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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » What happened, was this... » » What happened (to me) was this. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

longhaired1
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Salida
314 Posts

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What happened was this...

I grew up in a small lumber town with a population of 52 people. I had my dad's wood shop, unlimited lumber, and a subscription to Genii Magazine. Late 70's to early 80's. I would build my own tricks and read those magazines and believe that I might some day perform magic in Vegas and see myself on one of those signs. Later in life I had a to do list that included "Perform in a Las Vegas Show Room".

One of my first shows in that area, in the neighboring town of Blue Lake CA., was at a V.F.W. hall. Maybe 16 years old at this time I recruited my friends to assist, and the highlight of the show was nailing one of them into a box and having him show up in another box that was across stage. We performed it on a cement floor in front of the drinking and dining loggers, one's who had seen that same floor for many decades, and knew that no trap doors existed.

I remember being cognizant of why they were impacted. Our props and costumes were crude, but this was THEIR V.F.W. hall, and the vanishing kid was one they knew personally. They were connected to the performance.

What followed for me was a serious pursuit of magic that lasted until my mid 30's.

Flash forward through hundreds of gigs and some real highlights (and low lights). For any number of reasons, after 18 years or so of performing I walked away from it. I specifically said I wasn't quitting, but that I would know when it was time to get back in. I didn't call myself a magician during this period. I was a former magician.

Long story short, moved to Las Vegas purely for business reasons with no intention of doing a show biz thing. A few years in I started a Slamgrass (Rock and Bluegrass) band. Band got noticed, band gigged for 7 years around Vegas including performances at The Palms as well as House of Blues in Mandalay Bay. Wandered down to the latter the week of our gig, looked up at the big billboard, and there was my band name and picture up on the billboard. Walked into the casino and we were on the slot machine screens as well.

http://stevekucera.com/hob.jpg

Long story short, band breaks up, as they do, life in all other aspects swirls down drain, up to and including wife dying of ovarian cancer seven weeks after diagnosis. Life inventory revealed that I was not camping, fishing, or playing enough music. I realized the quickest way for me to be performing music again was solo as a busker. I could be performing that night, and that is what I did during 2012; busking in Vegas and San Diego.

It was financially not very good....

But, everything I owned fit in my car and my dog and I were free to wander, so we headed to Colorado to spend the holidays with my family here. The plan was to head to Prescott AZ or Austin TX after that, but I fell in love.... with this beautiful small town, an arts community in the heart of the Rockies.

I came to Salida Colorado with no intention of doing magic.

Short story long, I started hanging out here with the founder of a local circus. When she found out I used to do magic she interpreted that as "can do magic", and started offering me gigs. I turned them down several times. However, hearing that she was producing a theatrical show in the fall, I offered to do some magic for that show.

Fifteen minutes later she made me the director of the show, and the show became a magic themed circus, to be held at the local performing arts center. We've been in production for about a month. We're going to vanish kids off the stage and have them show up in the back of the theatre, do some grand illusion, incorporate circus into the whole mes... We are editing soundtracks, producing video for the multimedia content, writing a ton of original material... magic and circus and we are fully under way. It is exhilerating.

As the saying goes, what a long, strange trip it's been. The most profound part for me is that I feel like I have finally discovered myself as an artist. I am blessed with resources that I never had access to before; A theatre and crew, a cast of dozens, a supportive community, a circus director who is 100% supportive and an amazing creative partner. The show has a number of interesting through lines, not the least of which is the story of a young kid who wants to, and gets to, grow up to be a magician.

Tomorrow I go out to do my first public performance in close to two decades, just a small health fair to promote the show and represent the circus. I am scheduled to perform a trick at the Salida Arts Council on Thursday as well to promote the show, with some radio coming up soon I believe. Curtain goes up November third.

It would appear I am back in magic again.


Thanks for reading my epic saga.
Dr. Delusion
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Eugene, Oregon.
728 Posts

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What a journey, Welcome back into the world of magic.
Best of luck to you and thanks for sharing your story.
Bob.
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