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.
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.
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.
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 homeless man.
A homeless woman.
A college student.
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.
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.
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.
I feel myself worthy, I’m full of confidence I know exactly who I am. Onstage.
On stage I make people smile, I lift their spirits, I show them miracles. On stage we are one, and they believe in me.
Off-stage, not so much. I’m still the 10 year old who does not get picked. The last kid, awkwardly standing alone while cool kids choose someone else, because I just don’t measure up. I’m not quite good enough. Off stage.
It’s lonely off stage. At the end of the day I am by myself, and left to comfort myself. I am quite aware that this is the life I set up for myself.
And perhaps that’s how it’s to be. I’ll use this time to make my time on stage a little bit better. I would have liked to have been chosen, I no longer expect it.
I still have the stage, and I’m still kinda important there.
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.