We are hanging out in Albany, NY for a couple of days – trying to relax and catch up on a little work at the same time. Our spring tour is almost over. I am looking forward to performing in Utica and Albany, NY this weekend and then on to Newport News, VA later in May to wrap the season. Shows have been going great, audiences have been fantastic, and we’ve had numerous standing ovations and sold out performances. It’s been a great season! But when you’re on the road as much as we are, it’s difficult to put the energy and effort into all the projects I have on my plate.
We are brainstorming and working on several new illusions for next season as well as a couple smaller effects. I think they are going to be strong additions to our production. Within the magic industry, there are only a handful of consultants and creators. Each of them have their unique style and philosophy about the art. I have the privilege of working with two of them who truly appreciate theatre and our philosophy. I believe these guys understand exactly what we want to accomplish with our show. Not simply a “magic show,” but something more. They are valuable in helping us develop that one “thing” that continues to set us apart from other magical performers in our industry. But in order to help us do that, we have to know what it is that we want. One of the reviews I’m most proud of came from the Dayton Daily News, OH:
“One reason their combination of Broadway production and rock concert is turning an increasing number of heads is originality. In a business rife with imitation, they take pride in doing things their own way. The Spencers put on a show that’s equal parts Broadway production and rock concert.”
It is becoming more and more difficult to be unique in a field that is “rife with imitation.” I’ve never quite understood those illusionists who would rather duplicate what others have done rather than carve their own niche, make their own way, or develop their own style. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be David Copperfield. His illusions are often the basis – not the inspiration, but rather the foundation – for what other magicians believe is “original.” This lack of originality only pushes us to work harder, to communicate with our consultants to come up with new ideas and illusions, and to find ways to incorporate them into our production in ways that no one else has. It’s a combination of many elements – not just a few tricks on the stage. Making those tricks into “theatrical magic” is a much bigger challenge.
As Summer comes rushing at me, I’ll be working very hard to wrap up several of projects that have been “ignored” while touring – starting with the Hocus Focus curriculum. I’ve been working on this for almost two years now. I’m very proud of this work and hope it’s going to make a big difference in the field of special education and autism. I have some strong motivation to get this one finished. I’ve been asked to be a presenter at the international conference on special education being held in Riga, Latvia this summer. It’s a great privilege and something I am very excited about doing.
In a nutshell, here’s what Summer 2010 looks like for me:
ITALY – I’m heading to Italy in late May, combining business and pleasure. This trip is mostly a way to relax and spend some time with Cindy in one of the most romantic countries in the world. I also collaborated on a research project at the University of Rome with the Healing of Magic and hope to meet Dr. Mario Occhipinti while there.
MAGIC CAMP – I’m teaching Magic Camp at LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas for week in early June.
SOUTHEAST ASIA – In late June, I’m hiking Vietnam/Cambodia/Thailand to work with New Future for Children orphanage. This is going to be a very different trip for me in a part of the world that intrigues me. I’m going to visit the temple ruins of Angkor Wat among many other things.
LATVIA – In early July, I’m speaking at the international conference on special education in Riga, Latvia.
MAGIC CAMP – And, finally, I’m teaching Magic Camp in Hampton, VA for a week in August.
And when not traveling, we will be working on some of the new illusions that will be a part of next year’s show!