• Why did I want to learn to be a magician? Pt 3 – MTV and trusting the wrong people

  • September 30, 2019

  • I really didn’t think this would take this many parts, but apparently, I thoroughly enjoy talking about myself, so thank you for continuing to read and listen to me ramble on!

    So, I was lucky enough to have a few mentors, an incredible venue, and be performing regularly. Not much more a young magician could wish for with such a full plate! Of course, it wouldn’t last.

    It turned out that the rest of the hotel was used to host rather extravagant parties. So outlandish in fact, that the proprietor’s had chosen to include an illegal brothel in the many unused hotel rooms.

    Not great press for the building, so it came time to move venue. So we had to say goodbye to our beautiful old hotel, with incredible marble floors, beautiful lobby, two fantastic stages in our cabaret room and an incredible bar. James Karp, our director, managed to find a new venue for us, so we were up and running again after just a few months.

    It was in this new venue that we were soon approached by MTV, or one of their representatives, about using us as part of a pilot for a new TV show, called “The New Crowd” which would be all about people breaking into a new community. I would be one of two people that the pilot would focus on, documenting my first stage performance; and the other person was a girl breaking into the roller derby community.

    So I began working on a stage show, collaborating with James Karp, our director, and James Taylor, our choreographer. We brainstormed, picked out some effects and got the ball rolling. I also had a new suit, tailor-made with a few hidden extras, of course. Everything was coming together quite nicely.

    Except it, nearly all fell apart. I was far too lazy about practising and preparing, most likely, just assuming everything would come together. My performance would involve a version of one of David Copperfield’s, followed by a floating wine glass. The finale would be a performance of “Spiked” where a spectator’s hand is slammed down onto three of four polystyrene cups, leaving the last one untouched, which would, of course, contain a rather nasty spike that could have caused permanent harm.

    James and I built the first two effects ourselves, but I had to purchase the third from someone I should never have trusted. I can be quite forgiving and trusting, rarely assuming anyone is out to get me, and this is one of those times it bit me in the arse. Hard. I went to the same magician who had previously threatened my life while I worked at Tharen’s. I know, not my smartest move. Let’s call him Oliver for the sake of anonymity.

    Anyway, the effect never arrived, and we ended up on the day the show was to be recorded by MTV. So, Oliver offered to take me to his workshop and build me my version of this effect. I, of course, went along for the ride. It was over an hour to his studio, at which point he opened the “shop” part to the public, meaning he had to keep stopping work on my effect to sell to customers. Eventually, we ran out of time, and we had to return to the city in time for the show. Looking back, Oliver probably would have kept me from turning up, if he hadn’t been appearing in the show as well.

    Showtime arrived, and I had to go ahead with only my two effects. They both went very well, considering I was under-rehearsed and nervous as anything. I did have to run backstage and grab a pen about halfway through, which was unexpected, but my audience member was obliging enough to dance for the rest of our viewer’s entertainment.

    The film crew said it turned out great, that I was a great subject and they had high hopes for the pilot. Unfortunately, that was as far as the show went, but it was still an educational and exciting experience.

    This story is dragging on a lot more than I thought it would, so I’m afraid I’ll have to continue tomorrow! Next up on this incredibly drawn-out retelling of my story, is our new venue, a new cast member and maybe the end? I just don’t know, and I’m still working on the waffling style that I write in, but here’s hoping!

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