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So true. The fellow who said it first must be a guru or a genius. I think his name is Leodini.
Well, indeed, life teaches you how to live your life. It also teaches you how to become a good magician in the Philippines.
Take the botched bus hostage operation at Quirino Grandstand, for example. What lessons can magicians take to heart from the carnage?
Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Unless you turn the lessons around and corkscrew them in a Head Twister.
This is real life: nobody takes the blame for the fiasco that brought death to eight hostages.
Now twist and spin it: take the blame for your blunders.
That’s right, dear readers. If you are a magician in the Philippines, you must be man enough to own up to your mistakes. You must be man enough even if you are woman. Accept the blame. Don’t pass it around as if you are playing a popular party game.
I have written about this concept before in my post 10 Lessons to Learn from Your Mistakes. Go there now and read the article. It is a mistake not to do so.
I said then—and let me quote myself—“If you make a mistake, don’t blame somebody else. The magician is responsible for everything that happens in the performance—even the mistakes of the assistants, the sound man, stage crew, etc., are his mistakes.”
That’s a brilliant lesson! You ought to print and paste it on the bathroom mirror, so you can read it, contemplate it, and internalize it, while relieving yourself of your day’s burden.
Unless you are Criss Angel, you probably perform only live, not on TV from pre-recorded shots. In a live show, all kinds of slip-up can happen. I’m not in the mood for repeating myself today, so read my thoughts on this subject in my past article Blunders, Bloopers and Bungles.
No matter how seriously you rehearse and practice your act, or how long you have been doing it, one day you’ll drop a thumb tip, miss the catgut loop, expose accidentally the invisible thread and mess up your performance. And since you are performing live, there is no rewind button for you to press to give you a clean slate and perform your act all over again.
What you can do is to take the embarrassment in your chin, cry a little, be agitated somewhat, mope for a few minutes, and do a lot of self-examination. Then accept the blame.
If you accept the blame, you constantly remind yourself to control all the circumstances of your performance. Self-flagellation might be bad to your psychological well-being, but it will keep you on your toes. It will instill self-discipline. It will make you more watchful in your next performance. It will drive you to polish your show, get rid of the lapses in your performance, and exorcise the complacency that had set in after years of performing.
It will bring you back to your senses and remind you that you are only human. As such, you are bound one day to make a mistake, because you are not invincible. You are not a real magician. You are only a pretend-magician.