Tag Archives: acclaim

Hat

Years ago:
I had a hat and a waistcoat.
I put them on, picked up my instrument, and went to work.

It was raw craft, at first. I had a little skill with words and so I used them to hide the flubs.
Raw craft … and then

I missed my mother. I was unhappy that she never saw me perform one effect, never saw what my hands were destined to do. I said so while shuffling cards. I made up a trick that i thought would make her laugh, could she but see.

… and they laughed. And they gasped. And they wriggled a bit in delight.
The laugh exploded and crystallized into art. Laughter through tears.

A marine. (hard and sober)
A goth chick.
A rabbi.
A homeless man.
A homeless woman.
A college student.
A lawyer.
A superstar athlete.
And several anonymous souls
… have told me that I saved their lives with my words and my art.

Tonight I made a woman weep with my stories.
I reminded her of her son
Who died …
Laughter through tears.
“He would have loved this … thank you for being who you are.”

tonight I drove home.
And I put my instrument down (for now, not for keeps)
I took off my hat and i hung up my waistcoat
and I wrote this to you.

This … is who I am.

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Filed under poetry

Robin and Johnny and so many more.

I’m an entertainer. I’m a showman.
Yes, I wear the magician label, but magic is the vehicle my hands found. Or … perhaps it found me.
I’m of an age when my heroes and mentors and friends are falling. I give my grief a season, but I will not let it stop me. Johnny would insist that I work, demand that the show is the important thing, point out how much I’ve given to be where I am.
So i will grieve, and I will mourn. Ashes and sackcloth. But then I will polish my shoes, hold my head up, put on my armor and make art.
With all of my heart behind it.

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Filed under Musings

Highlights from Genii

This week I am at the Genii convention in Orlando, Florida. I thought I would keep you posted with a few highlights. I don’t attend many conventions, but this one is kind of special.

Upon checking in at registration, I was greeted by Jean Solomon, who was once part owner of the magazine, as well as publisher, editor, and now proofreader. She’s been with them for over two decades. She treated me very warmly, said she was a big fan of my work, and informed me that mine was the only column that ever brought her to tears. What an incredible compliment, what an awesome way to start this week.

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Filed under Public Diary

Guilt

“Something in me, dark and sticky” ~ Peter Gabriel

There is nothing greater in this life than to be what you were made to be. Feeling the tug? Want to break free from the drudge and living for someone else’s dream? I say wholeheartedly: Yes, you can and yes … there’s nothing better.

There is a price, and some of that price is guilt. Let me unburden, if you please.

Aside: unburden. That’s kind of funny. It implies that once I lay this down to you, I won’t carry it around anymore. Nope. As soon as I fill your ears it’s going right back on my shoulders. Such is me: I can’t let things go.

I’ve achieved success in my work. Success to me means the ability to not only support myself and my family with my art and my craft, but to reach out and help those who need it. It’s important to me and it feels good. It feels great. I work hard at what I do. I do the work because I love it. I want others to feel this amazing thing, too.

With the success came recognition: a minor sort of fame. Interrupted dinners in public. Unwanted advances, suspicious new ‘friends’. That felt good for a while, too, until it burned me a few times. Listen to this, because this is a hard lesson I’m still learning. Fame isn’t worth it. It becomes … tolerable, if you really love what you do. (And I really do love what I do). Sadly, it can make you instantly suspicious of even close friends. There’s the very real probability of unwarranted jealousy on the part of your loved ones, who (rightly) expect your time with them to be sacred. Watch your ego, I constantly remind myself. It can really tear things down quickly.

I know it’s a bit rambling this time, such are my thoughts.

Point is: even when you work hard … for decades, even. When you work until your throat is raw and your fingers can’t feel … when you take the stage with a kidney stone tearing its merry way through you because the show MUST go on … achieving the success can bring feelings of guilt. I’ve heard:

“It came to easy for you.”
“You don’t charge enough and you’re undercutting everyone.”
“You charge too much and you’re making the rest of us look cheap.”

I get accused of being a diva and of being ‘moody’, sometimes. Sorry folks: sometimes I get too deep in my own head.

Where was I? Oh, yeah. Guilt.

I’ll deal with it. I’m still carrying it, even when I know I’ve not done anything wrong. I’ll bear it, grinning or not. Perhaps a good story will come from it.

In the end, that’s why I’m here. This is what I was made for. To tell my stories and do magic tricks.

Regarding those things: I have no guilt and there will be no apologies.

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Filed under Public Diary