Thursday, April 08, 2010

Project 365 (98/365): Michael Finney

.:98/365: Michael Finney:.

Here’s another one of my personal heroes when it comes to comedy magic: Michael Finney.

As a veteran in the industry, Michael Finney is simply one of the most popular performers in his genre, having received numerous awards for his work, including both Comedy Magician of the Year in 2005 and Parlor Magician of the Year in 2006 from the Academy of Magical Arts. Having performed for everyone from Magic Johnson to George Bush, Phoenix, Arizona’s favourite son has been around the block more times than anyone could care to count.

Here is a man who does it all: standup comedy, magic, hosting, and even charity work. As a performer with a heart, I certainly respect his contributions to the industry, more so his philanthropic work, as the founder of the Michael Finney Foundation, which has certainly been an amazing foundation in the service of kids. It’s something that I have tried to do in the past couple of performances I have done for a cause. As performers, we are blessed with so much, and the least we could do is share these blessings in any way we can.

Michael Finney is someone I can’t help but really respect because he is involved in the fields I find myself very much involved in as well. From his humble beginnings to his meteoric but sustained rise as a great performer in the world of magic, Finney’s career is a career that no magician can have shame in if they happened to meet the same fortune.

I will always hold Mr. Finney with the highest regard, knowing that he is the complete package for any comedic entertainer. His ability to pick routines that most other performers have apparently forsaken in favour of others, and then giving said routines a unique twist all his own is one of the most admirable things about the man. Whether it’s his six-card repeat gag, or his simple card to forehead routine, he has never failed to impress people with his rapid-fire comedic timing and panache, all the same.

With a resume like his, he certainly hasn’t done so bad for a guy who makes “a hundred dollars a trick.” Given how his routines aren’t actually so physically demanding for the average performer, it’s actually amazing how he can capture the audience’s attention. He is the kind of magician who has the layman in mind, and not fellow magicians. What would normally be frowned upon by his contemporaries are nuances in his act that the layman appreciates immensely.

If there could be more magicians just like Michael Finney, I’m sure the world would be a better place. We need more people like him: willing to bring on the laughs, thoroughly smooth, well-spoken, and blessed with a heart of gold.

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