Saturday, June 16, 2012

How do you measure success?

How do you measure your success?

I think everyone measures it very differently. For me success is extremely fleeting and is always just out of reach. Which doesn't stop me from trying, it actually makes me work harder at fulfilling those ambitions. There are some performers who dream of working in a Las Vegas show and I was one of those people. I made that dream a reality when I appeared as the magician in the successful show SPLASH at the Riviera casino. At the time it was a dream come true. When the contract ended a year later I had discovered an even bigger dream. I realized I wanted so much more from my life as a performer. When I look back on that show today I have very fond memories of the cast and crew. Some of the best magicians in the world performed in that show and I have the privilege of being one of those magicians. At the time I felt so successful, but I ended up wanting more. I have appeared on television shows all over the world, yet I want to do more of them, a lot more of them. I have had my photo in magazines as a professional model, not enough. I have had my own shows in Las Vegas, but they were never enough. I have worked on ships, casinos, and a variety of other theaters, yet still find myself searching to quench this never ending thirst for some semblance of what I would deem success.

I know there are many people who look at those accomplishments and wish they had just one or two to add to their list of credits, but would it be enough for them? Or would they suddenly find that hunger as they too searched for the elusive feeling of success. And what is that feeling? I don't even know. Which leads to the question; would I know it when I finally reach it? And if I keep achieving my goals only to find success fleeting then will I always be chasing my dreams? I like making my dreams reality, there is something extremely satisfying when I set goals for myself and reach them. Some of my goals are easy and some are really big that take years to achieve. I use the smaller goals as stepping stones to my ultimate goals. When those ultimate goals are met, I find that they were only another step to an even bigger goal. Which begs the question, when does it end? When is enough, really enough? I currently have the opportunity to achieve one of my bigger goals, but I find myself wondering will I be satisfied or will I be left wanting? The truth for me is I find success to be intoxicating and like an addict I want more.

We all dream of having some type of success in our lives, some type of lofty goal that somehow has the word success attached to it. All I can say to you is I hope you all achieve your idea of success and are truly satisfied with it.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

My friend Cherie Sanders.

I am not an overly talkative out going person, I had a friend for that....Cherie Sanders.

My friend Mari and I were at a magic convention and Mari said, "I have this friend you should meet her I think you would really get along." so I met this person named Cherie. She had tons of people around her all chatting, Cherie chatting the most. So I bolted and spent the rest of the convention avoiding both Mari and Cherie lest I be forced to spend time with someone who talked way to much. Well over time I got to know Cherie as a person and realized that she was a wonderfully delightful person who just happened to know EVERYONE and always had something to say. At magic conventions Cherie would be the center of any group she happened to be standing with. She had an amazing talent for getting everyone together and moving us all to wherever she wanted us to be. She also had an amazing talent for talking. I don't talk very much. Generally I don't have much to say and if I do have something to say I am either to shy to say it or I blurt it out causing people to look at me oddly. With Cherie around I never had to say very much, it was perfect.

When Cherie would come to Vegas for magic conventions, she would come a couple days early or leave a couple days late and those extra days we would hang out together. She came in one time and Johnny Thompson was shooting some footage at Lance's house so we both went. There was a cute guy hitting on me and she encouraged me to go out with him. Well that relationship was a disaster. But she listened to me whine about it on the phone for weeks, on the other hand I heard about her breakups too. Cherie always called me when she was driving to or from a gig. (I personally think she would get bored driving and called everyone, whoever answered was the one she would talk to during the drive.) She won lunch at the Eiffel tower restaurant one time and they sat us in the best seats looking out over the Vegas strip. I had seen her loose a lot in the casino and then turn around to win huge amounts. One time in Vegas I dragged her over to the Tompson's house to shot photos for Johnny's book which is coming out next year. We always did something fun, weird, or stupid, but it was never boring with Cherie.

The weirdest thing Cherie ever did with me was up in Tahoe. I had gone up to Tahoe for a couple days to visit Bruce who was working in a show. We decided to drive the loop and stopped at the waterfall. Bruce and I were out taking photos when I decided to shoot some from the other side. Bruce followed me over but did not come down. I got my shots looked around and noticed a redhead with a very distinct laugh. I thought to myself, no this is Tahoe, Cherie is in Texas. Then she turned around saw me and screamed Ariann. She was up there with her guy for a concert at a Harrah's hotel and had decided to drive the loop that day too. We hung out that night, went to Bruce's show and had something to eat. It was a fun unexpected bonus to both our trips.

I checked my mailbox the day before they found Cherie and rushed her to the hospital. There was a card from her being supportive of my show. I had put her down on my todo list to call her the next morning, but instead I got a call from Lanny who was at the hospital. I never got to thank her personally, but then I think all her friends had something we wanted to thank her for. She was the Will Rodgers of magic, as she never met a person she didn't like. So many people knew Cherie and you couldn't help but love her. I also realize that my voice at magic conventions is forever silenced and I will have to go back to actually talking. Lookout people you don't know what she was saving you from.

Thank-you Cherie!