Last night while working the Promenade, the focus of the evening was working with music. The nice thing about working with the ipod (nano), and my amp with two inputs, I can turn on and off my music and talk over music, if I wish. The mic and music sound good.
There is a strange dynamic of performing. I have a better chance of getting someone to watch by acting like I don’t care if they watch or not. I don’t get it, they’ll watch if they think I don’t know they’re there. So last night, I went into Jazz mode with some nice Diana Krall. I was getting into the music and started my own improvised magic riffs. I started out with some pretty flourishes with cards and coins. People seem to love the rapid coin rolls with 1,2,3 & 4 coins over the revolving hands.
My mind shot back an hour and I was back on the beach, walking for a couple of hours waiting for the sunset. It did set, as I knew it would. I listened to some Charlie Chaplin music. Some, may not know, that Chaplin, in addition to Writing, Directing, Acting in and Producing his own movies; also wrote the score and arranged the the music for the soundtracks. Amazing man and amazing music.
Sand slipping between my toes as a wave sneaks up and gets me up to the knees. I wait till the sun is just about to start vanishing to light my cigar. Although it’s illegal to smoke on the beaches of Santa Monica, I can’t resist the temptation to enjoy a good sunset cigar walk on the beach. Besides if a magician can’t manipulate and conceal a lit cigar while talking to the police. . . well what good is he.
Chaplin’s music cuts me right to the bone. Passionate, longing, sincere. Evoking an exact emotion of beauty, pain, resolution and comedy. How can I use this feeling. Can it translate to my magic? It was written to accompany human movement and tell the story in an era with no sound dialog. Listening to VIOLETERA from "CITY LIGHTS" as the weight of the sun pulled itself beneath the covers of the world and said goodnight, I closed one eye and extended my arm. With my forefinger and thumb I framed the last visible portion of the sun between them and as the music rose to a crescendo made it disappear. I turned around to take a bow and there were at least 100 seagulls watching me. I took my bow and overheard one seagull say that he saw the sun on the back of my hand, and that he knew how it was done.
Back at the Promenade on a quiet Tuesday evening after my walk, I was centered, focused, happy and ready to work. I spent 3 hours making people happy, creating good art and honing my craft. There is no substitute to getting out there in front of people. It’s were the rubber meets the road and character is formed.
A five year old girl and her father walk by, she couldn't take her eyes off me. I reach out into the air and try and find something that’s not there. I look confused and disappointed. I try again, nothing. On the third try, I pluck a silver dollar out of the air. I smile and I’m proud of myself. I look at the silver dollar as though I had never seen one like it. I slowly place it in my other hand, take the cigar out of my mouth. I raise the hand with the coin in it up to my face. I blow a thick ball of smoke at my hand and sloooowly open my hand revealing that it is gone. I register surprise and happiness on my face. She smiles so big her face turns inside out.