Every day, I’m practicing and researching the magic. But you know what? The magic is just a part of my virtual magic show. There’s always more work to be done.
Implementing new technology. Zoom audiences should have a seamless virtual magic experience, and this week I’ve been furthering that. A new touchpad for switching scenes, new software to improve the audience immersion, improvements to my foot pedals. I try to keep up with the technological advances, so the audience remains entirely unaware of anything except the magic.
Developing my set. The backdrop is such a huge part of the character and the virtual magic show. The original concept was designed with a generous set-decorator from some of my favorite shows, like Inside Amy Schumer and Broad City, and based on the “obsessive cop” shows I’m obsessed with, like HBO’s True Detective and The Wire, as well as It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Each piece in the backdrop represents a story in the character’s head, such as the Mandela Effect, Subliminal Advertising, the Moon Landing, JFK, and Helena Blavatsky. Each of these could be the focus of an entire virtual show, and perhaps one day will be.
Building the character. My magician character is obsessed with conspiracies and cults, and I can’t shirk my duty. I need to know about them, too. Some terrify me, like QAnon and Anti-vaxxers and David Icke. Those stress me out, but I also study the fun ones.
This month is all about Bigfoot. I just finished watching Todd Standing’s incredible documentary Discovering Bigfoot on Amazon Prime, which feels almost like a parody of itself. It’s breathtaking and fun and a little bit frightening. I’m reading John Zada’s In the Valleys of the Noble Beyond: In Search of the Sasquatch, which is way too verbose, but every fifth page is perfectly wonderful. And while it’s not about Bigfoot, I’m finishing up an astounding audiobook about another simian legend, Douglas Preston’s The Lost City of the Monkey God. It’s about a quest for a lost Honduran city, filled with jungles and snakes and curses. (Which makes it all sound rather Indiana Jones-y and culturally imperialist, a question that appears regularly in the book.)
Of course, my magician character has some lost cities of his own, that he’s tracking down. He won’t talk about those. Not yet.