A Year of Magic and What's Ahead
The year's not over yet and I still have shows booked before the ball drops in Times Square, but I wanted to give a quick look over my shoulder at what we accomplished this year, and what's planned for next year.
I've had some of my biggest shows this year, and have done a lot of traveling. Doors have opened for me in a lot of incredibly exciting ways that I can't share right now (but I will just as soon as it all becomes finalized).
This year, I was able to return to the WCM in March to compete again in the Close-Up Championship. Last year, I walked away Close-Up Champion of 2016, but this year I went over my allotted time in the competition by 15 seconds and didn't make the win. My plan is to return to compete in 2018, but pay much better attention to the clock rather than get caught up in having fun on stage.
I also was fortunate enough to be the opening speaker at the TedxBirmingham 2017 event. My talk "Ignore the Impossible" (also called "The Three Kinds of Spectators") was a big success for me and was awarded as one of the top three talks of the event by the audience.
I have turned that Tedx Talk into a full one-hour presentation and I've been able to give that speech quite a few times this year to other companies who wanted to inspire their employees and hold their attention at the same time with a little magic.
I'm also working on bringing that presentation to print in book form. It's been a slower process than I'd like, but we are making progress.
We went to four magic conventions this year across the U.S.A., and I've met some incredible people this year, including some of the magicians I most admire for their work and writings. Watching the pros at work and then getting to talk to them afterward about what makes their act the thing it is has been invaluable.
I was able to create three new shows this year that I really love. The first was my 2017 illusion show. Every year, I try to create an entirely new show from the ground up with new illusions. This allows me the opportunity to reach a new audience while still giving anyone who has seen me before a reason to return for more! I've seen so many magicians who settle into a show and never change anything, and I didn't want to do that. Yes, it's a challenge to find all-new material that I both enjoy and feel comfortable with, but at least I'm not getting bored!
I was also able to create my new church show: "Choices". This is an evangelical one-hour presentation that uses incredible illusions to illustrate points throughout the message and definitely keeps folks involved. I am particularly happy with this one. I didn't want some cheesy magic show that crammed cheap-looking tricks into a stale sermon. Instead, this is a top-quality, cutting-edge illusion show that will hold the attention of the audience. Call or email me for more information.
And the third show I created was an updated close-up show called "Wonder". Using an overhead camera and a projector screen, I was able to take my close-up show to a larger audience venue and I have to say it's a blast to perform this one! I incorporated two effects I've been wanting to do for years, along with some of my favorite close-up routines. The ending on this show is a mind-blowing finale like you would not believe.
I took a couple of months off to pursue another passion of mine: acting. I was the lead in a production of "Harvey" at a local theater and absolutely loved it. It was an opportunity to work on my stagecraft and delivery, and like the Tedx talk, it was an incredibly educational experience for me to improve.
And I ended the year with a lot of great shows and close-up performances! Christmas is my favorite time of year, and it's also the busiest for magic! People look for ways to make their Christmas parties fun and different, and hiring a good magician is always a winner. I even have some holiday shows scheduled after Christmas, as the snow days we had in Alabama forced a few to be postponed.
And this coming year will hopefully be even busier. I have plans for a lot of great new effects, but I also want to polish existing material and make it the best it can be.
So with Christmas over, I scurry away with an armful of magic books Santa left under the tree for me and prepare for the 2018 shows.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you! I hope 2018 is a magical year for everyone!