A few special magical valentines…
I want to send out a few Valentines this month to celebrate the 14th of February. I am sure that I will miss many people that I should have remembered but better to give it a shot than ignore the opportunity. Some of my Valentine greetings are very personal and others are more generalized however they all include a big thank you straight from the heart.
Firstly I send out a big heart to all the mothers of magicians across the world. Most of us began performing in our very tender years and it was our moms who endlessly picked cards for us while we perfected new ways to find them. It was our moms who encouraged us to continue perfecting our tricks when a less biased eye might have failed to see into the future and the way things might one day be. Whether it was sowing our Toppits or driving us the magic club meetings you were there when we needed you.
Secondly I want to thank my wife Susan who has put up with the craziness of the magic world past and present. For over forty years she has allowed me to practice this weird profession and been supportive of my strange lifestyle. While having less than zero interest in magic when we met she has by now forgotten more about magicians and their lifestyles than most people realize there is to know! A lot of magicians have wives who are even willing to be “box jumpers” and wear those amazingly painful harness’ that go hand in glove with the broomstick illusion. Magic is a strange and slightly bizarre business and it is wonderful that magician’s wives not only put up with it but also sometimes even encourage it. They may be a little crazy too!
Where would we be without all the magicians who have helped us along the way? A lot further back along the way! Like most magicians there have been some pivotal individuals who have helped me better understand my craft and also myself. I don’t even just intend to send these Valentine cards to my list of obvious favorites and friends. That is too easy. While I am being magnanimous and feel in a particularly warm mood I want to include a few of the enemies I have had over the years. Not all of them but just the ones who taught me something while we fought. I am therefore going to add the name Peter Pitt to my Valentine’s Day list even though we always fought like cat and dog. I look back now and realize that although I didn’t know it at the time I learned many useful things that have made me a better magician. Besides now that he is no longer with us I rather miss all the fighting and feuding with him.
I am going to send especially nice cards to that select group of magicians who add to the luster of magic with every performance. I won’t name any names; you know who you are. These are the performers who leave an audience excited at the end of their show and looking forward to the next magician. When I first met Kozak it was after working the same circuits as him for many years. I introduced myself to Paul and he immediately growled at me; “We have never met, you’ve never seen me work and yet everywhere I go people tell me you say nice things about me!” I replied that everywhere I went where he had appeared the audiences and club owners were jazzed and excited about magic. To all my fellow road warriors who know there is more to being a comedy magician than buying the ‘bra trick’ and being a jerk I send hearts and flowers. To the others who don’t fall into this category I suggest looking into a career in juggling. I won’t name any names; you know who you are.
I also need to send a special valentine to my wonderful new grandson Zack, who has got me performing a kid’s show again for the first time in years! It seems hard to believe I have been a magician for fifty three years and never performed the Hippitty Hop Bunnies util his first birthday party! I am currently working on Run Rabbit Run for it’d debut on his next birthday party!
Finally, I want to send a big floral bouquet to Alan Watson, Phil Willmarth, Sammy Smith and Paul Romhany for encouraging me and allowing me the chance to write about magic. I truly enjoy sharing my thoughts on our truly amazing art form and industry.