Full-time magician Peter Mennie stops by talk Magic Live 2019 Magicians Convention. Plus we real-life magicians topics: confidence, anxiety and growing as performers. Listen or Watch.
TOPICS COVERED: Magic Live 2019, Magic Conventions, Performance Advice, Learning New Magic, Stage Introductions, Confidence on stage, stage fright and how to deal with your nerves.
Magicians Talking Magic Episode 6 | Touring Tricks Podcast
With Guest Peter Mennie
Table of Contents
00:00 | We had an OWOW Magic Festival Meeting and...
04:00 | Schrodinger's cookies & Choose You Adventure Magic Show
07:32 | Magic Live 2019 recount and review from Peter Mennie
10:35 | Storytelling and magic
12:00 | Magicians from all over the world need to see this person
14:10 | One person and a suitcase magic shows
15:00 | Highlights from the stage shows
16:00 | Who was the stand-out performer at Magic Live 2019?
18:45 | There was a zebra appearance, again?
19:45 | What did you learn at Magic Live 2019? Biggest Takaway
21:45 | After 45 years in magic-- here's why Peter attends Magic Live
23:10 | Being bitten by magic, dragging a Table of Death and Rick Thomas
24:00 | Graeme tries a new market for his magic shows
24:45 | The best thing about restaurant magic
25:30 | When do you stop learning new magic?
26:30 | Confidence on stage, where does it come from?
28:00 | Two factors that affect confidence and anxiety
30:00 | A tip for stage introductions
34:00 | Final thoughts struggles all magicians face
Magicians Talking Magic Episode 6
With Guest Peter Mennie
Ryan Joyce: Well what we found,.
Graeme Reed: We found a Peter.
Peter Mennie: Yeah. I was just driving by.
Graeme Reed: Yeah, just stopping by and.
Peter Mennie: I was like two and a half hours out of my way. We found many people. We were here at Brown. I was here, I was here for another reason. Yeah. What a big needs make meeting again. A big, big festival, which is a big, big surprise later.
Ryan Joyce: OWOW.
Peter Mennie: It's not a surprise.
Ryan Joyce: Presto.
Graeme Reed: It's not a surprise. I think we can tell everyone about it. OWOW. Yeah. That everyone should know.
Ryan Joyce: magicfestival.ca. Meeting time. That's what we blasted through the whole thing. It's all solved. It's like a Rubik's cube.
Graeme Reed: Are we allowed to talk about the whole lineup and everything?
Ryan Joyce: Oh yeah!
Graeme Reed: Can you, can we, yeah, is that real? Who wants to talk about it?
Ryan Joyce: So headliners wise, you mean.
Graeme Reed: Ya the two main shows, to the big main shows.
Ryan Joyce: Gala shows that we're going to do. A Friday night is going to be the Canadian gala show and that's going to feature a, I can't wait to see Carisa Hendricks,.
Peter Mennie: Lucy Darling. But that's her new stage name, Carisa Hendricks is her real name. But Lucy Darling is, Kay is the darling of, of the magic right now. And she's coming up, a Canadian. Yeah. Who else? Canadian. Jay Sankey.
Ryan Joyce: Jay Sankey He's, well, he's incredible. I mean, just close, who does doesn't know Jay Sankey?
Graeme Reed: And Canadian, uh, Paul Paul Rohmany, as you can tell I'm promoting Yeah. This is, this is how you spell magician in Canadian. So, you know, yeah. There you go. And a Canadian, Greg Frewin. Greg Frewin yeah, he's an up and comer from Niagara Falls. Right? I'm kidding. I'm kidding. Don't, don't listen to this. Uh, and then those of you probably, you don't know Greg Frewin is FISM grand champion from how many years ago? A his own show in Niagara Falls for ever,.
And he's got tigers and birds and, and, oh my, he is like, you know, master magician.
Ryan Joyce: He does it all. He does the, he, it does, it always.
Peter Mennie: Continued continuing to do it every Friday and Saturday night.
Ryan Joyce: That's right. What other magicians do you know, have their own theater? I mean, especially in Canada, I mean, wow. So that's the Friday night. Oh, wow. Oh Wow.
Peter Mennie: And the International Show is is, well Canadian-American Mike Close, .
Ryan Joyce: Illinois based. Right. That's where I believe he says home was, so he's definitely,.
Peter Mennie: Who else Stephen Bargatze taking time off from his son comedy tour. You know he opens for his son his, that's a cool idea. That's awesome. So cool. Dads going along on the tour just to make the sure of the son behaves. Warming up the crowd for his son who's the headliner.
Graeme Reed: Well, it also adds context to a lot of the jokes that he'll probably tell later on. Yeah.
Ryan Joyce: Yeah. We'll all the magicians will know. Like he'll be, it'll be like one big family.
Graeme Reed: He's also done magic conventions too, Nate. Yeah. Oh yeah.
Ryan Joyce: You've talked about him MagiFest. Yeah. That's great.
Peter Mennie: Yeah. But would you want your dad opening up for you?
Graeme Reed: Uh, sure. You know what? If depending on the, if I played at Ancaster town, I would get a lot of people to come just the same, but whatever my dad's doing.. Yeah. Right. Lift a car.
Ryan Joyce: See your dad is-- Your Dad's a teacher, so it's got, you've already got that kind of.
Graeme Reed: He's a gym teacher guys gym every day. So he would do like the strong man stuff. I bet you.
Ryan Joyce: My dad's an engineer and he was never in my life too. I know him ever being on stage.
Graeme Reed: So he would do one of those talks with the slides.
Ryan Joyce: Yeah. Well yeah, I don't think, God, I don't think anyone in my family would ever.
Peter Mennie: My dad would go play golf on the, if he was alive. Right.
Ryan Joyce: Right. On the international show. There's also Rick Merrill.
Peter Mennie: Rick Merill. Sharp act, sharpie act.
Ryan Joyce: Talk about proof that like seven minutes can change your life.
Graeme Reed: Yep. Right. Oh yeah.
Ryan Joyce: I mean this, I love, I've seen- Rick a handful of times and I just, he's so an incredible. That's, that's sparked my interest in what he's going to do. And we don't want to talk too much about what we're going to show is. so good.
Graeme Reed: Is nick Wallace from really far away a Canada again?
Ryan Joyce: Yeah. Steel town boy.
Peter Mennie: He's from AGT. He did a AGT.
Yup. And, uh, that's Anyone's Got Talent and, uh, sorry, I, you know, I maybe, maybe we should edit this fine. Sarcastic. I've eaten a I'm kidding. I'm kidding. Nick. Nick is great.
Graeme Reed: I've been cookies with Nick Wallace. You're really, yeah. Oh yeah. Oh that was quite the experience. I get to do that. I have, I went to a show and I have a keepsake box too. This are, have you ever seen a show at like a fringe or Hamilton. A stage show, but there's a whole thing that has this box and there's something inside the box and he teases it up and at the end of the show he gives you, and I was like the volunteer by random, which is fine cause that's when I first kind of met Nick too, was in a show, uh, you're allowed to disclose what's inside the box or keep it to yourself. And uh, I kept it to myself because I figured that's what sort of what's in the box. Like.
Ryan Joyce: Cookies.
Graeme Reed: Yeah. Yeah.
Peter Mennie: Cool. I love that concept. It was this finger, this finger. I love that concept cause I was,
I was a volunteer for John Allen. Those of you who don't know John Allen, he's the, he's the Silent Treatment guy
Ryan Joyce: Great.
Graeme Reed: Yeah.
Peter Mennie: And uh, yeah, I was, I was involved in his.
Ryan Joyce: Such a good piece.
Peter Mennie: Ambitious card or silent treatment
Ryan Joyce: Silent treatment. Silent treatment.
Well his ambitious card is called Schrodinger's card. Okay. You know, Schrodingers cat?
Graeme Reed: I know the concept of Schrodinger's cat, let's call shortage cart. Yeah,
Peter Mennie: because he, you know, he brought me up, I signed the card. You did all the ambitious card routines and moves and all that stuff. Brilliant. And then he reaches any does it doesn't move. And he reaches in and pulls out an envelope and he holds up the light and says your cards in the envelope or maybe not and you have a choice. Now you can open up the envelope and see if your cards in there. I'm telling you it is, but you can see if the cards in there or not. It's up to you. Now. If it's not, you're going to be really disappointed. I'm telling you. It is. And if you opened up and it's in there, then you just found proof. But all the mysteries gone. All the suspense has gone. It's up to you now and it's still on my bulletin board. Still sealed. I will never open it up. Cool. Leave that. That card is in there and I'm kind of ruin it. I don't care. Cause the entertainment value and the mystery was so cool.
Ryan Joyce: I think that's so fun.
Graeme Reed: Doesn't JJ Abrams have a tannins mystery, but my box of magic that has never opened yet. Oh Wow. And that's like the cause he likes the mystery but he loves it.
Peter Mennie: It's like twice. It's like $50 worth of material or $50 worth of props and tricks and whatever that he paid $25 for it and he doesn't want to know what's in there.
Graeme Reed: Yeah, I think it's done a ted talk on it or something.
Peter Mennie: Yeah, he does. He has any, here's a great segue cause I know we're going to segue into something else. Tannens was selling those mystery boxes at Magic Live. They're boxes with a big question mark. Yeah, they were. They really were. And, and I saw it like a whole bunch of magicians going down the escalator with these boxes. Sure. Yeah. And I was going, you can open it. And he goes, well of course I'm going to old, but it's like $50 worth of stuff in there for that. I paid just 12 bucks for it. I said, no, don't open it. Right. Why would you open it? You know, and believe it is a mystery.
Graeme Reed: Yeah. By two.
Peter Mennie: No, just leave it. and I tried to explain to them about JJ Abrams. I don't get it.
Ryan Joyce: I this is giving me an idea that I'll talk about it afterwards. Yeah. That's so fun. It is cool. It's fun to leave people with this. It's like the closest you could get to like a Choose Your Own Adventure live, ever.
Peter Mennie: Totally choose your own magic show. I think that's been done.
Graeme Reed: Um, but yeah, you are just, you are fresh from Vegas with the Vegas cough and everything.
Peter Mennie: Yeah. Don't talk to me about that there's, they say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Well this stupid thing, you should have stayed there. Ugh. Yeah, no, I got, I got a cold in Vegas and I were like manifested in Vegas.
Ryan Joyce: Oh you were just so ironic. It was probably 140 degrees.
Peter Mennie: Right. But I don't know, I never went out. Right.
Ryan Joyce: But it is when you, if that's the thing it would Vegas in August is like when you go outside it's like Bam. It's like, yeah, a sauna high. That's the outdoors.
Peter Mennie: Yeah. We went, we wanted to do, the Orleans has a little walkway between the food court and the in the registration desk is like, let's cut that way. Oh my God. Getting swimming through humidity and then aw, but it's better than the air inside the casino. Yeah. Talk amongst yourself.
Ryan Joyce: I'll, while you cough while you breathe it out. I got it. Just regale a quick story, cause I use my photo from last year's Magic Live is the ones that they retweeted, the New Orleans, The Orleans sorry, retweeted. Yeah. Yeah. I was so happy about it. I love, yeah, the hotel. Yeah. That's cool. So they, so when it wrapped, I said, I am scheduled a couple of posts and, and just said you know, I hope you've ever had a great time. And I included a couple of my favourite, cause I wouldn't up so early that in the morning it doesn't hit you like a wall when you go outside. It's so beautiful. We bunked together last year. So I went up and I was just grabbing some really great shots and so they used it. It was the one was so perfect because it's literally like the Marquis Empty I couldn't ever sell that because it's obviously like every day. But that's like a great shot for magicians to put their own not the right thing to do.
Peter Mennie: Totally steal that. Yeah, yeah.
Ryan Joyce: Yeah. So anyways, so Vegas 2.0.
Graeme Reed: Yeah. What was the theme of this year's Magic Live? Uh, it doesn't, there's always a theme, right? Wasn't last year as like ask questions now.
Peter Mennie: Oh crap, what was it this year?
Graeme Reed: I honestly usually get the.
Ryan Joyce: It was, you'll never remember the theme,.
Peter Mennie: oh Geez, I don't working like a work in progress. I can't remember the name of it, but, but the, they changed a few things this year. You didn't get, you got a book, like it was kinda, it was a program, but there was space for notes in the program. You can make your own. And the book was like a drafting book. Okay. He didn't get a free tee shirt. You didn't get that. You could choose between a, a, a backpack and a Duffel bag. I chose the backpack and a, is that nice? Yeah. Well it was actually ripped a little bit, but that's okay. There's left a little merch Right. Um, and uh, of course you've got the name tag and all that, that stuff. Uh, and, and the, the key card cool was cause it was all Magic Live out, but it was all kind of a, a drafting thing wasn't completed yet. And you didn't get your, no, you didn't get the notes every day. It was at the end. You've got an actual book of everything included.
Graeme Reed: Right. That's what they do in Magic Live right?
Well, they used to do it. They used to give it to you at the end of every day and then collect them. But they said, no, we're not doing it this time. We're only printing one with everything. Sure. Which was, you know, we had to wait. Okay. Um, and, and there wasn't really a, there was a general theme, I just don't remember what it was. But uh, you know, the, the Ted talks one morning was all on creativity and another one was kind of on a storytelling, which was really cool. Just the whole concept of putting stories into your magic and making it yours. I know you're really into that cause you think like video and you, you have that through like story stuff.
Ryan Joyce: Yeah. Well and it's a little bit more theatrical, so I enjoy that. But it's also like, just to reiterate, as long as this story doesn't add to just WEIGHT you know, like,
Peter Mennie: well for me it really, it really spoke to me and they gave you tools to work it because that's cool. I've tried to, my kids show Kinda of, it does have a story. It has a character story and I've had that for a while, but my, my corporate show, my new standup show has never had a through line. It's never really had, there are pieces that are connected and they work as units. But I see now a way that I can make it great. My story. That's great. Which is, you know what it's all about.
Ryan Joyce: You know what it does too is it makes selecting materials so much easier or at least so much more poignant.
Peter Mennie: Yeah. Cause you can look in, you can immediately look at it and go, that's going to fit or it's not going to fit right. Yeah. You can just count. Yep. And a, you know, when you walk around the dealer room, which is 17,000 square feet of toys, um,
Ryan Joyce: Was there a helicopter this year.
Yes. there, the Scorpion was there. That's fun. Um, the floating tables were there.
Graeme Reed: Like a helicopter illusion.
Peter Mennie: The appearing helicopter Mike Michael's appearing helicopter was there. Yeah. Is there, um, ProMystic was there with only, I mean everybody was there. Great. Great. Couple of new ones, which, which was interesting. Couple of, uh, new, uh, Michael Weber was there. Oh, one booth. He was selling his stuff. Oh Wow. Yeah. Which is, yeah, you, everybody goes, Michael Weber is actually pitching his stuff? Yeat it was cool. And, uh, Jonathan Levitt a brand new trick called The Stranger. It's a, it's an app on your phone. It's like we used to phone a friend who will tell you.
Graeme Reed: Yeah, Aaron Fisher was promoting that alive. Well, this conjuring community,.
Peter Mennie: This is kind of what it is. This is what it is, but it's an app that Levitt created. And he was there promoting it. Hense he wasn't, the emcee, the MC's were, were different. They used to be Julie Eng and Jonathan Levitt, but they rotated. Um, Steve Beam was one. Dan Harlan was another one. Uh, and I think it made it more fun cause they're not the, Jonathan and Julie aren't performers, but they were more moderators. I mean, uh, Steve Beam went out and he did 15 minutes of standup, which was killer, all about magicians and magic, like dug into stuff that was all in jokes. Right. And Harlan, just, he gave a really good talk on, on stuff. Uh, but the highlight I was telling you guys earlier for me, the highlight was the um, uh, the closeup. I mean, you book in your book into two fairly decent acts. I won't say who they were cause it's not fair. Uh, you don't know who I am. And they were good acts there. You know, one of them is a friend of mine, but uh, to put Henry Evans at the start and to, to hit a close with Dani DaOrtis, my mind just went at the end of that show. It was that good. I couldn't, I couldn't believe it. I, you know, I'd fly across the world to see your Dani DaOrtis. Now if I can afford it. He's that good. Right.
Ryan Joyce: I'm trying to think. You've ever seen him live? I mean it seemed like bought his DVDs.
Peter Mennie: Yeah. It's not the same.
Ryan Joyce: No.
Graeme Reed: He's going to be at MagiFest this year Ohio next year.
Peter Mennie: We got to bring them up for oh wow. Dude,.
Ryan Joyce: That would be fun. Can you imagine? That'd be fun.
Peter Mennie: You'd get magicians coming from all over the world to that. Well, they would probably be a FISM dude.
Ryan Joyce: That would be fun. Um,.
Peter Mennie: Yeah, that way. And it was neat too because they did a, they did a cabaret show, which I liked. Um, I mean that's the style now that I really gravitate to is just one person, small suitcase,
don't we all? Yeah. I mean, I love the illusions, I love working for you when you do the boxes, but I would never,.
Ryan Joyce: I don't like working for me when we do the boxes.
Peter Mennie: Okay. Let me, let me rephrase it. I don't like working for you when we do the boxes, but um, you know, I didn't mind you've yet to do them, but uh, you know, when you build them and you rehearse them and I hate the rehearsal process. I hate it. You like it, but I don't like creation of the routine for an illusion or do you? I don't know.
Ryan Joyce: It's tough. Well, it's, so it's a skill that doesn't, is not sharp anymore. Yeah. But yeah, I don't know. I enjoy, I enjoyed working. We would do it together. We would do it with four of us. I would do the bulk of it in my own head first and then collaborate and then be influenced. So it's a group thing. That's what I liked about it.
Peter Mennie: When you walk on stage and, and you're working out of your pockets for 300 people, that's what, you know, or you worked for 1500 people with you.
Ryan Joyce: Same set up. Yeah. And that's the thing, 300 1500 is it's the same. Yeah.
Peter Mennie: Yeah. I can't work for 15. I think my maximum is probably three.
Ryan Joyce: I included the camera in that equation
Peter Mennie: We talked about, I, I won't, but uh, um, not that I can, but I just, I just don't like it. But Guy Hollingworth you know, his, his whole act was so compact and so efficient and just brilliant. Just, you know, it's sleight of hand was not, not the Korean, this kind of stuff, but cards everywhere. It was elegant and slow and deliberate and really good. And then Jade, who I, I've never actually, I think I've seen your life before, but she came on and did 10 minutes of her thumb tie.
Ryan Joyce: Great. Oh, she asked. She's incredible. Yeah.
Peter Mennie: And it was just, that's it. She comes on, she's wearing an elegant dress and she's got two twist types or whatever. The Zip ties. Yeah. And I, and a big sword, actually, no, it wasn't sorry, it was a pole.
Graeme Reed: It's an like a bo staff kind of thing.
Peter Mennie: It's a pole. Yeah.
Yup. Great. And two volunteers. Yeah. And that's the act. That's great. And it's brilliant entertainment and uh, I didn't know. I loved that. And then there were other standout acts too, like Mario the Maker Magician, we know.
Ryan Joyce: Oh, Mario. Yes. So good. I cannot wait to, it's destined to meet him at some point. It can wait.
Peter Mennie: He's just, he's just so super, super cool. He did his, uh, he did a little lecture as well by his show. Was talking about yourselves. this will go on.
Ryan Joyce: Well, let me ask you why you're recovering. So last year, like one of the real standout knock out performers was seeing Ding Yang, who is, I guess working with Greg too? Was there, was there someone like that this year?
Peter Mennie: Um, well Dani DaOrtiz, but, uh,
Ryan Joyce: Ding Yang was so unique cause she was such a surprise. No one knew what was coming. I mean Greg knew, cause he had been working with her for
Peter Mennie: The surprise this year I think was an, I don't know his name, I could look it up in the program, but I don't have it. Um, he was a kind of a Victorian renaissance kind of an act, a smoky, he part of a show that kind of bridges the gap between backstage and onstage. It was, it was a weird concept that worked in some. Yeah. But the onstage persona, his Uh, he started out with a book and, and a pipe. So there was smoke coming out of this pipe and it was more of a mirror shot, So it was like a, uh, what do you call them? The Sherlock Holmes kind of pipe. Uh, but it would disappear. The book disappeared. Uh, I can't begin to describe it, but slow, deliberate. You would use the smoke has been a misdirection, but also a way to make things vanish. And if you can imagine he had a watch or a clock about Yay big. And it started down about here and as it floated, it actually turned over and as it turned over, it just disappeared in mid air. There was no covering. Obviously he didn't do this with his hands. It just went and, and the magicians went bananas.
Ryan Joyce: It would have been a great moment.
Peter Mennie: Oh, it was the, that was the only one. He did a lot of that kind of stuff.
Ryan Joyce: The one amazing thing about it? It's seeing amazing magic with a room full of magicians. Like the energy in the room is just beyond what you're going to find anywhere. You can't, you just can't match that. Yeah. Oh, it's so good.
Peter Mennie: And of course the bonus this year was we didn't get a zebra.
Ryan Joyce: Oh, right. Oh, I forgot about that from my,.
Peter Mennie: Well, I know I shouldn't, I shouldn't say that. We did get zebra. The opening party was, uh, was it how the, we was a costume party and Jason England game dresses zebra. Oh, that's so fun. Yeah, it was. It was awesome. Yeah. You can bring it back full circle, which is kind of cool. Uh, Lucy, Darling, Carisa Hendricks was a stage manager for Magic Live Yeah. And I didn't realize that she just did. I just heard the name. You said Carisa Would you mind it? I would see. Oh really? That's right. Yeah. Cool. She just got back from, from overseas and flew right into Vegas stage manager.
Ryan Joyce: Wow, she must be, I feel her pain.
Peter Mennie: I hope. I hope I live up to her expectations cause I get to stage manage her when she shows up.
Ryan Joyce: Yes It's going to be great. We'll see. We've got to see if we can connect with some, we've got to see if we connect yeah, let's, let's chat with them and see if they'll talk to us on, on the podcast. Yeah, that'll be fun.
Peter Mennie: And you want to talk about something else? Totally.
Ryan Joyce: Well yeah. Just real quick to wrap up to your, your Magic Live. So what would you say, cause you've been full time pretty much. I mean you've had other jobs where magic is the only thing you've really done for the last 20 plus years.
Peter Mennie: 45. So.
Ryan Joyce: What did you learn? What would you say the to maybe one or two takeaways maybe from the, as a whole, from the convention?
Peter Mennie: Well, the biggest takeaway was the, it was this whole concept of story. There's for me, you know, it's, it's nice to watch that and then have someone explain it to you and how important that is. And they give you the tools. Cause that's, that's another thing. You could sit back and go, how do I, how do I make this work and how do I, how do I join segway and how do I make it? And now I think I can, I think I can see a, a beginning and an end. And now you've got to try and bring the two together. Because it's, I'm at a point in my career where it's about who I am through what I do know as a, as a performer, I can't sing worth crap. So I wouldn't be a singer. You know, I can't tell my story in music the best. Yeah. So I chose magic, but you know, and another reason I use Magic Live is, um, and this is something for me. I don't, I don't know whether it's the same for your, your, your young pop. I mean, you would doing it, we said 20 years, but still.
Graeme Reed: Well, yeah, but like professionally.
Peter Mennie: Only like look at six months. Oh, you're such a virgin.
Ryan Joyce: Um, you know, don't forget he looks 12, but yeah, that's true.
Peter Mennie: He's still, he's like only 22 but.
Ryan Joyce: On the inside he's like 70 the reverse. Yeah.
Graeme Reed: We all TV industry. Yeah, no, I know.
Peter Mennie: Hey, I, I feel free, man. I learned that Shit, dude. Oh, sorry. Podcast. Um,.
Ryan Joyce: Shit. Peter's stop.
Peter Mennie: I don't give a (bleep) what i say.
Ryan Joyce: I have a topic.
Peter Mennie: Oh No, I'm just gonna wrap it up. Say what? I said, you know, I lost the magic Mojo over a while. I, you know, you do it a lot and then once you, yeah, and once your, and this, this is the thing that happens once you stop performing for the love of performing and you realize you have to make it your living, your whole, the whole dynamic of how you present yourself and how you think about you, your industry changes. Okay? Because you've got to eat based on what you do. You can't just do anything. You're not, I did a whole lecture on this, but you're not an artist. You're a businessman and it's hard. Well, once you make that jump, it's hard to give back. So why do you go? You know, you don't find joy in, in, you know, magic as an industry. You know what? I see magic on TV. It's like, Nah, I'd rather watch Survivor. You know, it didn't used to be like that. I used to crave all the new magic that it was on TV, but now I don't. People ask me if I watch AGT. I don't, my friends are on all watch that. But then right past, I don't care. So I go to Magic Live to get the Mojo back.
Ryan Joyce: Yeah, I agree with you. I feel you.
I feel all of that. Mine's slightly different. Mine, I feel it was killed from travel. Just eroded my love of magic but not, I still love magic. That's the thing is I love magic, I love doing, I love performing it. Yeah. But the like we just, there's elements of it that are really tough. And I was charged after Magic Live too cause the same thing.
Peter Mennie: Things have changed. I just recently just do a podcast from Rick Thomas, which is really cool. Rick, Rick is a guy that I'd love to sit down and just be around them for awhile. I've only known him superficially. He actually came in one year to the Western Fair and took my job away from me because the lady who hired me for like 15 years of, I'm going to go with someone new and it was Rick Thomas.
Ryan Joyce: Did he bring tigers?
Peter Mennie: No but he brought his wife. Um, but that guy busted his ass. He's full illusions. Like he had a Table of Death that he had to move from stage to stage. Whoa. Y'All. Yeah. And I, you know, one, one afternoon I'm watching the stage hands actually push this thing through the sun to get to the other stage. Cause you had to do a show like it was, it was insane. Uh, but he was before his Vegas days when he said something interesting. He's always grateful for one more show that that's his moniker has changed. You know, it changed over the years, but in the last few years that's what he lives for. It's, he's just grateful every day that he can get up and do one more show and it's Kinda effected, you know what I'm thinking about in the last little while, I've got a few shows coming up and I'm just grateful that I have them not, you know, they're there. It doesn't matter who they're for or whatever. It's just one more opportunity to get out there and try to do something.
Ryan Joyce: yeah. Cause once you're bitten, it's, it's over. I mean you've got to keep performing. You have to keep, yeah,.
Graeme Reed: Yeah, yeah. Just have to, if I can get some time somewhere and do some magic like yeah, for sure.
Peter Mennie: Yeah. Well you're lucky cause you go to restaurants, you, you, you get a chance to get up and try to do a trick 20 times a night. Yeah. I'll be lucky if I can do the same trick 20 times a year.
Graeme Reed: Well this summer too I started doing farmer's markets. Yeah. And uh, it was the same. It's the same kind of thing. And I basically just bring the restaurant to the farmer's market I guess. Like you have tables set up and.
Peter Mennie: You don't get paid for that. You just do it.
Graeme Reed: I do. So it's different for every market that I've been doing. Some markets pay and I busk at all of them so I have a tip can there. yeah. I never do a hat line though. The tip can just stays there. I think this is like the Chris Capehart idea. I do just have the tip bucket there. Yup. He does do a hat line I think sometimes, but basically I just kind of, it's a sidewalk shows that people come by and through a couple of tricks. Yup. We'll practice all that new stuff. It's kind of a day, it's a different environment, but it's also like awesome performance experience.
Peter Mennie: It's great to have that opportunity to do. And when I do restaurants like it was great cause you know every night I can get up there and get up there and do it now you know I go through the toy story, magic Live and I said that's a great trick. That's a great trick. That's a great trick. What am I going to buy it? Because I'll never use it. It's not not a personality thing. It's not there won't fit in the act, but I'd love to sit there and practice that, but unless I have a place to perform it, it's just magical masturbation, which is stupid for sure. Yeah. I don't need that. Right.
Ryan Joyce: Yeah. At some point the your beaker of knowledge is full and you don't, you want to acquire and obtain it, but it's not like you're absorbing and taking on like it was. You just can't keep up at that rate. Then the beaker overflows and then you've settled on the ones that you really liked the most and then you Polish those
Peter Mennie: and then you start throwing up stuff out. You know, every year I'm purging stuff. I don't know. I haven't used it. You haven't used it in two or three years. It's probably not going to go into your act, but you can't part with it because, oh, I just love the prop. I might use it again eventually. Yeah. Or maybe dead by the time.
Graeme Reed: Maybe I'll be inspired to use the appearing card castle Sure, yeah. Right.
Ryan Joyce: Yeah. Confidence as a performer. Where does it come from? Because that's the thing is like that invisible layer. It's not like you can like here is all of the confidence I have today. Oh Shit. six of them. It's like, Whoa, where'd you create that? And it's just like, it's that, that part that you feel right now that you know, you could go out and do it. You just literally maintain that straight through. Right through past the point you don't think you can do it anymore. You keep holding that idea. It's like a blind ignorance is what confidence is.
Peter Mennie: You know what? I think there's that old saying, you fake it until you make it, um, you fake confidence in it. It just happens. When I used to run the kids theater company, um, back then the kids got really nervous about it, about performing and these are new kids. You know, they're, they're teenagers and young teenagers and they'd say, I'm, I'm really nervous. What are you nervous about? Well, can I get to perform in front of the audience. I said, well, you gotta realize that everybody out there wants to see what you have to do. They, they already are anticipating you're going to be good. Now there's nervousness. There's, there's anxiety. I mean, I get anxiety that's different. Okay. I mean there's, there's performance you throw up before they walk on stage. That's anxiety. That's their stomach just going nuts. Yeah.
Ryan Joyce: These are like big lover performers too. That's everybody.
Peter Mennie: Huge. Yeah. Yeah.
Graeme Reed: Everyone has been, I think everyone needs that or you're, or you're going to have a bad show or.
Peter Mennie: Not necessarily. There's, well there's anxiety. Yeah. And then there's nerves. Shit. Nerve. Yeah. okay. And then they manifest themselve kind of the same way. Um, I think get rid of to do, to, to achieve confidence. First of all, you have to know your material. Cold.
Ryan Joyce: And the environment.
Peter Mennie: And the environment. Yes. And there's control the environment too. I mean you walk in and you say, okay, I've got confidence on it on a cruise ship stage or you know, in front of the a hundred kids. Right. I know I can command that room or you know, you can come in that room. I'd be out of my element in the first week or so on a cruise ship stage cause I haven't performed in front of 1500 people and there's a lot riding on the performing for 1500 people. I make one mistake, I have lost my contract. Great. I make one mistake in front of a bunch of kids. May the parents go pick them up and leave or different thing, but the confidence comes from a lot of performing. Knowing your material, knowing your environment.
Ryan Joyce: He gets choked up about this is so powerful.
Peter Mennie: You gotta realize (cough) invited me to do this podcast. it's your sugar free. Damn. Werther's. anyways, here's the thing. When when you get to a certain point in your career, every audience that you're going to work for has chosen to be there in front of you as opposed to when you're busking and you're saying, come over here. I'm worthy of it. Okay? It's a different dynamic. Okay. When you have to entice an audience to come over here and convince them that you're going to be good for something that you had yet to do, is different than they already assume that you're good and they have chosen or that you're confident that they have chosen of the to give up their time to watch you do what you're going to do. Right. Once you understand that then you just deliver. And we got to realize too that you're not going to entertain 100% of the people that are sitting in front of you. That's not the reality of it. Um,.
Ryan Joyce: So much harder earlier on.
Graeme Reed: A lot of it comes in to stage time, right? Yeah. Get over these humps And I think it's, I in my mind, I've always thought about it like Guitar Hero, like in Guitar Hero, you start off in a garage band, you move up, like your venue grows and grows and that's the same thing as magically. You start off with smaller shows and they get bigger and bigger and event. You tackle these things and I feel like you, you like this, like notches on a belt that you kind of achieve and you can, you get the confidence in that. It's like I think I can tackle another room and do more things like that to me. Yeah.
Peter Mennie: Yeah. Um, and I think it's also, uh, something had happened to me over the last few years is that I, I used to worry about, I, I'd have it recorded introduction. I'd walk on stage going to, it was a bit of a joke, like it was a treatment. There was a joke built into the induction and I walk on stage and then, you know, "Hi, I'm here and you know, et Cetera, let's do something really cool." And they would look at me like, "who the hell are you?" You just interrupted my night. Now, that was in a lot of corporate work. And you really have, you kind of have to sell yourself to the corporate world because they're not there to be entertained. They're there to get drunk and dance and you know, you're interrupting that process. Some, some are different. But what I, what I changed is I got the CEO to introduce me, which is something I learned from our friend Steve Seguin. He, I don't have a prerecorded introduction. Now I get them. And this is something I also learned from David Hira. He said, get the most important person in the room to introduce you. That's number one. Okay? So you walk on with an air of confidence because the most important guy just said your good. Right? Okay. It's the dynamic between the audience. And the other thing I did was I stood there and I stand there and I let them take me in. Now, I know there's a lot, a lot of people who live on both sides saying that you should walk on, you do something really powerful and magical right away. I know you've talked about this in a previous podcast. You come on, you don't say anything in the first 30 seconds, and because you got too many other things going on, you do your newspaper tears, Great piece of magic. Then you take your breath, right? You take your breath after that, it's all done very. Um, for me, I can't do that. I walk on and of course you were essentially street closed when you perform. I got this jacket that I'm going to glow in the dark with. Right. Everybody has to look at.
Ryan Joyce: It doesn't by glow and dark, like neon things.
Peter Mennie: Yes. I go backstage and people just shake me up and now, yeah.
Ryan Joyce: As he was walking down the hall, like Neon chiropractors tracks a lot. 90 cheat. Yeah. Yeah. Quick. I got to go on stage. yeah, there's a routine in here. I'm just saying.
Peter Mennie: This is the edited part of me. That's okay. That's why we're here. It's fun. It is fun. Said I take it out. I can take a breather. I let the audience take me in. I talked to them. Why are you doing, you know, I was meal, et Cetera, et cetera. There's nothing, and I slowly build into it, but also my character slowly builds into it, so it's unsure and then all of a sudden I hit them between the eyes with a piece of magic.
Right. And it is an arc you've got to break. No. What are your instinct? And yet these are the outtakes.
Ryan Joyce: I rarely get giggle fit, so I'm like, half of these, like I got a record deal that I'm like, Shit, man, this is great.
Graeme Reed: Oh, it wasn't even funny. Like coughing until let's your voice just start again. And that was the money. I'm sorry.
Peter Mennie: Oh my gosh. Okay. We can do it over. Pixels are free. It's a lot, huh?
Ryan Joyce: The takeaway is like, I just exactly was, I've avoided like I made mistakes in my own, my own part of it. You know, we're never going to be perfect. You're always going to make mistakes. And the thing is you just minimize the gaps in between as you get older.
And it's, it's how you can handle those mistakes, right? If You screw up who cares? right. Know that that's a confidence thing too.
Graeme Reed: I think it Juan Tamariz, but I think Juan said it, that if you screw up, you learn. Maybe you told me this, you learned something that day.
Peter Mennie: I never try. I always succeed. So, uh, you know, you try, I don't try to do something. There's always a, there's always a learning. There's something I learned because of it, you know, if you try align it right. It's funny now, now that I'm trying to get a little bit more standup stuff into it now, I'm not trying to do stand up comedy, but I'm trying to put some jokes into the act. Sure. I have a great deal of confidence now in throwing a line in just to see if it lands and if it doesn't land, I don't care because I've got some good solid magic to back it up. Right? Yeah. Yeah. And, and uh, I've also, the audience is your friend. Okay. There's a lot more confidence Yeah. Yeah. Right. It's not added to adversarial. You're taking them on this journey. There's nothing to, and, and I've also learned that if I have any adversaries in the audience, you can leave
Ryan Joyce: Yeah. We build it up in our own old brain. That's what it is. It's the little demons in our own brain. And, and if you just work hard enough at it, you'll win. So, yeah, that's, I think that's pretty fair. I mean, can just push through it. I mean, the truth is, is all those cliched statements you see on the Youtubes, if you need to listen to it, listen to it, do whatever it takes, because those can have really changed your state. It's about the state of mind. And sometimes we put ourselves into a bad state.
Peter Mennie: And so what if you die.
Graeme Reed: Well, and the whole point is that what makes someone more of a professional than not is like you have a crappy show. You continue to do it again and again and you'll still have crappy shows and you'll keep doing it anyhow. You don't get discouraged and then you just continue to do it.
Peter Mennie: Wake up in the morning, you start all over again, you know you die. It's funny. Dying on stage does not mean you're dead.
Ryan Joyce: But it's what's weird and we should, we'll leave it on on this as like it does affect you. Like we all, I 100% can relate to the feelings after a bad show like we all have and they linger. If you don't, you'd be having a bad show and then you go a couple of days, you can impact you. So the feelings are real and we want all of those and they're all justified. But you can maximize those successes by, by just keeping at it and doing it as much as you can and try not to put yourself into this state.
Well, let's end it there. That's good. Okay. All right. We'll end it there.
Before I start coughing. Magicians versus a cough.
Graeme Reed: Uh, sharing the podcast with all your friends. If you guys do magic, share with some magic friends. Subscribe. Good. Check out the, OWOW Magic Festival.
Peter Mennie: Stay healthy!