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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » My Café Experience (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

michaelmystic2003
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I'm not exactly sure why I feel compelled to write this post now, or at all, but here it goes.

When I was 13 years old, I joined this forum. I'd been performing and loving magic for a few years before that, but I started to take it seriously then and had been advised to get on The Magic Café and become part of the community.

I met a lot of wonderful people here: Some supportive and fine artists who I consider friends and colleagues today. I was also met with as many people who were the opposite.

I look back at my participation on these forums 8 years ago and cringe at a lot... I was undeniably ambitious, arrogant, persistent, obnoxious. But it was passion that drove all of that. I wanted to go too far too fast because I loved magic so, so much. I wanted to create magic, I wanted to buy every book, I wanted to do lectures. I was 13, but my reach felt limitless. And hey, I was a kid. I found something to be passionate about. That's a gift.

In response to everything, I was treated rather horrifically. I know others here have been as well, and in my personal experience, it was often too much. What some members called 'tough love' I now call mean-spirited cowardice. I recall being in tears a lot. I recall getting temporarily banned from these forums for loving magic too much. I had energy bursting at the seams. I had a lot, a LOT to learn. I still do.

Some people guided me with a gentle hand. Others didn't just offer harsh words of criticism, they attacked me personally. I was made fun of for my appearance, my weight, my voice, my technical abilities, my creative spirit. I look back and wish I had the perspective I have now, as a 21 year old adult. I wish I could have known how to deal with what was thrown my way. I can hardly believe I persisted through that storm. I kept posting. I kept being mocked and shot down. I kept posting. I was bullied in real life for being ambitious. I'd come to a place like this, a community of people like me, and continue to be bullied. For a while, there was no way out.

Now? My love of magic translated into a deep love of theatre. I'm currently in one of the best acting conservatories in the province, studying acting, physical theatre performance, and collective creation. I'm proud to say that I'm now an award-winning playwright and director of the theatre: http://playwrightsguild.ca/playwright/michael-kras

And I still do magic. I still love it. And more importantly, through these past few of the hardest years of my life, I have found myself. But it took a while. And things like my experience on this forum affected that. In a big way.

This post is not to shame anybody here. It is not to vent my feelings. It is more or less to make a plea: Please make sure no one that joins this forum is ever treated as someone like me was. Though I pushed through, it affected me in significant ways. Young people are still moulding and shaping, finding their way, and our words have a bigger impact on them than we could ever realize.

I'm devoting my career as a theatre maker to creating work that reaches a young audience: Teenagers, young adults, etc. They need a voice that understands them. They need to be given enough space to grow into what they need to grow into. How dare anyone stifle a young person's voice, body, imagination?

It makes me sad to imagine that another passionate young artist may have to endure something like I, and other young members here, have endured. And all I ask is that you give, or continue to give, them everything you can. Listen to them, really listen. Encourage. Love. It will go a long way.
Follow Michael Kras on Twitter! http://www.twitter.com/KrasMagic

Check out The Kras Change at Vanishing Inc Magic! http://www.vanishingincmagic.com/magic-downloads/ebooks/kras-change/
Dannydoyle
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Michael it is great to see your passion come through and to find something you are doing bring you so much joy.

Good for you to create a place for a young person to act out as young people do. That is after all what young people do. Everything has a time and place. That sounds like a good time and place for it.

There are no reasons for personal attacks about weight or voice no matter how petulant a 13 year old is being. You pushing through that at only a teenager probably makes you more adult than those doing it.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
michaelmystic2003
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Thanks so much Danny. I still hold on to the copy of 13 Steps to Mentalism you sent me a long time ago. Those kind of gestures remind me of why The Café is, above all, really a great, great place.
Follow Michael Kras on Twitter! http://www.twitter.com/KrasMagic

Check out The Kras Change at Vanishing Inc Magic! http://www.vanishingincmagic.com/magic-downloads/ebooks/kras-change/
Dannydoyle
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Shhhhh. Nobody thinks I am nice. It needs to be a secret or my PM box gets full!

Also good on you for taking what could have been a bad experience and turning it into something positive for others. And not going the....ya know serial killer route!

By the way one day you will find a young magician who needs a kind gesture. Use the bok to pay it forward. Pretty soon we are living in a better world. You have already started that process.

Always remember one man can make a difference. Something tells me you will.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
tommy
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"The More We Learn The Less We Know For Sure." - T. Sheridan
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
landmark
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Congratulations Michael on finding your niche. Max Maven once said something like, "The objective of a serious magician is to transcend the reason they got into magic as a young person in the first place." Very perceptive, I think.
James FX
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Hi Michael, it's been many years but I can still recall being new to the Café and reading those harsh, horribly critical and attacking posts you refer to. The responses you received caused me to never want to participate in discussions. I felt that if I were to share my thoughts, ideas, or heaven forbid- my talent with this group, persecution of me would likely would follow. Healthy criticism is one thing, but the downright bullying you endured was just mean spirited. Anyhow, fast forward, I don't let anyone's negativity hold me back any longer, and I'm glad to see that you don't either Michael. Life's too short my friend; be you.
stoneunhinged
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Michael, I am proud of you, as you probably know from Facebook. You are a talented young man with a wonderful future in front of you.

That said, while I understand your sentiment, I think that the pain you experienced is normal in today's world. Young people jump into the Internet with extreme enthusiasm, but seem not to realize how large the Internet is. In a forum like this one, there are intelligent people, stupid people, pompous idiots, predators, potential friends, people with political/social/sexual agendas, and people who are generally sick and twisted but hide among those who are not sick and twisted but share the same hobby.

At 21 you feel hurt by some of the things that were said here. At 31 you'll probably wonder why you even cared. At 41 you will re-visit it and re-evaluate your experience. At 51 you will have mostly forgotten about it. At 61 you will start to feel nostalgic about it. And so on.

Yes, we didn't always laugh with you; we laughed AT you. But you were funny, and your exploits were funny, and we are, after all, adults. Some young kid comes into the bar and gets a lot of ribbing. It happens.

Thanks for your post.

Now go back and write a play about your experience here and the whole Frenches fiasco. Be proud, but be humble. Live life large and don't look back.

Your friend,
Magic Santa
Dannydoyle
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The internet is a strange animal, as Jeff hints at.

When you grew up with no reference as to life without it, things can be tricky. More so when dealing with people who came into the internet once they had personalities. When I started in magic it was only brick buildings that held the secrets. So when you showed upas a 13 year old there was a way you acted, and things you did and didn't say or do.

When you got to be whatever age eventually your opinions were challenged. You were not so nicely guided to the obvious truths. The actual human interaction was something you benefited from.

Now being firm or grouchy was one thing. Once it devolved into personal attacks about things then the person making those was up to be talked with and it stopped. Somehow it is easier with a keyboard and a nameless faceless avatar. Michael ALWAYS had the courage to tell everyone exactly who he was.

Somehow I think this type of forum helps, sometimes not so much. Helps our art I am saying. I am glad that every thought I had when I was 19 about performance has not been chronicled forever in the threads of the internet magic forums.

But for many this is their only exposure to magic as an art. It is a brave new world. I for one do not communicate any differently in life or online. Probably not the best plan but it is what it is. I for one am happy Michael managed to push past. The arts will be better off for it.

It is often said comedy is pain plus time. In my life I have run a pretty tight turn around on some things but it is true. Keep moving forward. Good fortune.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
LobowolfXXX
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I KNEW Stone was really Magic Santa!!!
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
Mr. Mystoffelees
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A wake-up call to society! You should do well, sir- kudos!
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
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