Sometimes challenges hit us so hard the wind shoots right out of us, and sometimes challenges are like tripwires – you don’t see them coming but all of a sudden your face is making out with the floor.
In magic, I believe living in South Africa is a challenge. The magic community here in Cape Town is so small, yet so familial and warm. Unfortunately Cape Town is not big enough for every magician to make a living, but that’s okay because some magicians are hobbyists. I would love to take my magic further than a hobby. I have been told a number of times, scratch that, I have been begged by people and bombarded with the question of “Why aren’t you doing this professionally?” Fellow magicians and laymen have said that to me. But in Cape Town I fear that it would be detrimental to me now, without any back-up in the bank or without some experience in the working world to take that leap. I want to live comfortably and I think I deserve that. We all do. But it is much harder for someone in the entertainment business to do that living in such a small city as Cape Town when there are already big names out there.
Believe it or not guys, this was not meant to be the topic of my post. The above highlights one challenge in my life. However the next one is being left-handed. In magic, most magicians are right-handed. This means when I read or watch magic I have to change all the movements and finger positions. That sounds silly: “Oh Greg, you just have to mirror it, silly Banana-head!” Oh really? You try performing a “Sybil” cut or “Reset” which are complicated in and of itself, but to now mirror the moves? Left-handed magicians should be awarded.
I am left-handed, as you can tell. I have become so accustomed to watching righties doing amazing pressure fans because their right hand is more toned than their left. I’ve seen righties do card forces because the card pips are positioned in a way that when a righty holds the pack of cards, specs see the pips (It sounds confusing but it is true). And I can’t do those. So sometimes being left-handed sucks.
However, there are a few moments when the sun shines down and out pops little magical angels. I’m talking about two in particular. Bill Malone and Eric Jones. These legends are left-handed. Yes, professional, celebrity magicians can also be left-handed! It is phenomenal to watch their dvds and you hear them say: “Now I am left-handed (Greg does victory dance) so you are going to have to mirror the moves I am doing.” Yes, suck on that righties! In your face!
Bill Malone is one of my favourite magicians to watch. He is so funny and so charismatic, I really relate to him. I am new to the magic of Eric Jones and he too is simply so amazing and elegant. His coin magic is on the same level as David Roth who is probably the best coin magician to date in my opinion. Eric Jones is also coming to Cape Town in October…. I know what you are all thinking… “But Greg, exams are in October…” Yes I know and as my luck would have it, the conference with Jones falls smack-bam in the middle of my exams. But I have devised a plan so I can still go on the Sunday (It also is on Saturday but with shabbos and all I will have my bud Graeme taking notes and video for me). So in between studying and being a teacher and husband I am familiarising myself with Eric’s work to the best of my abilities. I am so excited!
So that is what I have to say. Sometimes being left-handed sucks, but other times it rocks. Check this infographic I found on lefties. Let me know what your challenges are as a lefty. I’d love to hear from you all!