I mentioned in previous blog posts that I’m now putting together my first 30 minute act after spending the past summer working with a 15 minute busking routine. As I’ve been going through the tricks that I’m going to use and scripting things out, I’ve also been looking into how to build the routine, and one of the sources has been from information I’ve been absorbing from lectures and through lecture notes. This leads me to something that happened a few days ago that kinda humbled me and made me even happier to be in this community with such great people.
Some months ago, Ring 1 in St. Louis had a lecture from a magician who spoke about building a routine and gave a great mnemonic device for creating the structure for the show. After the lecture, I wrote down notes from what had been imparted, but, considering my level of organization (absolute chaos, which sends my wife into apoplectic fits when she comes into my office) I’ve not been able to find those notes. Time to go to the source, then, so I first called magician, John Shryrock (www.shryockmagic.com) to get his lecture notes.
The phone call was a bust. John said even though he covered routining in his lecture, the lecture notes he has for sale don’t cover that. I was a bit bummed, but I thanked him and apologized for bothering him. Later that night, I went ahead and ordered the notes he does have for sale and wrote him an email describing the information I was looking for, specifically the mnemonic and its explanation.
The next evening, I got an email back from John, and he explained that the information I was probably looking for wasn’t his, and I had probably originally gotten it from Murray Hatfield (murrayhatfieldmagic.com), who had also lectured for us. Then, instead of just pushing me off onto Murray (who’s also a pretty swell guy to talk to in addition to being thoroughly knowledgable) , John was gracious and gave me the mnemonic and a brief explanation of each point. It was exactly the information I was looking for and I was completely stoked. In a subsequent email, John explained to me he had spent seven weeks on tour with Murray and was quite familiar with Murray’s lecture and that Murray’s “thoughts on show structure are spot on.”
See, this is just an example of the accessibility we have with the top guys in the field. The guys on top are willing to help the shlubs down at my level when we’re trying to find our way up. Ego could have kept John from helping and he could have just blown me off. Instead, he was gracious and willing to help me out.
The more I get into wanting to perform, the more I find this throughout the magic community. At one of the message boards, The Magic Café (www.themagiccafe.com), as you go through the messages, you see advice and help given to those who ask for it from magicians from all levels (from Pop Haydn, Levent, and Pete Biro on down to guys just getting started) and all walks of life. Yeah, in the areas open to the public, there’s a lot of abbreviation and kinda coded language at times to prevent just casual readers from necessarily picking up on certain secrets, but there’s usually the offer given, if needed to PM or email for additional explanation. And there definitely is lots of encouragement.
John, another thank you for your help and for being a perfect representative of why this is such a great group of people to be mixed up with.