“A magician is an actor playing the part of a magician,” claims Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin, the father of modern conjuring. While I agree with this theory in many respects, I’ve always struggled to find my role on stage. Am I an artist? An entertainer? A magician?
I believe my first job is to entertain. To reveal a sense of wonder and bring happiness to others. But I struggle so often to bring about art in my shows. I want to push others much like a musician would. Lyrics and melodies move people, but does magic as well? I believe it can, but fear that my performances don’t always meet the challenge.
I often put my individuality aside when I perform, as an attempt to blend in with my audiences. I fear that this shapes me into a “vanilla” entertainer. I am always unsure of how much of my identity should be displayed on stage versus just a fragment. I know that there is no right answer to a meaningful performance, only many paths. I guess the main question to consider is: what do I want my audiences to know about me every time I perform?
Each performer wrestles with these questions constantly, and they mask themselves in character choices, the building of routines and much more. And it’s reached a point for me where I’m ready to get some answers. So it’s time to get to work.