Tag Archives: magic

A Few Words for a Hero.

He wasn’t famous, not really. Most of the magic community knew who he was, and the wise ones fed on his words like manna.EBSB The vast majority of the public never heard of him, though he shaped and influenced the ‘names’ they do know. He was a legend, a giant, an icon … yet unassuming, introverted, quiet, and deeply observational.

He was the author of the very first book I purchased on my craft, “The Performance of Close-Up Magic”, and I still refer to it today, twenty-five years later. We first met in Vancouver, working at a magic convention together. He was warm, gentle, and kind. His method of teaching, of guiding, was unique and powerful. Every time I was in his presence, or opened the pages of one of his books, I learned something new. About magic, about kindness, about myself.

The last time we spoke face to face was in St. Louis, three years ago. He approached me after my act at the North American FISM contest and complimented me. I was thunderstruck. We exchanged information and he called me later to discuss my process for creating … the man I gleaned so much knowledge from was interested in how I created my act, and (in effect) was learning from me. He was uplifting. He was honest. He was a master at making people feel.

He wasn’t famous in the conventional sense, but he left his mark, and the world was made better because he was in it. My heart hurts from this loss, but I’m joyful that he was a part of my life.

Eugene Burger

June 1, 1939 – August 8, 2017

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Summer Camp

I do one 'kids show' a year, and I wish I could do many more, as long as they were as gratifying, as heartwarming, as the Charlotte MDA Summer Camp. Every summer for the past 11 years, I've been invited to entertain the campers and the counselors one evening, and every time I leave, I'm struck by how lucky I am to have been there.

The children and youth that attend have various forms of muscular dystrophy, but their enthusiasm is unmatched in any audience I've had the privilege to work for. Yes, it's your typical summer camp. There are multiple activities and campfires and sing alongs and home sickness and stomach bugs and everything that makes camp a silver memory that many of us treasure for our lifetime. It's so much more than that, though. As you might imagine, working with the individual challenges of each camper is a daunting endeavor, yet it's done with humor, energy, and style. So much grace …

And there's love. Man, the love in that place is so thick you could spread it on toast. The staff and the counselors bring their best for the campers and everyone looks out for everyone else. Maybe I'm gushing a little, but I'm sincere.

The past three years I arrived wrapped up in my own troubles, and they vanish within the first few minutes. I leave invigorated, happy, and hopeful. And moved. Lifted so high, emotionally.

I'm not …. writing about this to brag, or promote my image. I want to impress on you the value of giving of your ability. Taking your talent, your time, your vitality and using it to enrich the lives of those who need it and see so little in their world. It could be anything, any cause, listen to your heart. Believe this: it's been worth any 'sacrifice' I've had to make in order to be there.

The love you need is where you plant it.

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Why Patreon?

Hannibal is Creating Stories from the Road

Hello, friends and loyal readers!

Here’s what’s going on in the Hannibal world: a more intense focus on work and art, eschewing a social life for awhile, so that I can get my business and creativity back up to acceptable levels. My heart is for the performance and in helping other artists get their road underway. I cannot accomplish the second until the first is taken care of. (Secure your own mask before assisting others with theirs)

The past two years have taken a toll on me emotionally and financially, but, thanks to love and time, I am recovering and getting myself and my art back together. To these ends, I have launched a Patreon account. Rather than just crowd-sourcing or funding, Patreon allows artists and fans to connect on a more personal level. Supporters become investors in the very personal work of the artist in affordable amounts. There are two main reasons i launched:

  1. Divorce. Lawyer fees, alimony, and a thousand other little things that added up to a money pit. I am doing fine in my business (and improving all the time) but the added expenses have crippled me. Put plainly, I need help in recovering from this disaster.
  2.  Expanding the art. I am working on writing projects, podcasts, and videos to both entertain my audience and to encourage other artists. There will be programs on finding success in the entertainment industry, stories from nearly three decades of life in showbiz, and learning to love yourself enough to truly love others. Finding small joys to enrich your life. I’m not going to the Tony Robbins level of rah-rah, but I do have some experience that will be valuable.

The investors in my Patreon account (or Patrons) will give me the opportunity to fill the debt, have time to write and record, and take my show to more public venues. In return, my investors will get early access to media and projects, and exclusive rewards for your support. I’ve set goals on the account itself (when I reach 50 Patrons, everyone gets an e-book sample of my upcoming book “Across the Table”) and these will continue as we move forward.

Your investment? You can pledge as little as one US dollar a month, and that will let me know that you are there rooting for me. I’m asking for a minimum of five dollars per month, as this will help me with the goal of whittling down the debt, producing a podcast and public shows, and getting published by the end of 2017. There are substantial rewards for deeper investment, and those are all explained on the account.

The account may be located at patreon.com/MagicArtist

Thank you for reading this far, and thank you for your consistent support and love.

best,

h

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Raw Opinion

I get (mostly) naked onstage in a certain act that I do occasionally. It galvanizes, opens discussion, and empowers people in many different ways. I’m told that it is inspirational.

On the most recent cover of Vanish magazine (a periodical for entertainers in my craft) a magician appears (mostly) naked. It galvanizes, opens discussion, and empowers people in many different ways. It has also had the effect of polarizing members of my community.

She earned the cover because of her talent, creativity, and contribution to Magic as an art form. She had a very large role in choosing what the cover would be. It was her idea.

It is beautiful, it is artistic, and I fully endorse her. Not that my endorsement matters one bit, but …

Fellow Magi and fans of magic: Let us lift her up in her bravery and vision, and let us learn from her.

Bravo, Carisa.

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June 25, 2017

Tampa, Florida

Masters of Magic show at the Magic Emporium

Afterward, as I’m chatting with people and packing up, a lady approached. She took my hand and shook it, then pulled me close for a hug. As she did so, she said nothing, but she held my gaze and the expression in her eyes was so meaningful that I felt tears welling up in my own. You could feel it through the room, and all around us, for a moment, everyone was quiet.

My words have reached deep inside some people, and sometimes they just want to let me know. Some people can say more with their eyes than their mouths. And I can listen with my eyes –often better than with my ears.

I hope she felt my mutual gratitude.

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She, Concluded. (In which I invent a new word or two)

Our little romance lasted about a month, but in the end we were simply from two different worlds and two different times in our lives. We enjoyed a Kerouacian Roman Candle affair, and we parted amiably and with respect.

My heart is intact, and I learned a few things about myself. I still feel beautiful. I do have love, all kinds of love, to offer a myriad of different people. Even romance, in the future, should it come my way again. It’s not a threat or a deviation from my path.

This affair raised some questions in my mind, and I’d like to pose them to You. There’s an answer (sort of) at the end of this, but it’s my answer. I know that everyone will have different experiences and therefore different reactions to this.

A singular question. If you had the power of foresight, how would it change the way you live your life? Would you initiate a romance, knowing that it would disintegrate?  If, before you even became pregnant, you knew your daughter would die in her teens, would you still give birth? If you knew the one you loved was going to betray you twenty years from now, or die prematurely, would you go forward with becoming partners?

Luckily, we are spared the curse and horror of foresight. We have the ability to grasp the now.

For me, the answer is a resounding yes. Give me the moments, give me the now, give me all the feelings I can collect. Let me hoard my memories. Memories: the power of living your life in any order you want. You can revisit the moments you had with people you love. So in this context, death isn’t the end, because you aren’t changing ANYTHING, just recontextualizing the experience of it all.

The experience with Monique taught me a few things, but what I’m holding onto from this time is simply this: Life is a beautiful thing. Experience all kinds of love, and though you may lose it, it adds value to who you are and how you shape your life, even if you have to face some fears to do so.

You may lose … no, that’s not correct. You are going to lose, because that’s part of the road. There really isn’t a damned thing you can do about it: you are informed by the journey itself and given different perspective or information, any step you make might be different. Collect the moments with all you are worth.

All of this to say: it was wonderful, and now it’s over, and I have no regrets.

I’m still beautiful, and my road stretches ahead. There is love, out there.

 

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Joy in the Moment

There are days I wake up and feel like Sisyphus.

Do you know who I mean?

Sisyphus was an ancient mythological figure punished for all eternity to roll a boulder up a steep mountain, only to have it roll back down to the bottom when he reaches the top. Albert Camus called him an absurd hero; he struggled perpetually and without any hope of success.

That describes me on some days. Broken promises, lack of perceived ‘progress’, low bank accounts and good old self doubt are my boulder. I struggle daily to push it forward and upward, only to watch it roll back at day’s end. In the reality of my profession, the boulder is mine. I am aided and supported by an amazing set of friends and family, but the responsibility is on my shoulders. Sometimes this burden is crushing.

When times like this occur, I stop and breathe. I count my blessings and I look at my situation from a different attitude. Picture Sisyphus smiling.

The idea is so simple: here is Sisyphus, the wretch, interminably pushing his boulder up the hill, watching it roll down and repeating.  In my mind he was always completely defeated, hopeless.  And then, as I read Camus’ book on the ‘Myth of Sisyphus’, everything about the picture changed.  Imagining Sisyphus smiling, embracing his situation as his reality, not wanting a different past or a different future, but accepting the present, the scene totally rearranged itself.  He was no longer hopeless, but happy in his acceptance of the situation.

He must, in order to accept the absurdity of the situation, adjust his attitude and fulfill what has been put before him.

On the road to your dreams, there are certain absurd truths you must acknowledge. You must work as hard and as tirelessly as you can. There is no guarantee of success, but the burden and the struggle contain a successful measure of their own. To simply be doing what you love, and to master it, may be enough. Our ultimate fate is all the same, so why be miserable? Live your passion in the task at hand, and find satisfaction in your minor successes and your crushing failures.

Like Sisyphus, some see no other option than the mountain and the rock. Burdened with obligations, lack of control, hopelessness, low expectations and no alternatives, they continue to toil in dead-end jobs and uninspiring environments.

You, however, can see opportunity in obligation, freedom in failure and hope in hopelessness. You are unique, as are your burdens. Keep shouldering on, and be thankful for the journey.

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