Creating a New Show

My newest project is set and ready for its debut. It’s a show that has been in the works for some time, and one that I had to do a lot of research for. The research was not on different magic tricks; it was exploring different parts of my life and finding out what really makes me unique.

As I have written about before, I believe in letting the unique aspects of us shine through our work. A person passionate about baseball, for example, shouldn’t hide that in the office. Nor should a person who loves to write hide this either. When we add these unique aspects of our lives into our work, we begin to see something that is truly creative, since we are unique by definition.

This is what I wanted with my new show. I wanted a show that showcased my interests and human experiences. If done right, this would create the “unique and memorable experience” that every magician strives to achieve.

Hiking

In order to create the show, I took a step back from magic and began exploring my other interests. This started with hiking. I would spend my free time in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, climbing mountains and hiking through woods.

All the while, I listened to myself. That art of listening is something that has been thrown away by society, with the ever-present temptation of social media, music, and emails on our smartphones. To stop and truly listen is something that is almost a heroic task today.

In listening to myself, I began to notice certain emotions that I felt while hiking. In the long hours spent hiking through the woods to reach a 5,000 foot peak, I would imagine what it would look like to put these feelings into a magic show. What kind of magic trick would this look like?

School

Against the advice of some professional magicians, I pursued by Master of Business Administration at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Their warnings were understandable; I would spend an entire year focused on my school work and not my magic shows.

On the surface, this seemed like a terrible idea for my magic career. To become absorbed in marketing and social media growth (my main interest during graduate school) and various other graduate-level classes took time and attention away from practicing magic and booking shows.

And indeed, this is what happened. During graduate school I performed less shows and added little to nothing to my existing show. My participation in the magic community dropped as well; I attended only one magic convention during graduate school. How could any of this be good for my show?

I discovered that I truly love marketing. It’s a fascinating topic and one that I was glad to study throughout my college years. What started as a way to book more magic shows ended up becoming a love of mine, and one that I think about often on any given day.

Just like with hiking, I began to ask myself what it would look like if I included marketing into a magic show. How could I take what I love about marketing and build a magic trick around it?

Reading

It’s the practice of most magicians to become absorbed in magic book. Whether it be the newest release or an old treasure, magic books are constantly by the side of magicians. I have a small library of books at home that are inspirational treasures to my work, and I am constantly revisiting them for ideas and information.

However, these books are a secondary source of reading for me. My primary topics to read about include philosophy, Catholic theology, marketing, business, writing, capitalism, and biographies.

It is through reading these books that I grow other aspects of my personality. If I only read magic books, I would be an incredibly smart magician, but a very flat one. By reading books on everything from stoicism in ancient Rome to Theodore Roosevelt, I can round out my education and discover interests I never knew I had.

Conclusion

British author G.K. Chesterton once wrote, “I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.” In creating this show, I have inadvertently done the same thing. Doing so wasn’t an act of rebellion to the tried-and-true advice of magicians; I simply wanted to have fun. And fun was certainly had.

I call this show “Creative Conjuring.” Creative, because I had to leave the conventional means of learning new tricks and find some new way, a way that worked for me.

This way took me to the top of mountains and miles into remote wilderness; it guided me on an educational adventure that earned me a masers degree; it opened my mind to authors and books I had never heard of before.

The debut of Creative Conjuring will be on December 14th in my hometown of Watertown, MA. After that, I hope to have at lease one public performance each month around New England. For those interested, all upcoming dates and tickets will be available here.

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