Are first impressions always best? I've always thought so. I was looking through an old notebook of mine in which I used to keep notes of the effects I performed. Hold it. Let me start again. When I first started performing an act of magic as opposed to doing the odd trick, I kept a record of every show I did. Things like the date, the place, the fee, and a list of the effects performed at that show.
I never made a note of how the act registered, as long as the act went reasonably well I thought it was a success. The real disasters I will remember to my dying day, and there are a few which I will come to in a moment. Back to the note book. I kept this record of effects etc. because I had read in a magic book that one should always keep such records just in case the act was rebooked at that venue. If that happened all you had to do was to open the book, see what tricks you had performed, and change the the act accordingly. Change the act? I had sweated blood rehearsing the few tricks I had and never realised how difficult it was going to be putting together a new bunch of effects.
I remember once turning up to perform at one place to discover that I had to perform two acts. Two fifteen minute spots, and I had one act lasting that long; but I did it. I had to. I needed the money.
Back to the notebook. On looking through it I realise I am still performing two of the effects I was dbing then, thirty years ago.
Last time out I mentioned The Sugar Cube Trick as performed by Haba Haba A1 in Chicago. There is a parallel there with my two tricks. The first time I saw A1 do it he knocked me out. As long as I live I will remember the effect he had on me. He was doing something I had never seen before and although I hnew the method instantly as it had been around since the dawn of magic, he was doing things with it that were completely new to me. This is why I ask again, Are first impressions always best? I still say yes.
Back to the notebook. One of the effects I did then was the levitation of a glass of beer. It was a very good closing trick. It had a nice introduction to it patterwise, the effect was very visual, and it had a great applause pulling finish as I drank the beer and the pianist gave me a glissando to point it up, followed by a heavy chord in G and then played me off.
One night disaster struck. Halfway through the routine the thread broke. The glass dropped to the floor like a rocket, smashing all over the stage, glass and liquid everywhere. I had no finish to the act. I apologised meekly and walked off. The guy who owned the place was mad. The girl singer who was following me was mad. I must have been mad to think it was a good trick and now I suddenly remember why I stopped doing it. First impressions. Bull. . .t.
Goodbye, Patrick Page close - up case
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