OUT WITH THE NEW, IN WITH THE OLD
I know it’s become a cliché in magic, but there’s definitely a lot of truth in revisiting the old stuff as opposed to always following the newest trends. In particular, my hiatus/sabbatical from magic in the last year has shown me just how potent some of that ‘old stuff’ can be.
When magic consumed my existence, cards were at the forefront. I went everywhere with a pack of cards, and although my travels through the land of prestidigitation exposed me to a variety of types of magic, I never really gave that much thought or attention to anything but the pasteboards. After all, I always had a pack (and possibly a back-up) on me. Then something happened. I lost the enamour I once had for magic. In short, I fell out of love.
I got a regular job, and stopped carrying a pack of cards on me. However, my entire resume was magic-related, being my only jobs until this point. So, the word quickly spread that I was a magician and my co-workers, managers, HR people, etc... all started asking if I could show them something. Now there were a few times I brought a pack of cards with me (or times someone else was clever enough to bring one) but many times I was without them. In the moments where I felt like doing something, I had to improvise. Luckily, I have a pretty good memory, and was able to dig deep and find things to perform that didn’t require cards.
I started to recall routines that could be done with objects around me. For example, I could use a piece of rope to do a basic cut and restored rope, as well as a variety of impossible knot feats. With rubber-bands I could perform the ‘Crazy Man’s Handcuffs’ as well as a number of old stunts (such as the ring moving up the rubber-band, etc). With nuts and bolts, I could perform Doc Eason’s ‘two in the hand, one in the pocket’ routine with the great ending of the nuts and bolt threaded onto each other. I could use washers to perform a ‘karate coin’ routine that was more a display of skill than magic, but impressive nonetheless.
The point I’m trying to make is that while I was submerged in magic, there was so much around me that I had ignored. So many of these routines I had learned, perhaps even taught others, but never thought much about using myself. It took a hiatus/sabbatical, a complete overhaul of my life, to see the forest through the trees. I had a wonderful, varied, and impactful arsenal that was simply rotting away.
Don’t make the mistake I made, and please don’t let falling out of love be necessary for you to see the light. Take it from someone who’s already done it. It’s okay to keep pushing forward and trying out the latest gimmicks and ideas. However, don’t let the things you’ve already learned suffer for it. There’s a ton of gold you’re carrying around in your memory banks right now, and I’m telling you, it’s worth cashing in.