My heart and my art are about being honest, telling my stories and making sure they are rooted in truth, even if the stories themselves are pure Fabrications.
Here’s some harsh truth.
One morning this week I woke up and was having some trouble tasting things on the left side of my mouth. At the moment I chalked it up to the food I was having, but then:
As the day progressed the left side of my face became more and more numb, and when I woke up the next morning I found that it was completely paralyzed. I panicked for a moment or 10 and then got on the phone to try to get an appointment to see someone.
It turns out that I have contracted Bell’s palsy. It is a viral infection that is not permanent, but it may be 6 months before anything resembling normal. It is difficult to eat, it is very difficult to drink, and my speech is quite slurred. Also, the left half of my face is completely Frozen. Not the greatest thing in the world for performing artists.
I have medications to take, and by all accounts this is only temporary. I’m making this gently public, because I live my life in a spotlight … And maybe this part of my journey will be helpful to someone else.
Honestly, even though I am assured it won’t last forever, I’m somewhat terrified.
Anyway, that’s my news.
I hope there’s love where you are.
If you would like to help support this artist, please visit www.Patreon.com/MagicArtist
Every little bit helps me survive.
Let’s get to it, shall we? In that I live this life out loud, with all my blemishes and scars showing, I feel I should make myself and my position clear:
Black Lives Matter.
I stand firmly as an ally, without my own agenda, asking the oppressed and the hurting how I can best serve them as an ally. I’m calling for an end to systematic racism and an end to police brutality against Black people. I will not be quiet, and I will not sit idle. Silence is complicity. Not taking a stand is standing with the oppressors. There must be change, and my own push is starting here and now.
Any birth or rebirth comes with pain. This won’t be easy and it won’t always be pretty. Hearts fundamentally must learn a new way. 400+ years of injustice must come to an end. I must help hasten that end.
Love is for everyone. Love is not a quantity that can be used up. We can stand under the universe and all marvel at the stars without diminishing anyone else’s joy. So, too, is it with love. Lending a hand (and a heart and a soul) to one group of people does not diminish the love and value of any other group.
Black Lives Matter.
More than property, more than ideology, more than power. I am lending my voice, my platform, my very privilege to help this cause. The trivialization and oppression of Black lives must cease. Police brutality towards Black lives must come to an end – right now. Right. Now.
I take this stance out of love, kindness, and basic human decency. I take this stance without hesitation or apology. Make no mistake: I’m mad. I plan to use that mad energy to stand in the gap.
Racism and Police Brutality are a pandemic whose time has come.
I hope there is love where you are.
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.
“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.
*If you would like to become a patron and help support this ongoing art experiment/ quest, please visit my Patreon page.
“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.
Let nothing in my hand be a weapon.
Neither gun, wand, nor pen.
If my fingers should fist, please break them.
Should I be tempted to raise my hands in anger, quickly remind me that you did not give me hands for that purpose.
Violence is not the war i wage.
The hand … the hand is one of the most incredible instruments in the universe. Of all the bones in the body, one-fourth are in the hand. The balletic interplay of sinew and bone that is the human hand cannot be overstated, though it always seems to be thirsting to make a fist. Our greatest moment of humanity is when we open (un-fist) our hand to extend it in love … cradle a glass of wine … cup the chin or cheek of a loved one.
Even more … let nothing in my mouth be a weapon.
Not teeth, spit, or word.
Let my words be sweet … or savory. Never bitter, for I may have to eat them.
Turn my heart from hatred, and let love be the seeds i sow.
Fear is not the war I wage.
If I am to be known for anything in this world, let it be
“He left love where he went.”
Filed under Musings, poetry
Libraries, archives, and museums all find themselves at the intersection of materiality and the mystical. Perhaps this is why we’re so quiet when we enter them.” ~ Jenn Shapland,
Someday I dream we’ll visit these holy places together.
We’ll make a Holy Place of Our very own, someday.
A place without any fear.
A place where i will gather all the things I have written to You
Gather them close and read them aloud to You
So You can hear the love in my chest
Among the hitches in my speech
and the small gasps of affection
and I will dream of it until then.
I might have saved her, had I listened to the warnings in my heart. (and yeah: I know that’s just not true.)
I’m going to succumb to a nap, and try and silence these voices. I’m sad, I’m frustrated, i’m angry.
Mostly, I’m sad. Mostly, I miss my Mom.
She never, ever got to see me perform magic.
She went to every performance she could when I was an actor, when I was a singer. She insisted on video tapes when she couldn’t.
She would have adored Grace and Braiden.
She would have lit up when i took her to the Castle …
Fuck … this hurts. Life isn’t fair, but my Mother always taught me to love it, anyway. And to channel that love outward.
Thank you for listening.
Just a hunk of scrap metal now, really.
There’s an empty space in the street where my car used to be. A gift in a desperate time. Never gave me much trouble at all. Got me from here to there. I brought it with me from NC when my life changed.
One of the few ties I had, really.
A few minutes ago a man chained it up and drove it away. Forever.
Now there’s just an empty space. Except for some busted glass and plastic.
I guess I’ll get a little money from the insurance company.
And i have the memories of friends and lovers who rode with me on my adventures and quests.
And the ghost of the giant who used to drive it.
But right now all I see is the empty space.
Another loss in the tally-book.
It’s Dawn’s birthday, and there was snow there. I know that made her happy.
It’s just a car.
It’s just an empty space.