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Leodini, the Socially Dysfunctional Magi. Last Friday, after the show in Philamlife Theater, I reached home around 1AM of Saturday.

I didn’t realized how hungry I was until I began wolfing down a Max fried chicken that my wife Angie bought to go earlier in the evening.

Until then, I spaced out. I remember taking a light dinner with the judges during the pre-show orientation. I also remember being a complete social wreck.  I couldn’t focus on conversations and I totally lost my ability to interact with people. I was so nervous my Adam’s apple felt like Adam’s durian. It seemed I went through flagellation with the whole program weighing down on me.  That’s why I avoided the lobby, which at that time was teeming with people, as I didn’t want to make a spectacle of my anxiety. 

To those who managed to buttonhole me but with whom I couldn’t carry a lucid conversation, my apologies.  To those I failed to greet and welcome, my bigger apologies. To those I didn’t even notice, recognize or throw a glance at, my biggest apologies.

* * *

Better Late than Never, but Better Never Late. I know, I know. I issued brave words on this blog that we would start the show on time. We have been punctual in countless public shows before. We always started on time. It’s our badge of honor that sets our shows apart from other theatrical performances.

However, last Friday, Chairman Cris Castro and Boy Alviz sought me out inside the theater. They had sold tickets in bulk. Their buyers were frantically begging them to delay the show, as they were stuck in traffic. Cris and Boy asked me to move the showtime to 8PM.

It was a Friday and a payday. When I went to the foyer, I saw a horrendous traffic jam on UN Avenue. Against the vigorous protest of the Chairman of the Committee on Competition Magic Boy Samson, I said, “OK, let’s delay the show by 30 minutes.”

And that, dear readers, was the reason we started the show at 8PM instead of 7:30PM.

* * *

Lobby Activities. Many guests, however, hardly noticed the delay. They were having a good time at the lobby watching the strolling magic performances. Among the illustrious talents who performed at the lobby were our guests from Honolulu, Glen Bailey and Bob Festa. I spotted them having a great time performing before an awed audience.

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Intensity 7 Technical Glitch. At the opening sequence of the main program, I felt like a criminal about to be executed by a firing squad when the Philippine National Anthem refused to play. I was behind the projector screen, ready to step on stage to welcome the audience to our anniversary show when the Philippine National Anthem failed to play.

I darted out behind the projector screen, ran to the backstage and, via the circuitous way of the lobby, dashed to the other end of the theater where the control panel was located. I happened upon Ingrid Samson, our music spinner, who was a vision of calm.  She was trying to raise the laptop which had stopped responding then. Panicking, I took over the control of the laptop. I heaved a sigh of relief when after a few seconds of tinkering it played the National Anthem.

I dashed back to my position behind the big projector screen just in time for my welcome remarks. During my brief speech, I tried to breathe normally although I was thoroughly out of wind.

The laptop played the next two songs, the background music for the production of the nine champions. Had the laptop stopped working at that point, we would have an unrecoverable disaster. Until now, I cringe at the thought of the possibility of it.

Unfortunately, the laptop hung on us during Alex Lagula’s Visual Displacement Illusion. Thankfully, it happened at the beginning of the program. The audience was still forgiving of our miscues and missteps. Despite the miscue of the music, the crowd rewarded Alex with an enthusiastic applause. 

* * *

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Ingrid and me battling with near-disaster.

The iPod to the rescue.  I ran back to the control panel and frantically switched the cable from the laptop to the iPod Nano. Unfortunately the cable was grounded. It let out choppy signals no matter how many times we tried to adjust it. The technician had to rummage his tool kit for a fresh set of cables. When he found it, he connected it to the iPod in world-record-breaking time. From there on, the iPod took over the laptop’s job momentarily but oh-so beautifully.

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The life of Magic ‘To (Remix) depended on the musical score. That’s the reason that I had a triple redundant system in place in case one of the players failed to operate.

My trusty laptop had never given up on me in past performances. I trusted it to perform well.  Still, in anticipation of Murphy’s Law raring its ugly head,  I had prepared a back-up for the laptop, and a back-up for the back-up.

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The main music player was the laptop. Its back-up was my iPod Nano, and the iPod’s back-up were two multi-media players ready to play the entire show’s musical score from CDs.

We didn’t get that far. The iPod temporarily scored the show, while Ingrid re-booted the laptop. Only after the laptop refreshed its memory that it worked perfectly fine again.

We never had a technical problem after that.

Whew…! We escaped disaster by a whisker. I still get the shivers just thinking about the possibility of disaster had we not gone to great lengths of backing up our system.

* * *

Illustrious Members of the Audience. We at IMC were glad to have local and international stars of magic as guests that evening. Enjoying thoroughly the show were Glenn Bailey and Bob Festa (both from Honolulu), Gov. Tony Leviste, singer/actor/magic innovator/lecturer/magician Rannie Raymundo, George Mamonluk and Yu Leong (avid supporters of magic), and of course, the renowned and legendary Paul Potassy and his lovely wife Lita.

* * *

Glen Bailey. I had a meeting with a client yesterday (Sunday) when Glen rang me up on my cell phone.  He said he was flying back to Hawaii on Tuesday. He called to inform me that he and Bob Festa enjoyed the show last Friday. He also thanked Inner Magic Club for its hospitality.

By the way, for those who are not familiar with him, Glen is a full-time professional magician in Hawaii. He does more than 250 shows a year in such diverse venues as birthday parties, banquets, weddings and restaurants.  As organizer of large magic events like conventions, he warmed our hearts when he told us that he had never seen before a magic club with such intense camaraderie and avid love for magic.

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Glen is, of course, an honorary member of Inner Magic Club. As such, it is always an honor and  it feels like a special day for us at the Club when he blows into town and drops us a visit.

* * *

Paul Potassy.  What floored me that evening was Paul Potassy’s glowing rating of Inner Magic Club.  When I had a brief chat with him after the onstage pandemonium created by the announcement of the winners, he said, “You guys have improved 300 per cent as performers since the last time I saw you!”

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A rare photo opportunity with legendary Paul Potassy.

Wow! 300 per cent improvement.  A miniscule 10 per cent would have made us happy, but 300 per cent appreciation from the legendary Paul Potassy just makes me ecstatic for the next 300 years!.

I’m a bit incoherent now, so I guess it’s time to stop writing.

Bravo IMC, Philippine magic, and Filipino magicians!

Stay magical,

Leodini

www.leodini.com

 

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