Tag Archives: art

They Came to the Castle and They Saw

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.

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Travelin’

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.

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NYE 2018

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.

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Christmas Eve, 2018

It’s on this night that I take stock of my year. I’ve been doing this since my life changed in 1988 … so thirty years. Raise a glass to thirty years.

In 1988 I met the one. Married the one. Had a child with the one. Christmas Eve found me in the downstairs of a wee two bedroom apartment, playing Santa for the two new females in my world. I scrimped and hustled and saved to make it nice … and I sat up late afterward, drinking eggnog and nibbling cookies and thinking it all over. Big changes, new adventures. A twisting unknown road ahead. And i raised my head and silently asked for strength. Not so much help … as strength.

“Let me be a good partner. Please let me be a good father … grant me strength to walk this road ahead.”

Thirty years and thousands of miles away and … an entirely new life … here i am again. Grateful.

But asking for strength.

New Year. Resolution.

Something simply stated, but with determination and a specific goal.
I want to improve on my basic skill set. I want to tell better stories, create better scripts, live out loud more loudly, and polish up the heart on my sleeve.

I’m going to write one fictional story each week.  Maybe based on people I know, maybe woven from thin air. Most will suck, especially in the beginning. I hope that gems will uncover themselves in the process.

I’m going to be more open about my views and life events in this public blog.
Not daily writing (maybe) but several times a week, providing whoever wants to read it an in-depth story of what’s going on in my head. Dangerous? Scary? Yep.

There will continue to be my semi-monthly column in Genii magazine. I will write for the podcast. I will create new magic and share more video.

It’s a big undertaking, and i’m doing it in order to not become lethargic or mediocre.

Some of it may hurt. Me. You. Them.
I’m sorry … I’ll do my best to be cruelty free, but I’m going to be honest. Art demands it.

Life is criminally short and one time around is all you get. Let the art do the talking.

My New Year’s Resolution is this:

Just Write.

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June 10, 2018

The Magic Castle, Hollywood, CA

I looked all over for some small sign of my friend. He was nowhere to be found. The places were still there, but there was no trace of him. Not his laughter. Not his spirit. Not his magic.
I sat on the bench where we talked about performance and art. I spent time at the table where we shared favorite books.
He’s just gone. I, selfishly, would have liked more time with him.
I visited Irma to get some perspective: maybe add some music to lift my heart. At the request of another guest, she played “Suicide is Painless”.

I fled.

Later a stranger, who earlier in the evening had watched my show, gave me food. “I ordered this to go on impulse. I think I’m supposed to give it to you.” Chicken and veggies, quite delightful.

As I went to pay my parking, I was called back inside. A friend requested that I do a small show for his sister, who was celebrating her birthday. We found a private table and … it was good. I told my stories and did my magic for the two of them. I made a boot for her … and she cried, just a little.

It took everything I had. It was worth it. I gave them a bit of me. That’s art, right?
For you, Leeman. For your smile. For your spirit. I found a bit of it, and I gave it to someone. As it should be.

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Dr. Z

My mother’s favorite movie was “Doctor Zhivago”; it came out the same year I was born. We watched it four times together. She told me in confidence that she didn’t believe a grand romance like that could really happen.

The second to last time we watched it, I took her to a movie theater that was having a classic movie revival week. The grandeur and the power of the cinematography, along with the incredible story made us gasp and weep openly. It’s rare to have that strong of a reaction to a movie … but this was brilliant.

The last time we viewed it, about four months before she was killed, I gave her a deluxe VHS set for her birthday. At the end of a box of tissues she told me that I had the capacity to love like that, if I’d let myself.

The love he displays is of high caliber. Not just of Lara, though that’s important, but his love of humanity, life and love itself.

Could I possibly? This is a goal worth reaching for.

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Pieter

He came into the Cellar theater in the Castle with a group of 3 others, two couples. He was a movie stereotype: the Russian gangster. In his sixties, Shiny grey sharkskin suit, grizzled face, angry expression. Turned out he was, in fact, Russian. His wife wore a stylish bleach blonde wig.

It was just the five of us and I offered them a show. Pieter was super aggressive from the beginning: grabbing cards, insisting on the terms of the show. “Put the cards in my hand and let me pick. Now I get to put it back and shuffle. LOOK AWAY – YOU DON’T GET TO WATCH!” His wife chided him and he sneered at her, all ugly attitude. He slammed the cards down in front of me and demanded I tell him which card he chose. What would you do?

I looked at him intently. (The thousand yard stare I talk abut in my lecture) He laughed to his wife about “All magic is fake and these hustlers are just trying to make me look foolish, but this idiot just got beaten!” (Insert thick Russian accent)

“Five of Hearts”

His face fell and he looked stricken, then angry again. “YOU CHEAT! How do you know this?”

“Because it’s under the Pringle’s can.” (It was)

Then I fooled him again. And again. AND I made friends with him. Jokes at my own expense. Magic that happened in his hand. Stories that riveted his attention. Building his self-esteem until he stopped being a challenger, and became part of the story. I showed him love. I gifted him joy. He roared with amazement when the signed card appeared … and I guessed his wife’s secret word, which happened to be her pet name for him. (медведь гризли)

On a whim, I made him a boot and I told him the story of the nekkid elves. He smiled and nodded and said something to his group. I let them go.

Pieter stood up and hugged me. Then he looked at me with tears on his face and said: “My mama told me this story. I will put this boot by her picture at home.

You are the only magic I believe.”

Now tell me again why I should be doing anything else.

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