Saturday, March 15, 2008

Busker du Jour

Magic!, originally uploaded by embrodak87.

Friday, March 14, 2008

James Riser Cups

Thursday Night at the Ha Ha Cafe

Last night I did a 12 min. guest set at a comedy club. It was fun. One thing that I didn’t expect was how excited I was all day to do it. I felt like a little kid. Sure I work every night at the City Walk, but this wasn’t going to be on the street! So, the notion of working for a sitting audience was something to look forward to.

I got there an hour early to set up my headset mic and camera tripod. As I took a look a the layout of the room, I noticed another magician setting up a nightclub table and getting his act set up on stage.

After talking to a fellow named Eric who was the booker as well as a comic on the bill, he told me that there would be an MC/Opener, after him was the other magician, then he told me I would go on after him. I told Eric , that while I thought it made more sense to separate us with a few comedians, ultimately, I’d go where ever he wanted to put me. I ended up going on an hour after the other magician. Maybe I should have kept my mouth shut.

André, who worked with Polly on “Dirty, Sexy Money” helped out by taping my set. As he familiarized himself with my camera, he did an interesting thing that only a camera savvy guy would do, he slowed down the zoom to half speed.

Everything looked like it was in line to have some fun and get some good video. I had a couple of cocktails while waiting to go on and enjoyed a top shelf Ashton Churchill Cigar.

My mind was all over the place and I kept changing my mind about what to open with. My set was going to be either Cups, Coins & Rings or Cards, Coins & Rings. 12 minutes can either seem like a very short time or an eternity. The benefit of opening with a card routine, would be; I wouldn’t have to bring on my table, I could have lost the pouch, worked out of my pockets and only had to bring the rings up. One of the nice thing about being a street performer is, we’re very portable and used to lugging our crap around. At the last minute I opted for the cups over cards.

I was introduced, came on stage and realized that the sound man was nowhere in sight and that my headset mic wasn’t on. GREAT! Having been around long enough to know that this sort of shit happens all the time, I had a back up plan. In my back pocket I had one of those things you where around your neck and stick the house mic in. While in the process of getting that together Eric returned and got my headset mic going, all the while feeling like I had brought my act to a dead ass halt. . . before I even got started. I was going to edit this portion of the show out, but decided to keep it in and show, what a real live performing situation can look like. If nothing else, it’s kind of funny. It was real and made me venerable. While the situation was quite out of my control, I made the best of it.

The set was. . . what it was. I rushed through my material, stepping on applause and audience reaction. Wasn’t too happy about that, but a great study of what not to do on the tape.

I had a good time, learned a lot and will probably do it again sometime.

What exactly did I learn? Well. . . SLOW DOWN I’ve always know this, but watching the video really shows me what I’m doing.

I love magic and I love performing, what can I say.

A good time was had by all.

I just watched the tape again and had a few closing remarks. I did something that I shouldn’t have. I switched from the Tayade Style balls for the cups to the larger ones Gazzo uses. Bad call. The reason I did this was the last time I taped my set at the City Walk, I thought you couldn’t see the balls too well. I just hadn’t practiced with the new size and flashed like some old perv in a rain coat. I can fix these flashes, but it didn’t make me too happy to see them. Oh well. Guess I’ll start working with them on the street and keep you posted as to my progress.

Another issue, I hadn’t talked during my cups or coin routine in months. On the street, I’ve been doing these routines strictly to music. Certainly was different to go back to my lousy patter.


If anyone has any helpful comments. . . I'm all ears.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Joni Mitchell-California

_The_Zipper_, originally uploaded by stfarm.

Video du Jour • Click Here

Learning a lot about life. Starting to understand that there is a natural ebb and flow. By living in the now, I refuse to let the failures of my past dictate the success of my future. It's all a piece of art in progress. I have a lot of love in my heart and so much to share with the world. This is already fun.

With a stringent, daily regiment of relaxation, I eat right, exercise and work daily at the City Walk. I'm a lucky motherfucker. Polly and I are going on two years together! Amazing thing is, we still have yet to have ONE ARGUMENT! Go figure, she actually loves me for who I am!? She'll be going back to work on a new show starting next week. Ugly Betty, I'll say one thing about Polly she seems to go from one hit show to the next. Lots of work in this town for people who who don't mind working 70-80 hours in a 5 day week. Poor girl, I'm gonna have to hold down things at Camp Paradise for her all by myself.

Hiked Bronson Canyon with Aaron today. Another beautiful day in the 80's blue skies and sunny. Heard more then a foot of snow fell in Cincinnati. Went to work this evening in shorts, sandals and a short sleeve shirt. We eat oranges picked off a friends tree.

Palm trees shoot up from the ground 100 feet tall, tops swaying in the sunset wind. The Hollywood Hills rich in history and property values.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Video du Jour • Click Here

This video will only be up for a short while, as requested by Mike Gallo. So, watch it while you can! Shot in 2000 in Buffalo, NY.

Also, there is a "MY GALLERY" button on that video page with more recently posted video's.