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John Oaks
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53 Posts

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Just saying hello now.
Been put off too long, been reading the website for some time.

I have been getting back into magic these last few years. Left behind in my youth, rediscovering it is rather magical. I have put on little shows here and there when asked but I am not planning to be a working pro. I have been self employed in advertising photography. So I know the insidious mistake of wrapping up one’s self worth with professional success. Stock market investing, has been a ride and a half. Same thing happens. You have to be very careful not to let financial success (or lack of) define yourself. So long as I am having fun, what more could I want! I apply this philosophy to all things now, my days are much better for it.

I have been reading this wonderful website for a few years. Right now I seem to be concentrating on getting better at some of the classic illusions. Building my skill set. Other times I just seem to read and study, being more of a
magicologist than a magician. This is a discipline, the enjoyment of which seems boundless in any direction. It’s all good. Over the last few years I have been building my library faster than I can read it. The books I was lucky enough to obtain in my youth are still good reading today.

Other activities take up a lot of my time but amazingly, it all seems to come together in the tapestry that is my life.

Thanks for having me. Good magic to all!

John
Have a Magical Day!
------

I really didn't know how to explain it.
So I told them the truth, and they fell for it!
Mary Mowder
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Inner circle
Sacramento / Elk Grove, CA
3547 Posts

Profile of Mary Mowder
Welcome John Oaks,

Nice introduction. I like you philosophy.

Do you do a mix of Close-Up and Stand Up Magic ?

Since you've been reading here for a while you could hit the ground running. You must have a lot you'd like to say.

Have Fun!

-Mary Mowder
Wizard of Oz
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Most people wish I didn't have
4825 Posts

Profile of Wizard of Oz
Welcome John!

I'm a Creative Director at a design firm, so I know the advertising industry well. Deadlines and long hours have been the story of my life, so I've always found peace in magic, and this site in particular. A lot of good people here to learn from and just talk to.

Enjoy! We're happy to have you!
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
John Oaks
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53 Posts

Profile of John Oaks
Thanks for the welcome!

Advertising was busy at times, feast or famine sort of thing. But certainly not unique to any one business. I would hate working to 5 am now, ugh. Mainly I was a product shooter. That part was very steady. Late 80's early 90's. I pulled off shots nobody else could. But I cheated! White gelcoat fiberglass autobody parts, more than I can remember. I airbrushed them gray in various areas to better reveal their shape. They were glossy white gelcoat so very hard to light. I turned them around so fast. This was a major volume of items. Cleaned them off afterwards, nobody knew. This was all before any kind of computer or photoshop crap. Everybody else murdered their product with light and matte spray. Hahaha.

Mary, abracadabra, you nailed it. As my confidence grows, my audience size has grown. So I have been investing into parlor/small stage scale magic. But I when I go out I always will have some effect with me. I really enjoy putting some mystery into somebodies day. And some times they really needed it. But always within a friendly circle of friends and if I max out at this, it's okay. So I am a bit sheltered. Will likely stay that way for some time. After a bit of skin cancer on my face 15 years ago, I am a bit scarred. I should say it's from a sword duel or some such tale. I'm all good now but always feel very self conscious. Bah, it happens. Though at the time I told the plastic surgeon it was an improvement. (Paraphrasing a tough guy line from an old black and white movie.)

I know some high end execs. Declined some gigs because I know I am not ready yet. And if I am never ready, I am okay with that. At times I wonder if my lack of real performing keeps me from knowing how good I am, if I am any good at all But if my friends really need such a show, I can source some real talent for them.

I am just okay in my little happy space. I am a industrial landlord of sorts and still active in stock investments. And some other hobbies that keep me pretty occupied. So over the years my world has sort of shrunk into my office; being redone into be my magical lair.

Not complaining, just feeling philosophical somewhat. I mentioned the tapestry that is my life. I wouldn't dare pull out any thread, each is essential, it is all wonderful.

So happy to finally joined the group!
Have a Magical Day!
------

I really didn't know how to explain it.
So I told them the truth, and they fell for it!
Wizard of Oz
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Inner circle
Most people wish I didn't have
4825 Posts

Profile of Wizard of Oz
Great post John! I love the story about the cheats. Figures you love magic...it's all about the cheats. I've art directed more photo shoots than I can count, and will never get over how talented professional photographers can be, and so great at improvising. I recall so many times when I thought a shoot was ruined, and the photographer said, "Wait, let me try one more thing." And then, snap...magic.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
John Oaks
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53 Posts

Profile of John Oaks
Hi Wizard

I realized right away it was a lot easier/faster to airbrush the product rather than a small glossy photo. Nothing different than a model using makeup I guess?

I miss photography. I had gone back to the college where I studied and instructed on lighting.

Sounds like you are still in the midst of things where you are. It must be very satisfying when things come together.
Have a Magical Day!
------

I really didn't know how to explain it.
So I told them the truth, and they fell for it!
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