Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Art of Happiness

Happiness truly is an art which we must practice to perfect. I am lucky because I have a naturally sunny disposition. It does not make me a happy person all the time, but it helps me see the brighter side of things. I like being happy and I surround myself with things that make me smile or laugh when I see them. That is just one of the ways I bring happiness into my life. If I am going to be upset or angry about something it tends to be about my career and I find that success as a magician is fleeting and I always want more. So if I am going to be upset, miserable, whinny and down right ornery, it is because something is not right in my career. Still, most of the time I choose to be happy. That's right I "choose" to be happy and I can find happiness in almost anything.  

My pets bring me such great joy and happiness. They are so funny in the way they express themselves. I love artwork so have photos and paintings in my home that are beautiful and remind me of pleasant things. Even a hot cup of tea can put a positive spin on the day.

Sometime it is being able to stop and look at everything around me and think, Wow! I am really happy right now and I'm going to remember this moment. I seldom dwell in the past or on unpleasant memories. I know I have many more happy days ahead of me.

When making choices in my life I stop and think: Will this make me happy in the long run. If the answer is YES, then I jump in without looking and trust in myself that happiness will come. And generally it does.

Bringing happiness to other people makes me happy too. It is the kind of contagion that is meant to be spread to others. Trying smiling at a stranger and more often than not they will smile back. That simple smile might be the nicest thing to happen to them all day and costs me nothing to share it. When I go for walks I can't help smiling at people. They always smile back and in return it fills my soul with sheer joy.

My sister and I 

There are so many ways to find happiness in the world around you. Take the time to look, notice and enjoy this beautiful world. It will lead you to brighter days. The search for happiness might be a little daunting at first, but little by little joy will enter your world. You will wake up one morning to discover you are living a felicitous life.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Lying Game

Everybody lies... Most people tell white lies in order not to hurt others feelings. Some people tell lies to look better at work or with friends. Others tell lies that are meant to move blame to another person, and there are a few people who only know how to lie. I love the whopper fish tale which we all know as a lie. Then there are the worst of all lies, which are the lies we tell ourselves.

There are three professions who lie. Grifters, politicians, and magicians.

As a magician I am paid to lie. It is part of the art of deception to tell people you are doing something when really as the magician you are doing something completely different. But there is so much more involved to the deception than just the lie, there is the skill, performance and most importantly the misdirection. There is a whole psychology to the art of magic that is over looked by many performers. Magicians play the lying game to entertain.

Most lies when discovered ultimately hurt the people involved. With magic it means the illusion had been uncovered and people know how it is done. Once the secret is out, I find a lot of people become disappointed as the mystery that magic brings into a persons life is far more appealing than the truth. Remember that the next time you ask a magician to tell you the secret. You will be far more happy wondering how the magician made the rabbit appear, than knowing where it truly came from. At the end of a show magicians rely on the whopper tale. More often than not a trick is remembered as being far more magical than any magician in the world could ever make it. What performer doesn't like to hear about their presentation of an illusion become larger than life. I use to correct people with what really happened and now I let them tell the whopper magic tale. You should hear the stories of my rope escape, and how I let the guy tie me up, or that I steal everything from him while tied up. Doesn't happen, but it makes for a great story and makes others want to come see the show. But it's little things that push people in the direction of these tales that have been crafted into the act. For example: I steal the jacket and hat, or jacket and glasses to give the impression of stealing many things from him. I also send him back to his seat with things in his hands so it leaves the impression of giving things back not just giving him things. The reason people think the audience member ties me up is because .... Well I can't give that away. Some of these little pushes I stumble across, and others I methodically think them through and work them into the routines. It is through this process that my whopper magic stories get bigger and bigger.

In real life I happen to be the worst lier you will ever meet. But if you pick a card and put it back anywhere, no matter what I say, I'm lying because I always know where your card is in the deck.