“What the eyes see and the ears hear, the mind believes.” –Harry Houdini.
It’s all just an illusion, isn’t it? A surefire way to draw a crowd to an evening’s spectacle, claimed the great Harry Houdini, “…is to let it be known that at a given time and a given place someone is going to attempt something that in the event of failure will mean sudden death.” That’s human fascination for you; we’re all wound into the potential of the story.
“Unlike a mere deception or a simple secret, which gives the impression that something’s been taken away, a great magician makes you feel like something’s been given to you.” –Jim Steinmeyer
The art of being a magician is beyond that of simply knowing tricks and purchasing gimmicks. There is a story to tell. There is a sense of showmanship to present. As Leonard Cohen once said, “Do not be a magician— be magic!” And so too should the words upon page that become words upon stage when spinning a script based in magic?
“That’s the thing with magic. You’ve got to know it’s still here, all around us, or it just stays invisible for you.” –Charles de Lint
What would you wish for if you had magical powers? Would you wish to be able to fly and soar high above the rooftops, the treetops, over the clouds, and see everything from above? Or would you wish for money, riches, and wealth beyond your wildest dreams so that you could purchase everything your heart desired?
“Magic is not a practice. It is a living, breathing web of energy that, with our permission, can encase our every action.” –Dorothy Morrison.
Do you believe in magic? How about ghosts? The supernatural and the inexplicable tend to go hand in hand, walking precariously together down the long and winding road we call life. Ghosts are magic too, aren’t they? Aren’t we all, in a sense, made of magic? Made of ghosts?
“Never ever doubt in magic. The purest honest thoughts come from children, ask any child if they believe in magic and they will tell you the truth.” –Scott Dixon
Children have a knack for believing readily in the unbelievable. Maybe it’s because as children our minds are freer; our minds are not fettered by the complexities and responsibilities that come along with adult life. We’re encouraged to believe in magic— faeries, dragons, wizards,
“Children seek magic because they look for it.” –Christopher Moore
J.M. Barrie once said something like the moment you doubt your ability to fly you will never be able to do so ever again. What is it about believe that so strongly tethers us to the magical world? What would you believe in if the world was ending? Magic? Faith? Humanity? Exploring what the fourth playwright of this year’s Variations on Magic has put forth in her ten-minute selection,
“A dream is a wish your heart makes, when you’re fast asleep. In dreams you will lose your heartache. Whatever you wish for, you keep. Have faith in your dreams and someday, your rainbow will come smiling through. No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true. A dream is a wish your heart makes, when you’re feeling small. Alone in the night you whisper,
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl.
Time to take a look at another playwright from this year’s Variations on Magic.
Name: Race Brown
Play Title: Really?
Teaser: A play about having your cake and slicing it too.
Every great magic trick consists of three parts:
The first part is called “The Pledge”. This is where the magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird…a play… The Variations Project, proudly produced by Rapid Lemon Productions as it enters its 13th annual production, is back in Baltimore this summer and this year’s theme?
The second part is called “The Turn” where the magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary…