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Jonathan Townsend
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On occasion I read something to the effect that I might have an inflated sense of self. Such usually reflects upon some issue of the writer and has little to do with yours truly.

On to humility: Does the world keep you humble? I get confronted with things all the time that keep me humble. Just today I got a few emails from Magic Christian about his upcoming events. Yes those emails are in German. My minuscule knowledge of the language is insufficient to read about what he is announcing. And so, for the second time since I got moving today, the world has reminded me of how little I know.

Do you get those reminders from the world? Care to share any?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Jaz
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Humbled? Sure. Often followed by inspiration.

The world is loaded with people who are more skilled, talented, wiser and school smart than me.

There are those who were better fishermen than me, better magicians and better artists. Very humbling when they're years younger than me. Smile

Then there are those who showed me that I was sometimes stubborn, selfish and narrow minded and put things in perspective for me.

It's not very difficult for me to keep my ego in check.
Caleb Strange
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My youngest son is learning to talk. He understands me pretty well. But I find it extremely difficult, sometimes, to make out what he is saying. Grandma, though, chats to him with great facility and ease. Very humbling.

Lots of threads here at the Café remind me of how little I know about things: magic and just about everything else.

For instance, one thing I've never been sure of is the experiential difference between humility and self-abasement?
-- QCiC --
Michael Baker
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Jonathan,

... The second time?? Ok, don't ask, don't tell.

This morning, I received exactly the same humbling email experience as you. Of course, humbling experiences form a large part of the paths that I follow. Hopefully, it all balances out. Some days you feel accomplished, some days inspired, some days you just want to go burn all your stuff.

BTW - Have you gotten a translation on that email yet?

~michael
~michael baker
The Magic Company
KerryJK
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Many times. A particular life changing one was that which contributed to me getting out of being a jobbing musician several years ago. At the time, I was making my living entirely in bread and butter musical gigs and learnt to hate music as a result. My social life was non-existant, I spent more time chasing money I was owed than doing anything else and worst of all, I was painfully aware that something I once loved had become a do-or-die chore and that I couldn't do music for myself because of the pressure of needing to be paid above all else. Now, in this situation there is a certain attitude that gets instilled into you pretty much in self defence; that that because you are a professional you are therefore better than everyone else who is not. It's an arrogance that I saw in all those around me and worst of all, I (eventually) saw it in myself.
Then I suffered an attack of tendonitis and couldn't play piano. Suddenly I was out with an injury, unable to earn a living and had no way of knowing when I'd be back in action. This is the only time in my life I've been genuinely depressed, but it did give me a lot of time in which to start writing again and producing music and art for myself.
I also had time back which I used to explore open mic and acoustic nights and to perform the material I'd been writing, and there I found them. People who had never been paid a penny for their music, who played simply for the love, but who made many of the 'professionals' I knew look lame by comparison. They still had the hunger, the drive, and if there could have been any better indication on what a fallacy the link between money and actual skill (and for that matter, actual professionalism) was, I don't know what it could have been. From that point on, my priorities were back in order; my goal was no longer to make a living from music no matter what, I'd tried that and it sucked. Instead, I had to get back to writing and performing for the right reasons, and if I had to do a day job in order to do that, fine.

Here's a key point though; over the years I have met many performers at all levels of their respective arts, and the arrogant ones were never at the top. They were always halfway up, struggling or just plain mediocre; the ones who were really good, who had succeeded on their own terms were rarely anything but civil and helpful. And at the risk of getting sugary, this board is a terrific example. There are many performers who post on here who perform at a level way beyond my reach, who have no possible reason to be nice to a crossdressing freak at the bottom of the showbiz ladder like myself, let alone speak to me on level terms. Yet they are nice to me and do speak to me on level terms. That also is humbling, it also makes me work harder to be worthy of the kindness and attention they have shown me.
So humility comes from many sources which also provide encouragement and confidence if you let them.

Oh, and one more example; my day job now is as a singing teacher. One of my private students is an eight year old girl who has a terrific combination of talent and willingness to work at what she does that bely her years; if she keeps on course, she's going to be an incredible prospect when she gets older. If you want inspiration to keep working instead of stagnating, you can do much worse than teach your skills and see how quickly some of the better students improve; not only does working with them keep you in touch with why you got started in the first place, some of those kids can be frighteningly good and there's no better reminder of how the art keeps developing whether or not you keep working to keep your place in it.
kihei kid
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Quote:
On 2005-10-10 10:06, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Care to share any?

Yeah. Many a time I read one of your posts. Now, where's my dictionary, thesaurus and excedrin...
In loving memory of Hughie Thomasson 1952-2007.

You brought something beautiful to this world, you touched my heart, my soul and my life. You will be greatly missed.

Until we meet again “my old friend”.
Whit Haydn
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Humility is an endless study:

"Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
featured like him, like him with friends possessed.
Desiring this man's art and that man's scope--
with what I most enjoy contented least."

If Shakespeare felt that way, gee, it is almost hubris not to be depressed.
Bill Palmer
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All I need to humble me is to sit at a table with Richard Turner for a few minutes. Here is a guy who is blind, who can deal seconds, centers, bottoms and tops better than most people can play 52 pickup. And he can tell you what you are doing wrong by the way the cards sound.

And he is a nice guy.


BTW, Jonathan, send me the e-mail from Christian, and I'll translate it for you.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Marshall Thornside
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The new quote I live by:

"The Humble Improve" - Winton Marsalias

(i think I spell his name right...
well its on the short cup @ starbucks.)
you will remember my name

World's Youngest Illusionista
7th greatest pianist in the world
Go Red For Women and Stroke Ambassador
www.mai-ling.net
kregg
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With age more and more.
POOF!
Patrick Differ
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Ooof...darn near everything.

My students. I go off thinking I'm explaining the concept perfectly. I go for 5 minutes non-stop. I get done, a big smile on my face...no response. I missed. Back to reality and back to the drawing board.

My family. I listen to them and think I know them. They listen to me and they think they know me. OK, dad. OK, honey. OK, mother in law... Guess what? Back to the drawing board.

Ex-patriot. I could write a book. But I won't. Thank me later.

Is it odd that many people have a difficult time admitting anything like this?

...and on a side note...I believe that pride, self-image, and self-worth are best based simply on the successful attainment of one's goals.
Will you walk into my parlour? said the Spider to the Fly,
Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to show when you are there.

Oh no, no, said the little Fly, to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair
-can ne'er come down again.
Bill Palmer
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Okay. You want a dose of humility? Take on an 8-year-old for a student.

Towards the end of the first lesson, you say, "Next week we will talk about cards. I'll teach you how to force a card."

He says, "Let me show you something." He spreads the cards out, you take one, and he says,"two of clubs." And he has just done a perfect classic force.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
tommy
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Bill

That must have been great. Keep us informed about the kids progress.

I did a trick for my 12 year old daughter using a second deal. I thought she did not know anything about cards but she said: "Dad, if I was you, I would forget about second dealing and stick with the bottom deal." I don't know if I was humbled but it smashed my confidence to smithereens.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Lee Darrow
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Humbling moments - way too many of them... stepping into the ring with Chuck Norris. THAT was humbling! Sitting in a class being taught by David Roth. THAT was humbling. Attending the Vernon $1,000 lecture. THAT was REALLY humbling. Having a 5 year-old kid catch my han-ping-chien move that had been called "really good" by some guy teaching a coin class... that was humbling.

Watching Bill Malone do just about anything. That is always humbling, though he won't ever admit it or even show that he believes it himself - and that's humility. Watching Tony Andruzzi fool the daylights out of a roomful of magicians using a chrome TT - that's humiliating!

Lee Darrow, C.H.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
saxmangeoff
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Quote:
On 2005-10-10 18:34, Marshall Thornside wrote:
"The Humble Improve" - Winton Marsalias

(i think I spell his name right...

Pretty close, the spelling is Wynton Marsalis.

Seeing him play trumpet live is a rather humbling experience for a jazz musician like myself. Smile

As for the question at hand I have a personal theory that life itself tends to make us either humble or bitter. I think those are the ultimate two responses to a lifetime in a world that refuses to behave in the way we'd like it to.

And because I apparently need extra doses of humility, I am married and have 4 kids, and my hobbies are magic and jazz. Smile

And then there's the cat.......

Geoff


Posted: Oct 11, 2005 4:03pm
--------------------------------------------------
Quote:
On 2005-10-10 18:34, Marshall Thornside wrote:
The new quote I live by:

"The Humble Improve" - Winton Marsalias

By the way, that's a really good quote! I like it!

Geoff
"You must practice your material until it becomes boring, then practice it until it becomes beautiful." -- Bill Palmer
Marshall Thornside
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Quote:
On 2005-10-11 16:03, saxmangeoff wrote:
Quote:
On 2005-10-10 18:34, Marshall Thornside wrote:
The new quote I live by:

"The Humble Improve" - Winton Marsalias

By the way, that's a really good quote! I like it!

Geoff

It sure is, I need to get a cup that hasn't been used
and put it on my shelf to remind every day!
you will remember my name

World's Youngest Illusionista
7th greatest pianist in the world
Go Red For Women and Stroke Ambassador
www.mai-ling.net
Partizan
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I am most humbled by nature. My mind has seen some things that still leave me in awe years later just thinking of them.
"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus."
- Mark Twain
Bill Palmer
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I understand. If you want to experience real humility, take a rose apart. Then put it back together and see if it still "works."
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Lee Darrow
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I missed one:

Watching Joe Morello (the drummer for the Dave Brubeck Quartet) do a drum roll with ONE hand! THAT's humbling. Watching him do FOUR different time signatures at the same time, one on each hand and foot and move them around, at will - that's not only humbling, it tells you as a drummer that you haven't even started to learn your craft! Heckuva thing for a fifteen year-old kid to have happen to him... but he learned more from just watching that guy in one set than he had in five years prior to that!

Lee Darrow, C.H.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
seraph127
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Quote:
On occasion I read something to the effect that I might have an inflated sense of self. Such usually reflects upon some issue of the writer and has little to do with yours truly.


In other words, when people think you're egotistical, it's usually their fault.

Think about it.
There are many tricks, and many effects, but rarely a Grand Effect. There are many entertainers, but few real magicians. Many technicians, but few artists who use their art to explore their vision. - Derren Brown, Absolute Magic
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