It was brilliant to be able to perform the piece, in a proper theatrical setting, 5 days in a row. Not all works of performance improve through repeated showings, but magic certainly can: the piece is now 1 hour long, has a new ending I'm very proud of, and I'm starting to get a sense of the throughline that connects it all up (well, almost all of it).
Mostly, it was encouraging to see that a work of close-up magic can stand its ground in a context of contemporary theatre: the piece received 4 star reviews in The Guardian, Time Out, The Stage, and Fest Mag! (no doubt I'll soon by plastering the website with excerpts, so I'll save the quotes for that).
So, what to do after a great run of shows? Watch a comedy series.
Last night I saw the season finale to the excellent animated series Bojack Horseman, and couldn't help make parallels. Bojack, washed-up Hollywood actor from a 90's sitcom, returns in the public eye after publishing a biography and winning an award for it. Wherever he goes, he walks around clutching the award in his hand, which is funny and heatbreaking. In the final dialogue, he sits on the roof to his house, talking disconsolately to Dianne, his friend and biographer. Bojack asks Dianne:
- What do I do now?
- Well, that's the problem with life, right? You either know what you want, and then you don't get what you want. Or you get what you want, and then you don't know what you want.
- Well that's stupid