Tag Archives: Inspiration


“What’s broken can be mended. What’s hurt can be healed. No matter how dark it gets, the sun’s going to rise again.” ~ Dr. Meredith Grey

The plot line or trope or whatever you would call it that I enjoy most in stories is the redemption narrative. I first encountered it in ‘Watership Down’ via Bigwig. A mild arc, but it spoke to me nonetheless.

Then Vader, and later still Shawshank, and countless others; the most powerful being ‘The Wrestler’. The title character seeks redemption and forgiveness from his daughter, and does not get it. So he pulls it from inside himself.

Redemption: Coming from the dark and finding the light, the love … the redemption of a new and better life.

This speaks to me in my life because a redemption narrative says: no matter how broken or wrong or bad or stupid or ridiculous or harmful or sad or terrible you are … you can atone.

There is still a road back. It might be rocky and steep, complicated and messy. Walking it may take your entire life. You may lose your foothold, slip and fall back into the abyss, but the wall is still there. The ascent is still there. Hard is not the same as impossible.

You are never too far gone. You are never beyond saving.

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March 10, 2018

Indianapolis, performing tonight for Park West Gallery, extolling the virtues of art and the pursuit of excellence.

The day is bright and cold.
Coincidentally and harmonically, my heart, soul, and head are in a very bright, peaceful place, though I am in more perilous debt and stress than I can remember.

Life is magic.


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March 6, 2018

I got some bad news early in the day, and i’ll talk about that later, when i can discuss it rationally, but what I want to report to day is this:
I went to the Castle last night. I had to force myself to get dressed and drive over, because my brain was trying to tell me it was pointless. (You are not your mind) Once I got there, I enjoyed a couple of shows and had a pleasant conversation with Handsome Jack. (He’s bewildered that ‘Fool Us’ has not picked me up.)

And then …  a group of enthusiastic young people gathered around the table I was sitting at and requested a short show. “People tell us you are fun!” So I did my thing; we made art together and their energy translated into renewing laughter and loud astonishment. I refilled my spirit. I found out later that they were the cast of ‘Aladdin‘ .

and then … just before packing up to go home, a gentleman approached me, almost shyly. He told me he was a fan of my work, and wanted to chat for a moment. We talked about card tricks and apartheid, the Magic Castle and Trevor Noah.  He was from South Africa, and he told me that a friend had shared my blog with him. He was moved by my description and pictures from ‘The Naked Truth’, and he related that he was inspired by my “bold pursuit of art’.

A man from South Africa was moved to deeper love and creativity by my art and my words.

You don’t know (and you may never know) who you are affecting and how. Be true. Art hard. Do what you were made to do, and change the world.

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November 18, 2017

I was going to sit this season out. Just let it slide by and focus on other things. Then I was gifted with a ticket, so i put on my armor and went to the final weekend of the Carolina Renaissance Festival. Former home of Hannibal the Liar.

It was odd, being on the other side of the stage, playing the part of a patron. Old cast-mates greeted me with love and hugs, and I was immediately welcome. I saw shows i never got to see as a performer, I saw the first joust I’ve seen in over 3 years. I saw love and joy being dealt right out on the street. I watched a brand-new game get created. I danced a little. I rocked out with the Craic! I turned my face up to the surprisingly warm November sunshine. I was home, even though I wasn’t performing. (That’s kinda alien to me. They loved me without anything other than simple love in return. They just … loved Me. For Me.)

So I’m learning. Perhaps i do have some value. A good friend slightly drunkenly told me how much I meant to her life, her daughter’s life … another told me of how her father, who lives in basic solitude, had heard of me somewhere.

I went to dinner with the Angels, laughed and dished and ate … then came home to continue work on the ‘new thing’. I feel loved. I feel confident. It’s a really good day.

Off topic, but important: The new book is now available on Amazon, both in Paperback and on Kindle.

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My Green Grove

September 24, 2017

Festival in the Park is a yearly artisan even in Charlotte. Arts and crafts, live music, and variety acts. For the past twenty years or so I have participated at the ‘Magician’s Stage’ in one capacity or another. I started off in my early magic days, doing two twenty minute spots as part of the local magic club.

The stage has changed locations, management, undergone blistering heat and flash flood. One year the chairs and the stage disappeared under water in less than thirty minutes …

The stage is humble: just a wooden platform with the Festival banner as a back drop. Two floodlights on a metal pole are the entirety of the lighting. No sound system. Our hall is a cathedral of trees. It’s very green. This little grove sits in a small hollow, just off the main path. The sides of the hollow dampen the noise of the crowd and the live bands.

It’s really a magic place, all by itself.

Over the past three days we gave hundreds of audience members pure magic. I stood, bathed in sweat, pouring out my heart to several packed ‘houses’. All through the hot afternoon and into the dark of warm fall nights. They stayed, and they helped, and they gave us ovations and cheers. We danced together.

This was my last year with Festival in the Park. Next fall I will be living across the country. I know I’ll miss it. I know I’ll cherish the memories. I saw some friends I haven’t seen in years. I reconnected with some very precious souls that had been lost to me.

It was magical, it was beautiful.

It was green.

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Be a Star?

Chicago, September 2017

Walking back from dinner, looking at all these old buildings, the old shops, the heart and soul of Chicago that still beats in the middle of everything. I’m anonymous. No one gives me a second glance. I made a few new friends in the pub I had dinner in, did a few card tricks and made some people laugh. None of them knew me before tonight, but I gave them a little joy for the end of the day. The gift that I got from them is bigger than the gift I gave them. Sometimes I feel a little selfish that way.

There was a time when I wanted to be a “star”. I walk out on these big stages and I feel I could hold my own up-against the best of them, but I simply never followed the paths that led toward fame, and so it hasn’t happened to me. I have a good life, a great life – and I don’t get bugged by idiots (much) while dining out or walking in the street.

I do the show I want to do, when I want to do it, and I’m free.

I’m free.

The fans I have are loyal and awesome, and I would be happy to relax and have a drink with most of them. There’s a lot of love in my corner. In these things, I am wealthy beyond my wildest dreams.

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Mark Me

The Monday Night Tease Adventure, Part Two.

One of the first things I decided was to present ‘The Naked Truth’ with a slightly new twist. Yes, i still wanted it to focus on self-esteem and giving up hateful words, but I also wanted to add in fear. The world has become a very scary place, and it’s so easy to listen to all the doom in the air and just despair of everything. So i was going to also ask them to write their fears on my skin. To let them go for a short time.

In truth, once I settled on this scary idea, I didn’t think too much about it. I trusted in my ability and focused on centering myself.

So I prepped, and practiced the magic I would open with, looked at flights and budgets and … and then everything changed. Quickly.

One afternoon in late August i got a text from Lili: “You busy?” So I gave her a call. “What’s Up?”

“Well … due to stuff I’m not going into right now, the show will be closing two weeks. i just gave the club owner two weeks notice and … the last show will be September 4th. Just wanted you to know.”

We talked and I tried to be supportive and the friend she needed right then. She wasn’t showing it, but I knew she was frantic, sad, and upset about this news. She said she was going to try to call some people in and give it the best she could. When we hung up, all I could think of was … I wonder if she still wants me in this and was being polite, because: She knows i have one of MY shows booked that night and airfare is going be outrageous this close to date and whatever else. On my hand, i wasn’t going to presume I still had a space. But I looked up flights, anyway. I did math (yeah, it was that serious.) and sent a note to the owner of the club I had booked in Charlotte. I called her back … and to my delight, she did still want me for the final spot of the final show. She offered weak protest about me cancelling my gig, but I could tell she was happy.

Have I mentioned that I’ve been underestimating my strengths, lately? The honor of this was not missed.

I kept the secret, for the most part. Lili dropped a few subtle hints over social media, and a few people understood. The event was going to sell out, regardless. The only person i really let anything slip to was my friend, Andrea. I let her know I’d be in town for the MNT show and, if she was interested, it might be a good idea to catch this show. I even offered her my comp, but she insisted on supporting the show and buying her own. So I told her the secret, but she had already guessed before my confirmation. Truthfully, it was comforting to know I’d have a friend in the audience. Eddie and Lili would be dealing with work and emotions of their own, so I was glad of this addition. Coming down from ‘The Naked Truth’ is rough, so friendship and care is coveted. She was able to get one of the last standing room tickets, so thank the universe for small blessings.

Megan was concerned that Monique might show up, or try to get in touch, but that honestly didn’t concern me. That boat has sailed.

I made little posters for FB, I kept my anxiety in check, made my travel plans, and I meditated over the event. I wanted to make a good statement, i wanted to be there for my friend’s last huzzah with her baby, I wanted to bask in an awesome show, but most of all, I wanted to entertain Them. Give Them my heart.

To Be Continued …

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