i write for inner peace.
On Pinball, 1973
The key is to make a scene. The presence of a crowd, even of three or four people, looking at the same thing is already something to look at. They say in psychology, if you point and look up at a point in the sky, someone else might involuntarily look that way. That's what I try to do. I want the first few people who watch to be my arrows, pointing in my direction: a person who doesn't really like being the center of attention. I sit at the back of buses and walk to the park without a nod to passing neighbors. I like to shoot basketball by myself over playing in pick-up games. My coffee and beer, I drink alone. I put on a hard hat of tolerance when it comes to the hour or so at gigs. I have to be the center of attention. So to do that, I make a scene. The key is to create gravity. I like thinking of my 360 crowds as asteroid belts, and I this strange, mystical world they are orbiting and looking in on. I like it when my crowds cave in, instead of my reaching out to pull them. My center of gravity- the core- is a small wooden stool I've been calling the Lotus. It holds my three poetry books like a make-shift bookshelf. I also have a pole next to me with a giant sign that says "watch". I stand in front of the Lotus with Hagakure- the name for my deck of cards- out in my open hands like a fishing pole. I would cap off this living backdrop with the Lightning Rod- the short sword I use in my final demonstration- which I conspicuously lay on the ground right in front of the Lotus like a free throw line. And thus completes my storefront for attention. Sometimes I fall into a lull. Despite the out-of-the-ordinariness of this scene, people would readily pass me without a second glance. Some would look away. After no more than 10 minutes, though, someone extroverted enough would be bold enough to approach. They approach me! I love how its reversed like that, because most magicians end up approaching their spectators.
I have no idea why I am writing about all this. I am not at work right now. I was just reading this book called "Pinball, 1973" by Haruki Murakami, and he has brought to light to me the uselessness of being good at something. I think I'm fairly good at making a scene; giving people something to look at, and do, like a pinball machine in the corner of abar, flashing its lights while waiting for someone to stop by and play.That's what I do: I am a pinball machine at gigs.
This is great to know! This is humbling to take in.
The Move Unseen
A blog for magic.