road. (Wednesday, Feb 17 and Thursday Feb 18)

I’ll try to be as coherent as possible, but brain is fuzzy and sleep deprived.

Dawn dropped me off at the airport around 10:30 Wednesday morning and I negotiated two suitcases of DVDs (hooray for frequent flier plans) on board. The hop down to Atlanta was chock full of children, but Dawes and Hosier kept them at bay. I reflected as we waited on the tarmac for a free runway (CLT is still catching up on flights from the storm) that the inside of a plane has become as common to my eyes as my own office or living room. I don’t know if that’s a happy or sad thought.

Atlanta airport was very calm. At least the international terminal was. I sat in front of a massive window and marveled at how blue/gray the sky was. I had a lovely chat with a lady who was getting ready to embark on her own journey: seeking something, she said. I hope she finds it.

Another shout out to the frequent flier gods that bumped me up to business class at the last moment. I got to recline and read, watched a movie or two and chased sleep, but that just wasn’t happening. Delta’s movie selection offered me ‘This is Where I Leave You’; a slightly unconventional romcom  with a massive swerve near the end that I didn’t see coming, and ‘Get On Up’; a James Brown bio. The latter was … odd. Flashbacks, flash forwards, flash sideways. I had to really concentrate to keep up.Not easy on a flight and … well, just a bit too silly for my taste. The actor playing JB mugged to the camera about a dozen times too many.

We touched down in Paris just as the sun was coming up, orange and pink and then suddenly blazing yellow as if it couldn’t wait to illuminate the city. As we taxied to a stop, Dawes reminded me: “If you don’t know where you are going any road will take you there.”

I had just enough time to send off messages that I had landed and I had to hot foot it over to my gate, running just a bit behind. Shame, that: the airport in Paris (CDG) is simply gorgeous. Like a long half cylinder of glass, chrome and wood. Lots of exotic (for an airport) shops and restaurants. Fun fact: there’s no class system to boarding a plane in Paris. They basically just opened the doors and checked boarding passes as everyone went in. No ‘first class first’ or zone numbers. Fastest I’ve ever boarded and got settled.

The flight to Manchester was quick and uneventful. When I got to customs I found that my name had been flagged because of a ‘previous incident’ (I’ll tell you later) so I underwent a short interview. About 15 minutes was all it took for them to be satisfied, though some of the questions were odd. “How many pets do you have at home?” “What ELSE do you do besides Magicianing?”  “No, not hobbies, what is your real job? No … the one that pays your bills. No … the one you clock into and get a paycheck from!” Eventually, I got my stamp and off I went.

My driver was Paul. Paul doesn’t care for magic or magicians really. But when he knows he’s going to pick one up (Apparently he does it a lot) he looks them up on ‘the youTube’. He likes my work. I’m … grateful? He goes on to talk about other magic passengers he’s had. In particular he mentions the current IBM Prez, who he really liked and who apparently spent some time photographing Paul’s many tattoos.

Paul deposited me at Fern Villa and I did my best to settle in. Lots of work to do .. but I really needed to shut my eyes for a bit.

Just like I do right now. I’ll finish this story after I catch an hour or six of sleep … Thanks for walking with me.

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Come and Go with Me

The night before.

I challenged a friend to write something … anything … every day. “Open your heart,” I said “and show it around. You have a very interesting life, and plenty of experiences to share.” Well, so have I, it seems.

Tomorrow I’m traveling to Blackpool, England. Someone likes my ideas so much they are willing to fly me there just so I can share them with my fellow magi. My dream has become a dream for others. Any idea how dizzying that is?

I’m going to try my best to record what I see and how it feels. Kicking off a daily dairy of sorts. My point of view. There are questions unanswered and it’s a bit intimidating … but my path is set, even though I can’t see it all from here. I have faith. I have momentum. I have love and support. I have my strange engine.

“Come and go with me; it’s more fun to share.
We’ll both be completely at home in mid-air.
We’re flying, not walking, on fatherless wings.
We can hold onto love like invisible strings …” ~ Gonzo, the Great

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