Tag Archives: art

He’s called Fish.

An artist that I have admired for nearly 40 years is retiring. A poet, a fractured soul, a beautiful human being has recorded his last offerings. I heard the first of these today, and it brought me to my knees.

I’m going to share more about him later, but the heart that he has put into his work has saved my life several times, and has inspired me to make improvements in what I put forth.

And now he has moved me again. To keep pushing and to keep walking my path. I am still in tears from the beauty he showed me today.

Thank you, Fish.

 

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Love and Death

I love my work. My art.

It is truly wrapped up and is a part of me … while it has been cautioned to not let your job define you, I have let myself define my job. Clever lad, that Hannibal …

I would die for my art. I would pour my heart onto the stage with my dying breath. I want, need to work. If it were my choice to live or make art, I would make the art. Art hard. Prove the bastards wrong every day.

But it’s not just me, is it? Doing what I do and wanting to be surrounded by an audience puts others in danger. Strangers. Friends and loved ones of strangers. People I may never meet, but people that I could doom with my careless actions. So.
because I love, because Love is what I worship and strive to preach:

I stay in isolation and I practice for the day I can return to the performance.

I would die for my art
but I would not kill for it.

h

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Making a Connection

My friend Scott Wells conducted this delightful interview which … really got to the heart of the matter.
Have a listen.

https://www.themagicwordpodcast.com/scottwellsmagic/547-hannibal 

If you would like to become a patron and help support this ongoing art experiment/ quest, please visit my Patreon page.

 

h

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Props

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget  what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

In a recent “Ask Hannibal Anything” on Facebook, I was asked: “what is the single greatest idea/movement/invention/concept/development in the history of magic as a performance art?”

I thought through the books, sleights, apparatus, trends, and concepts I have studied and immersed myself in. A world of wonderful creativity based on keeping it all secret. I processed through a lot of things, and finally came to the quiet conclusion.

The realization that the props, secrets, and moves are not the magic. The magic is the performer, the artist. The concept that Art is the act of taking your heart and shining lights on it.

The hands, heart, and soul are what create the magic moment. When I say ‘hands’ here, I’m talking about the physical, of course, but also the conceptual. My hands are not just the miraculous machines at the end of my arms. My hands are the dance that happens in connection with my audience. I reach out with my spirit, inviting them out into my world, and I carefully lead them through the wonders … we hold hands. We connect. It’s my way of expressing love to them.

Them … the attendees, the audience. The ones seeking perhaps merely distraction. I feed them, and hope my offering is accepted.

I put forth the poetry of my soul. I can do this with comedy, drama, rage … or anything. Magic is the vehicle for my art.

Magic is not the props. No matter how clever or pretty the apparatus is, the magic does not happen unless the performer believes it. What’s that? Believe in magic? Aren’t we just scoundrels and tricksters, fooling people and amazing them with our prowess and skill?

Perhaps … but I honestly believe in my magic, and I want to give them something deeper than mere tricks.

 

h

 

*If you would like to become a patron and help support this ongoing art experiment/ quest, please visit my Patreon page.

 

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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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crazy?

“We are embedded in a biological world and related to the organisms around us” ~ Walter Gilbert

“I am just a dreamer, and you are just a dream” ~ Neil Young

“I was always ashamed to take, so I gave. It was not a virtue. It was a disguise.” ~ Anais Nin

They said I was crazy

for throwing away a certain future

in order to chase a silly dream

But, said I

I would rather have a wallet stuffed

with post-notes of scribbled poetry

to place into the palms of strangers

Than stacks of stiff bills

staring up at me (old, dead, white men)

As I die a fresh death every morning

sinking deeper into the center of my cubicle

They still call me crazy

I’m still more successful than I ever imagined i could be

I still scribble poetry

I don’t even own a wallet

and i breathe in new life when I wake up … whenever I want.

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Other Art

I baked a cake today, from scratch. And the first time in a very long time …

I created an orange bundt cake. It came out a wee bit heavier than I would have liked, but other than that it was perfect.

It made me happy in a way that I cannot explain. I prepared, I planned, I executed, and I cleaned up after … And I made a new thing.

It’s a very odd feeling, what I’m feeling right now. Like something is about to move in a very big way. I will do my best to explain how I feel.

I’m going to wait and do that tomorrow. Tonight, I really need good rest.
I hope there is love where you are.

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These Hands

I don’t remember this myself, but my mother used to tell me that when I was very young I would stand with my hands outstretched trying to touch the Moon. I was convinced that when I got just a little bit bigger I would be able to catch it in my tiny hands.
My favorite toys were marbles and crayons. Colors captivated me of course, it was what I could do with them in my hands that fascinated me. I would spend hours coloring, drawing in new lines. Taking my aggressions out on the page rather than acting them out more physically.

It’s been years … in fact I cannot remember the last time that I balled my hands into fists because of rage. That doesn’t feel like the right thing to do with them.

My hands have felt extreme cold and extreme heat, and have put those feelings onto paper with ink.

My hands have held my son, and my daughters. They birthed all four into this world: Two by catching and two by pulling and guiding. One of them actually wedged herself in by turning her head at the wrong time and jamming her ear. Just for a moment, and then  hands freed her and she came, gasping and angry.

My hands have purposefully ended two (non-human) lives. I took their lives out of Mercy, and I cried bitterly after each. My hands turned off the machine keeping my mother alive, and signed the papers that let her killer go free. My darkest self believes I have a murderer’s hands.

My hands have been broken, bloodied, chained, and cuffed.

They have worn wedding rings and scars. Nail polish tattoos of a broken and false loyalty.

My hands have been trained to fight. My hands have been trained to heal. My hands have done the devil’s work, and they have been thrown to the sky in praise of a God. I stretched them on the boards for self-righteous mock crucifixion. They have been clasped together until they went numb, begging for an end to the pain of heartbreak.

My hands remember the feeling of caressing the face of my lover. The gentle curve of her cheek, the gentle curve of her hip. They recall the silk-smooth skin of her back. They remind me of the pads of our fingers pressing gently together, and the careful moving of a wisp of her hair from her eyes.

My hands let me speak the words of my heart in magic. They wield the instruments of my craft and turn them into art.

My hands have earned everything that I own. They have saved my life, and they have saved the lives of others.
They have made life a little bit better for countless souls.

The gift I have been given is not my hands, rather the gift I have been given is in my hands. My life’s goal is to honor the giver of the gift by using it.
Until it’s gone.

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Art in Magic (one)

A few years ago, I was fortunate to sit on a panel of magicians for a Q&A at a convention.

The topic was the state of the craft in the modern world and the changing role of the entertainer. One of my fellow panelists opined:

“We owe the audience a happy ending. A positive conclusion. That’s what art does.”

And all I could think … and what I said out loud was:

“Why? What ending has your heart experienced that was truly happy?”

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Sunday Blue

February 24, 2019

The performances at the Castle continue to be extraordinary. I made a new friend, got the opportunity to offer some comfort, and served as a resting pillow for a short period of time last night. I count these things as very positive perks. I do hope they continue. Thursday my best friend got to finally see me in my purest element. This was good, I think.

Facebook presented me with some pretty painful and pointed memories, today. While it brought me down for a short time, it’s solidified in me that I have made the right decisions.

I cannot imagine why I tolerated all the things that I did.

I stepped out of the fire escape and found that it was a beautiful, sunny California day. The sun is in the sky, it is a bright blue, and there are celebrities walking up and down my little street. I’m just about a block away from the theater where the Oscars will take place.

Tonight I get to make magic in my Castle home, again. My heart may be splintered, but it’s still mine.

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