The Greatest Kindness
Tonight begins my journey into another lesson in magic. And already I’ve heard and seen things which give me pause and make me rethink assumptions I have made for so long. Assumptions about who I am as a performer. Who I am as a person even, and what things I can bring to the stage and to my performances.
I have seen a small show already this evening and tomorrow evening I will see another. What I saw tonight was the work of several magicians simply bringing their current passions to those who might best appreciate them. It is hard to explain but when magicians do magic for other magicians there is a kind of feeling in the air that you just don’t experience if you are not “one of us.”
It’s not even that the material is something that we wouldn’t present to a regular audience, although some of that certainly can happen, but rather that the appreciation of that material goes in a different direction. Some of what I saw did not “fool” me in a traditional sense. Some of it blew me away. ( For example I saw tonight a recreation of a trick I remember watching David Copperfield do on television when I was a little kid that made me want to be a magician even then, and it was a recreation that took that same effect and blew it away! I saw the same trick done with so much more impact that it was just like I was that little kid experiencing the same level of wonder all those years ago.)
All of it gave me the sense of wonder that I have worked so hard in the past to give my own audiences and which I do not get to experience nearly as much. My rewards as a performer of magic are different then they are as a spectator of the same art. And in the hands of masters I am given a beautiful opportunity to experience that wonder and be reminded of exactly what it is I am striving to create.
But the greatest kindness was to be welcomed back among friends. For me to see in their eyes and in their faces, to hear in their words, the simple joy of renewed friendships. To walk in to one of my magic teacher/mentor’s libraries and see *my book* among the works of other well known magic authors and know that it is valued. To have them look at me and compliment my appearance as being so much better (“you look so much healthier! You look so handsom!”) and hear it as the genuine appreciation of the work I’ve done just making myself better in so simple but important a way. To be asked about the things that are going on in my life and to hear them reflected back to me as positives (“wow, you really are busy and it sounds like you are making a lot of great progress in your life!”) when I have begun to wonder if I’m just weighing myself down.
I value my friends and family, both blood and chosen, but there is something special about the friends we reconnect with after so many years apart. Those who are close to us every day see the changes as a gradual continum from day to day. Those who we see after so many years see the changes in leaps and bounds and as such offer a different perspective we might not otherwise get.
Tonight I was asked to set out my goals for this weekend. I was also asked to set out my goals for where I want my magic to be in 3 to 5 years. It’s interesting because I’ve been wrestling with that a lot lately. My magic has been in a rut lately and I know I’ve needed to push it out and in new directions. This weekend is about exploring one of those options.
Being able to come out here and explore that in a safe and nurturing environment is a gift. A gift my magician friends here are giving me. A gift the rest of my friends and family helped support with kind words and letters and pats on the back and cheers.
Such gifts are the kindest and greatest gifts of all.