New Moves – magicians in the Philippines—and all over the world —love new moves. They admire manual dexterity. They love knuckle-busting methods to manipulate billiard balls. Fingers that twist as if with arthritis during a difficult sleight-of-hand get admiring “oohs” and “aahs”, even though the magic is lost due to the contorted configuration of the hand.
They speak a peculiar jargon. They call red cloths silks, instead of handkerchiefs.
They call a silver ball Zombie, although it doesn’t look like one that comes straight out of the TV series The Walking Dead.
I once went to a party of a rich kid and wanted to be friendly. “Hello, what’s your name?” I greeted the birthday kid. He said, “I’m Harvey and you are STUPID.”
The good news is, this generation reads and writes more often than their grandparents.
The Internet and the social media has ushered in an era of large information consumption. People today consume them mostly by reading.
The bad news is, today’s reading materials pale in comparison with the literature of the past.
The modern society’s epidemic of short attention span has given way to easy-to-read materials. Which may be good to please the world’s need for instant gratification. Unfortunately, these easy reads lack the soaring prose of Wuthering Heights or Moby Dick.
But who cares? The young readers today may not even have heard of those titles. Some may think Wuthering Heights is in Ayala, Alabang, and that Moby Dick is a sex maniac.
In today’s language, sex and maniac come to mind when you use the word dick. I don’t know why, but they do.
That’s right, I can tell beforehand with 90% accuracy whether my show will kill or tailspin. I do that just by knowing in advance where the party will be held.
When I perform at a venue for the first time, my level of energy is high. It’s like driving to an unfamiliar destination. I don’t have the confidence I can anticipate every twist and turn of the road. So I stay alert and focused lest I hit something.
I love languages. One of my pretentious goals in life is to learn at least five languages. But I’m a slow learner for learning foreign tongues.
I have spent months studying Japanese. Until now, all I can show for my efforts is a few phrases I have memorized from a Japanese handbook. Haven’t I told you I’m a slow learner?
So here’s my brush with instant Chinese language on Chinese New Year.
Sir Leodini, how are things going? I always do my color changing deck routine in my shows—a green to blue deck. When it turns to blue the audience are amazed but then they usually challenge me to turn it back to green, and we all know that, that’s not easy to do. I just tell them a joke about that deck.
Sir, can you help me construct a joke about my color changing deck routine? A joke that will surely make them laugh out loud?
Thank you so much, sir, thank you…
Joker Went Wild
Humor can do wonders to your performance.
Don’t listen to the naysayers who say you can’t make people laugh unless you are a born comedian.
Trust me on this. No one is born a comedian.
If someone came out of his mommy’s womb telling jokes, the nurse would have dropped him on the floor. She would run from the delivery room, screaming, “This baby is possessed by the devil!”
I invited other magicians to come and watch the show, but only Mon Yap showed up among my invitees. He would probably have come even without my invitation. I was happy he did. While waiting for the show to start, he foraged around Rockwell for quick foods and brought me a hamburger and a can of Coke Zero. Many thanks, Mon!
Mindplay lived up to its billing as a groundbreaking event. It brought together in one show Nomer Lasala and Justin Pinon. They are two of the country’s top mentalists. They have been working for some time the mentalism niche.
Ah, what a niche Mindplay attracted that night!
It comprised the yuppies and the English-chattering, smartly-dressed city dwellers of Metro Manila. They came in droves. Mostly in SUVs.