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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » I'll never meet Cellini (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

MVoss
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So, this started as part of a reply I was making to a post by Eric Evans about a series of YouTube videos he is putting together. But the more I thought about it, the more I felt like it was a broader topic. Maybe it's just late at night and I'm into just enough Riesling to be nostalgic for lives I've never lived, but I have a thought I'd like to share.

I'll never be able to meet Cellini.

That being said, in some small way I can experience him. By watching the things he filmed, reading his writing, and listening to people talk about him. In that way, until the world ends, he is eternal. But I wonder, how many people who didn't get in videos, or write books, are lost to this community, forever, every year? lot of street performers never made videos, they never wrote books, and all the knowledge they had ended with them. Or if they passed it on, maybe it didn't leave the next person. I'm not just talking about knowledge in a practical sense, but also the stories, the history, the essence of the people and the times. What makes me truly sad is the thought of all the stories I'll never get to hear because the people that know them, didn't pass them on. All the lessons I'll never learn, all the jokes I'll never get a chance to laugh at.

Jimmy's Blog, Eric's videos, posts from Gallagher, Nala's videos, all the content here and around the web, all of these things, are gifts to the future. We can only build a better future when we have the past. Isn't that what all of this is about? Getting better, sharing?

I guess my point then comes in two parts, a thank you, and a request.

First the thank you. So thank you to all the people here and around this community who try and record their thoughts for the future. I appreciate the effort made to preserve not just these ideas, but these people, for me, and for everyone that comes after me. It's not easy, but it means a lot. It's important work.

Second the request. Right now, in this moment in time, saving memories is easier than it ever has been. Filming has never been easier, and uploading things to the internet is essentially free. It has never been easier to save the history of a community than it is right now. If you have something to share please share it. If you can find a way to sell it you totally should, I'm not asking for hand outs. I just want the information preserved. The stories, the jokes, the culture, and the history.

Someday will we all be gone. Maybe there will be no magicians, no street performers. But, if the information exists, if it is out there, it can be the spark that lights someones imagination aflame like it did for me. Like it did for all of us once.

I apologize for the schmaltz. But I just wanted to say thanks, and encourage people to think about the future.
drmolarmagic
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Thanks for the thoughts....all too true and...all good ideas
Bruce
epoptika
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Nice piece.
My mother was a lifelong letter writer, starting as a teenager. When she died, at 92, she left mountains of letters from penpals around the globe, from decades long past. Fascinating stories from the lives of people long dead.
epoptika
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Now that the art of letter writing is largely dead I wonder how future historians will write their histories?
gallagher
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What a beautiful Post.

"....it can be the spark that lights someones imagination aflame like it did for me. Like it did for all of us once."

What a thought.
It made me hair stand up.
Really.
...and I'm half bald.

Thanks MVoss.
MVoss
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Thanks for he kind words. As for future historians, I suppose they will go by social media accounts, which terrifies me. Lol
MaxfieldsMagic
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Scott Joplin is one of my favorite composers, so I've read a few books about his life. For someone so famous, there are a lot of holes in the record. But one thing several mention is that there was one particular guy who wrote and played piano rags at the same time who was very, very good. Some folks said he was better than Joplin. However, unlike Joplin, he couldn't read or write music. He lived and died before audio recording, when music had to be written down to survive. So, his music died with him, same as if it never existed.

MVoss is so right - great art needs to be preserved for posterity.
Now appearing nightly in my basement.
MVoss
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As an aside, Joplin is so good. Rare to find people that enjoy ragtime these days, bravo.
rabbitok
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I started busking in 1979 (!) at Covent Garden, and was fortunate to have spent time with Cellini, he was great fun to hang out with, the final time was for the Zurich Theaterfest Fringe in 1995 and he must have had a 200 person edge for each and every show, a great performer and I count myself very fortunate to have enjoyed his company ...
Dick Oslund
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Hi! MVoss! I haven't seen you 'around' for some time! I remember exchanging several posts with you, perhaps 3 or 4 years ago. I like very much your post, above.

I broke in the business in a carnival side show, in the mid '40s. It was a fascinating experience. The most fun was the 'jackpot' sessions in the grab joint, over coffee, after the rides and shows were shut down for the night, and, the old carnies would begin talking about their experiences! If you've ever read 'Step Right Up' by Dan Mannix, you will understand and appreciate just how wonderful were those stories, told by men who had lived them!

When I got into performing full time, I quickly found that the old pro's, would have 'jackpot' sessions, too. Magicians like D0RNY, AL FLOSS0, et al, could easily fill an hour or more with fabulous stories, without a prop in their hands! Jay Marshall grew up in the Boston, New York area, and KNEW the old vaudevillians. He was 'full' of history!

When I was ready to retire, after about 50 years on the road. Jon Racherbaumer kvetched me into telling some of the stories, especially those related to my field (Lyceum). It took 5 years to tell only a sampling of the history! Because magicians won't buy a book without at least some tricks, I wrote up the tricks and routines that I had used successfully. Mostly, I wrote up the PRESENTATIONS, because I mainly did the classics.

I'm pleased that so many magicians have bought my 'magnum opus'.

Sandy Marshall, Jay's son, has written a beautiful book about Jay, Al Flosso's 'bio' has been nicely written by Gary R. Brown. Michael Claxton wrote a whole book about Dell O'Dell. "Inside Magic" (I can't remember the author, but, I've read his story of the big illusionists 0f the '20s & '30s). I've only 'scratched the surface'. (Try GOOGLING!)
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
MVoss
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Hahaha, yes, our first conversation was about the old Tripe and Keister. I love history like this, I'll need to gt a copy of your book. Thanks for committing some of your stories to paper.
Dick Oslund
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I'll PM you!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Chuck Finley
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You'll never meet Cellini and I'll never smoke weed with Willie again...
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