Magic School Day 1 – Focus on Parlor Magic
I know I’ve said this many times before, but today really was. And in this instance it’s only been the first day and I’ve come away with six “new” pieces of magic to add to my act. I say “new” in quotes because like many things in magic, these are not necessarily new creations, but revelations about things that I have long been familiar with but given new life.
Although some of the things are indeed “new” in the sense of totally new to me as well! So I’m very happy about that.
I should back up a bit though. Just so damn excited!
As I mentioned previously, Parlor Magic is really my default venue. I do my best work with this level of show. So when we started today we were told that these two days were going to be much more “practicum” than theory and we were handed a list of classics of Parlor Magic. We were told “pick three” and for the next two days the group would go over them together.
So I managed to narrow the list down to six items…. Yeah, I know, “pick three”, but I also damn well know that we were all doing the same thing; picking a longer list and then listening to each other to see if someone else mentioned something we had on our list so we could mention something else!
Few things are harder to do than to try and be “sneaky” in a group of magicians….
Well, there are only eight of us in the class, and when we were done we ended up with a list of about 10 things we all wanted to cover. This is a pretty damn good balance. And everything I wanted on that list is there! So, to use a phrase, “AWESOME SAUCE!”
Another cool thing is that there are only eight of us! Lots of individual attention. Although we’re having a small problem with that with one student. I’ll get there in a moment.
Also, there are almost as many women as there are men in the class. 3 women, 5 men. Given the usual kinds of percentages I see that is actually remarkable. I like having female students in the same class because female magicians bring a different angle and perspective that is always worthwhile.
As an example, one of the things I brought up earlier in the day was my desire to figure out how to really narrow down the material I use to the kinds of things that fit the direction I’ve been building for myself. However, before we began we did the usual “let us all introduce ourselves and tell everyone a little bit” sort of thing and as I explained all the various things I do (basically the results of everything I’ve learned in the SCA) it seemed to have left an impression on one of the ladies. As we sat at lunch she suggested that rather than try to limit what I do I should embrace as much as I can and use the fact that my life is filled with so much as the inspiration for that.
While I’m not sure that is the best idea for myself, it is an idea worth considering, and it is very clearly a good example of how a female magician looks differently at developing an act. Certainly she left me with much to ponder.
So anyway, yeah, there is a kind of “problem child”.
We have one student in the class who is very enthusiastic. So much so that he has to be constantly reminded to not blurt out. So much so that he has to be constantly reminded that there are other students who spent just as much money as he did to get their time in the school as well.
Now Jeff has spent many years teaching, has taken and certified in management courses, knows and understand group dynamics, and generally is exceptionally skilled in handling situations just like this.
This kid is pushing the limits. I’ve seen Jeff get frustrated on rare occasions, and this one is included.
Still, I can’t fault this kid. I completely understand his enthusiasm. I feel it every time as well. I want to get all the attention and explore the possibilities and the theory and the practical applications with Jeff’s full attention.
There are ways for me to do that. But they are hugely expensive. Well, more like, expensive enough that I would have to plan for it well in advance.
I still am getting some amazing training, just like usual. And tomorrow is going to be extra awesome because while everything I got today was fantastic, tomorrow will actually be focused on the main items I selected on the list including an opportunity to work with a prop I brought out special just to get some quality brainstorming in.
I’m not sure I could ask for a better group to brainstorm with. Jeff, several female magicians, some long time workers, and even Mr. OverEnthusiastic will all bring some great stuff to the table when we work on developing something for this new prop of mine.
So, that’s day one in a nutshell. Having a great time. Filling my brain with all this wonderful stuff.
I’m looking forward to bring new stuff to my audiences.