So last night was show number 5 and my first magic show. If you aren’t familiar with the Studio’s workings, every Tuesday night they have a magic show. Being the Comic in Residence, I perform at the magic show and not being a magician, I do stand up at the magic show. I thought it might be nice to learn a magic trick for the few magic shows I would be doing and so a magician friend was kind enough to teach me a rope trick. Yes I have a magician friend. I also have an unicyclist friend a few other uniquely talented friends, but back to the magic. My trick is a good trick, not some weak party trick that you can buy at iParty either. I spent alot of time learning the trick and time working it into my act so it wouldn’t seem like I’m just doing a random magic trick. I was very excited to debut my trick last night.
When I arrived at The Studio, the magicians were preparing. I was immediately excited and intrigued by what was to come. I was nervous, scared almost. First of all, my trick aside, the crowd was there to see magic and I was there to do stand up. I didn’t even open the show but rather was sandwiched between magicians. How do you follow magic? I was also intent on doing my new joke again. Before the show, I was running my set through my mind which, for this night, included a magic trick with an accompanying new story and a new joke in front of a crowed ill prepared for stand up. Recipe for failure.
As the lights dimmed and the show started, the first magician took the stage and I was like a kid at the circus for the first time or actually like a semi-adult at a magic show for the first time. I was immediately amazed and awed by the slight of hand, optical illusions and, frankly, the colors used to distract and mask what was really happening. Steve Kradolfer was the host, one of the best show hosts I have ever seen. He was charismatic, funny and very open and welcoming. He also did some neat tricks. The show moved on to George Saterial who was very charismatic and charming and has won two gold medals in magic. Not being a magician, I don’t really know what that means but I would love to see a magic show-down and the carnage that must result…torn cards, feathered flowers and dead doves strewn about. As George was finishing up Steve approached me and said he’d be doing ten then bringing me up. Yikes. I was so enamored with the magic that I forgot about my own act.
So I start running my set through my head again and I ready my trick. Then Steve took the stage and I was again distracted with the trickery. He then takes out ropes that are quite similar to mine. He started doing a trick that my friend showed me but is not my trick, then he does another then he ends the rope portion of his program with MY TRICK! That son-of-a-bitch. Now I’m so deflated and distracted my overwhelming disappointment that I just want to cry but no time, I hear my name being called. It’s my turn.
So I head to the stage and tell the crowd how excited I am to be part of this show and that I spent months searching for and preparing a trick to share with them and that it was a trick that that guy just did it. That was enough to alleviate my disappointment and ingratiate me with the audience. I did surprisingly well and felt a nice connection with the audience. One interesting note about the audience, there was a deaf man there with someone who was signing some of the dialog for him. He signed some of my jokes and I could tell that the deaf man was reading lips so I tried to face them for most of my set. He laughed quite a bit but I think sarcasm is somewhat lost on the deaf and getting the sarcasm is necessary to appreciate a couple of my jokes. I am once again disappointed with myself for not doing my new joke and closing with my standard closer. I was flustered by the last minute change in my set to illuminate the magic trick and defaulted to a standard set so sure I left out the new one. The closer however was another issue. I got the 1 minute light and ended a joke just after with enough of a laugh that I could have walked away but, I didn’t. I went for the guaranteed bigger laugh and got it, but didn’t need it. I should have walked away. Another item on the “work on” list.
The final magician, David Oliver, was amazing. I’m told he’s the master of the Chinese Linking Rings trick and I believe it. I was mesmerized. His flow was so smooth and perfectly in rhythm with the soothing music playing in the background, magically linking and unlinking the steel rings. I have to learn how to do that trick. I have to. He ended the night with a floating ball that was almost as impressive. I was seated at such an angle that some of the trick was given away. Although I saw some of the method, I was incredibly impressed with the execution and I imagine it took years of practice to be that masterful.
So over all the show was successful. I was disappointed that I couldn’t do my trick. It never occurred to me that someone was going to do it. When I go to a comedy show, I never have to clear my jokes with the other comics. Hey, are you going to do the pigeon joke tonight? I feel like doing it if you don’t mind. Jokes are (hopefully) more unique and I guess there is a bucket of magic basics that every magician knows. That makes sense. So next week I’ll check to see if any of the real magicians are doing the trick and will certainly defer to them if they are. I don’t want to impose on their craft and certainly don’t mean to diminish it in any way by working a trick into my comedy routine. I also added two more items to my work on list. The list is getting longer. Last night was my favorite show so far this month. It was truly magical.
Show date Decemeber 6th