I am seeing this everywhere today. To begin with I think it's great to see so many people supporting equality, liberty and human rights.
I thought I would be devils advocate for a second because this pink on white image is intriguing.
The basic message is equality.
As an American I was brought up into a Christian society with the idea, "all men are created equal", written into the documents that formed the country. But then I went through and education system that put some of us in a "gifted" program and others into programs to help their "learning disability" and still others labeled "special."
If you are not Christian the notion of all people being created equal comes into debate. While I believe it would be nice for everyone to have the same opportunity to progress in whichever direction they choose, I'm not sure it's possible. There are so many reasons that we are not equal, from stature to intellect to talent, to the economic class we were born into.
There are also many benefits to having diversity in a society. We need people that are better at different things.
I do believe in giving everyone equal respect. Keep in mind that there are cultures where it is not socially the norm to do this. Cultures where there is a definite sense of classes and more respect is given to the elders and the higher class of a given group.
So, Internet, I have two questions for you. Please answer as Humans, not as your nationality, social/economic class, race, religion, or sexual preference.
1. How are we all equal?
2. How should we be equal?
It's been a bit since my last post, and much has happened. I have recently been in both the South China Morning Post and The Standard newspapers. You can learn more about all that in my recent newsletter through Facebook by clicking here.
I have been busy with many projects lately including work with new corporate clients who I am creating bespoke magic experiences for. I love working with the companies, focusing on the companies message, and creating a experience or show that delivers that message. I am also very busy with a new lecture I am calling "Human Hacking" which focuses on the knowledge one gains about humanity through working as a magician and how this knowledge can help you be a better promoter and improve sales. Its funny, I start one of these blog posts with one topic I wanted to talk about and then I end up having so many other things to say. I need to learn to limit myself better! What I was going to talk about is...
Cartoons...I have been involved lately dubbing for Japanese and Chinese animation. I have loved cartoons and animation since I was a child, (as most children have, I just never stopped watching them). I have been greatly interested in voice acting for a long time, it was one of things I always wanted to do, and thought I might be good at, but didn't know how to even begin to pursue. Thanks to a lot of support and help from friends and my lovely Christine, I have been doing side work in voice acting for the past six months or so. I'm currently working as many characters on a Japanese series called Inazuma 11 Go! In the photo from the show (above) I dub the big guy with the goggles on his chin and the dark haired guy with the bandage accross his nose on the upper right side.
In the process of studying good voice acting I have been watching new animated programs. I have two new favorites from the US I highly recommend.
The first is Avatar, the Legend of Korra. This is the second story in the Avatar series (the first being the last air bender, which was a great cartoon, but might have become the worst movie I have ever seen!) In terms of the look and feel of most of the new animation comming out fo the US, the American companies have sure gained a lot by studying the Japanese. I love Japanese animation (or anime...although, showing my age, I still think of it as Japanimation in my head) One of my favorite movies is Ghost in the Shell (It has this great rain sequence!) which was also made into a fantastic series. In The Legend of Korra the scenes, the characters, and the animation are all beautiful. And the voice acting is extremely good. I'm a big fan of the world they have crated in this story arc. The time period is later than the first series and it has a bit of a stream punk look to it. If you like good fantasy stories, an Asian landscape and feel and steam punk, this is not to be missed.
The second animated series I have been enjoying is Tron: Uprising. I loved the movie Tron as a child, and the new film was enjoyable, but just didn't do enough for me. The new animated series does all the things that the movie was lacking. It's simple and direct and tells a revolution story in the Tron grid universe. The look and feel of the characters as well as the way they move reminds me of Aeon Flux, which I loved in the 90s! The voice acting is top notch and includes many famous voices including: Elijah Wood, Mandy Moore, and Paul Rubens (Pee Wee Herman, but he's playing a bad guy in Tron). If you like animation, and Tron, you know what to do.
More to come, have a great week...
Last Thursday was Episode Two of The Bearded Lady and I believe it was even better than the first one! Episode One was fantastic, don't get me wrong, but last Thursday everything was a little bit amped up. There was more music, more magic, more nakedness, more people, and more Fun! Perhaps this has something to do with the fabulous Rum cocktails that Salon #10 whipped up as welcome drinks, and perhaps it has something to do with the excited anticipation of the guests who came for the second time. No matter what it was, I was happy to be a part of it.
*Ellis Does his best Carmen Maranda, singing "The Lady with the Tutti Fruity Hat".
There was a bit of a departure for me from my normal act at this event. I sang!
I hope you enjoy the clip of my take on Cab Calloway's Minnie the Moocher. It was quite a bit of fun to perform with such a great band. I have always had a desire to be a singer. When I was a child I would perform at all the Church choir functions and I was the male lead in most of the musicals. That means at some point I
Played Jonah, Jesus, a wise man, Daniel, Moses, and King Wencesloss. This went on until I was in middle school and being in a church choir was something to be embarrassed about. That and my voice started to change. I didn't know what to do about that.
I have always involved myself in singing in some way since. I was in a short lived band in University as a singer, and after graduation made an almost weekly appearance at select karaoke nights for about ten years. That ended when I moved to Hong Kong. It's funny that I sing karaoke less now that I am in Asia. But the experience is quite different from New York City. In New York it is all about the show. It's great if you can cary a tune and have a voice to go with it, but not as important as stage presence. In Hong Kong it's all private rooms. I often feel like I am singing to myself in this context. People here don't automatically applaud, they chit chat while your are singing, they don't really watch if you are trying to put on a performance and its hard to do because the central focus is the screen not the person singing. You don't truly engage the room unless you sing in Cantonese or you sing Lady Gaga....or LMFAO. Basically it's singing practice, and I feel like I am singing for myself. I can do this in my shower.
*The Fabulous Bearded Lady Ensable
So needless to say, my soul got a great fill of its singing void from this show. Now, I'm no great singing, but I feel now that if I had a band as good as the one at The Bearded Lady, I would feel happy to take on any song in my range. The music at the event was fantastic. We had Latin arrangements from 1943 with Gigi Marentette and Danny DePoe singing and playing trumpet. I love these two! If you get the chance to see them, you are in for a treat. I also got the chance the other day to hear Danny's new album, which he has not put out yet. I can't wait to have a copy, it is my type of music. He described it as Nirvana meet Michael Buble.
But these two were just fronting the band, every member performing was equally impressive. On piano and sax was Jim "the professor" Schneider, who I had the privilege of rehearsing with. I learned a lot from him in a very short amount of time. Bob Mocarsky played, rocking most of the night on piano. On purcussion was David Chala (who I believe is from Cuba?) who kept us in the Latin groove. There was also an Operetic performance from Olivier de Molina which was breathtaking. A burlesque dance with banana leaves from Julie Shah who was sexy and fantastic! and interludes of salsa dancing from Paola Sinisterra; who I cant seem to get a bad photograph of. Even our host with the most Ellis Kreuger sang late in the night, treating us to the theme song of the event, "The Lady with the Tooty Fruity Hat".
*I eat razor blades.
*Olivier de Molina sings!
*Julie Shah dances!
*Salsa with Paola
*Gigi and Danny being amazing!
I also, of course, gave a few performances of the magical sort. I ate razor blades early in the evening, and also performed a prediction effect later. For the late late crowd I did my rendition of the oldest magic trick, the cups and balls. I didn't perform as much close up magic this time because I wanted to get a feel for the party, and I truly enjoyed the mix and mingle. As I'm sure you can tell, I was most excited about singing. It's fun to get nervous again! In future Bearded Lady productions I plan to perform a bit more intimately with mental miracles and close up experiences.
*A touch of the Mental...Brains!
*The old Cups and Balls.
*Our Hosts Ellis and Alex (with a guy I didn't meet) enjoying the performances, and Stefano looking cool.
Thanks again to all those who performed, and to Moustache and Stiibu for putting on this fantastic night!
And of course, many many thanks to all the guests who came and made this happening a reality!
All my best,
As the Twin Peaks giant said: "It's happening again."
The giant was a supernatural messenger letting Agent Cooper know another murder was a-foot, (I loved that show!), my message marks the second arrival of Hong Kong's new bohemian mascot, The Bearded Lady!
*Danny DePoe cruning and dancing with a guest.
Next Thursday, the 24th of May at 9:30 PM, Salon #10 will again shake and shimmy with excitement, amazement and wonder as "The Bearded Lady" makes her second appearance. This event has a limited guest list and is by invitation only, sorry folks. I'll try and get an invitation to whom I can, but if you don't get an invite this time, know that it is a monthly event and it's only going to grow. I'm very excited to be a part of it again. This time we are doing a 1940's Carribean theme. Think Carmen Maranda in a Busby Berkley film.
*Paola at The Bearded Lady #1, she doesn't need a new outfit!
The evening will be full of the fantastic. From magic and burlesque to knock your socks off live music all arranged in 1940's island style, this night will be an experience people will not stop talking about (at least untill the next one.)
In other news...
I'm meeting today with Robert Rogers to work on writing a new illusion show we have in the works. It will be nice to be able to give people a time and place to see it the next time they ask if I can saw a lady in half for them (I get asked that question every two days or so).
Also, I have a new suit being created by Moustache! If you are in Hong Kong and want the best possible suit made, this is where you do it. I have had other tailors make me clothing, but never have I found comparable service and style as I have found with Moustache. You may think I am a bit biased as I am working with them on the Bearded Lady, and you may be right, but it doesn't matter. Their clothing is to die for. And if you have a special look or the need for things like extra pockets (as every magician does) then you can't do better than Moustache. They not only have achieved the look I am going for, but they have done better. It's one thing to have a tailor who will make the thing you think you want. It's another to find one who will make something better than what you could conceive of. And if your not up for a bespoke suit, just stop by their shop, it's a great place and they do have a collection of ready made and ready to wear products.
*Ellis Hard at Work.
*Ellis and Alex of Moustache
That's all for now, I'll be posting again soon to talk about the HK art fair, great pie and new watering holes.
*Quinary, a new bar on Hollywood Road. (more on this later.)
All the best,