Saturday, September 06, 2008

First Time In A Long While...

.:Thanks, My Beloved!:.

She showed up yesterday, and there were many pictures I got from her.

Of course, since she's paranoid and ish, I can't really display her pictures in my blog at the moment... still, there were lots of great pictures!

.:The Joys Of The Rootbeer Float...:.

Since my Beloved was here yesterday, and since Mug is now available in 1.5, she suggested over lunch that we should have a rootbeer float. I promptly ran like the wind to 7-11 for vanilla ice cream, and a few minutes later, we were enjoying heaven in a frosted glass.

.:Breaking The Trauma...:.

It's been a while since I accepted a stage magic show for a children's party, so admittedly, I was a tad worried about how it would turn out for me last Wednesday as I had a show in Diamond Hotel all the way in Roxas Boulevard.

Most people know that I've been avoiding stage shows for children's parties thanks to a bad experience I had a few months back, not to mention that until recently, my predilection for performances has never been of the traditional stage magic genre. I don't work with illusions, nor do I use animals for my shows.

Despite that, this was a show where I was specifically asked to do stage magic, and they said that stage illusions and animals wouldn't be necessary. I ran with the idea and figured that the kids, while definitely not capable of understanding the full realm of a mentalism show, were more than ready to be treated to a predominantly mentalism-heavy show, which broke a lot of expectations from the people who watched.

Naturally though, I wasn't the only performer in that show, as veteran ventriloquist Ony Carcamo and one-of-a-kind Yoyo Master Glenn Angeles also wowed the children and adults alike in their own unique way, although the astounding revelation to me was that sir Ony himself was also a mentalist. He was even carrying the Osterlind Metal Blindfold with him during that day!

In any case, this was the first time I had a pure stage show this year (I believe...), and even more amazingly, it was a children's party show at that. Admittedly, I will always defer to the likes of Lou Hilario or Wanlu or Darwin when it comes to stage magic for kids, but this was one of those times where I was exceptionally happy about how I managed to get rapport and interaction with the kids and it really worked out as well as it possibly could.

It was a nice mash-up, really. Taking a cue from my performance for Chesca's birthday (That's Elbert's niece, of course.), I opened with a closeup effect elevated to a stage setting, and got the crowd going easy as I established a very lighthearted rapport. It was a kid's party, after all. I then followed it up with Fiber Optics (I didn't have the heart to do Lady And The Rope that day. Hah.), and went straight to Shanghai Shackles and even a snippet of an Appearing Cane.

After this set, I jumped into my mentalism... opened with the Cube, went to the Lift, went to some good ol' PK, and finished with the Manual. While a mishap happened to one of my items at the end of the show, I was too happy to care anyways. All in all, the kids were happy, the mentalism didn't fly over their heads (They especially loved the lift, even if it took them several tries to pull it off.), and the parents were dumbstruck over the Manual at the end of my show.

It wasn't a particularly long set, but it was definitely good enough to stand on its own because I managed to not have to do table-hopping that night, and just talked shop with sir Ony, who was really fun to speak to when it comes to his knowledge base on mentalism.

Amusingly enough, he asked me why I didn't use Fernando The Ferret during my set. I politely noted that I didn't want to overlap with his performance since he already had an animal vent show, and it would be disrespectful to him if I included that one in my routine.

Afterwards, the event organizer congratulated all of us for the great party. I was personally gratified to know that I got incredibly good feedback about my stage show, because seeing how much mentalism there was in that particular set, it does look like there's hope to doing a kiddified mentalism show just yet.

Be as it may that being one half of Kel and Jay would mean that my mentalism has taken a backseat when part of the tandem, I would be remiss to ignore that having mentalism as a base skill has allowed me several advantages that I had over my previous self when I was purely into magic:

1. I was no longer bogged down by magician's guilt.
2. I learned to pay attention to proper mastery of the basics over flashiness.
3. I learned to ad lib better and better not just in magic/mentalism, but even in radio.

All in all, I do believe that with this show, I have managed to establish the potential for a market for mentalism with kids as the main audience. Given the number of effects I used, I think that this remains to be a good prospect, albeit a lot of rethinking and reimagining is necessary in order to still remain entertaining to an audience with an admittedly short attention span. I had to go full speed to solve the Rubik's cube blindfolded because I knew five minutes was too long to hold the kids' interest, for example.

If last night's discussion with some of the TSC members were any indication, I think it's mostly a matter of being able to think on your feet. Kids like humor, and there needs to be a balance struck between the "seriousness" of mentalism, and one's chipper personality. To be honest, in that regard, I feel I leaned more onto the lighthearted, and didn't act as seriously as is normally expected of mentalists.

Nonetheless, these are all notes for improvement, as every performer in the world, and every person, even, will always have room for improvement.

In the meantime, my thanks to Ms. Ayn Monserrate for the confidence in putting me on a stage show despite my initial misgivings. I'm happy to say that given the right circumstances, I've now overcome the trauma of performing children's stage magic.

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