Privileges of a Street Performer

Over there! It’s happening here! — Just about to start!
Magic show, it’s good, I know I’ve seen it before!

These are just a couple of lines I have used to gain the attention of the passing public when I start a street show.

Street theatre is an art form I simply love — more so — Magical Street Theatre, changing people’s lives who simply had no plans at all to watch a show. Then, they find themselves unexpectedly watching my show. I have seen faces hardened by the worries of life soften and break into a smile and, if just for those moments, they forget the worries of their world. If I see that, then I know I am performing my art.

There are more privileges that come with Street Theatre; one of which is the ability to travel, from city to city, country to country, and be meeting people wherever you go. When folks walk through my show and are set on being a distraction, standing there, yelling something or other, I remind myself that no one invited me to be there. I am just exercising my right as a human being and expressing myself. I recognize that my heckler and I have this in common — no one invited us. You see — to smile, to aim to embrace even the harshest distractions; this is my art. I strive to win people over, to educate, and most importantly, leave my audiences with a positive magical experience that they won’t ever forget.

These precious privileges of a street performer create magical moments that continue to change my own life, and to bring life’s great surprises. Veronica is quite simply the best thing that has ever happened to me. In 2006, I met Veronica in her hometown of Edinburgh, Scotland. I knew then my life had just changed and a wonderful journey was about to begin. In 2009, we had a magical wedding on a beach in Vancouver in front of Inushuk (a North American Indian landmark). We incorporated Indian prayers together with our vows in the presence of fine company. For the last four years we have traveled throughout Europe, often living in an RV. Life is a magical adventure.

Each year we travel back to my home city, Cardiff (the capital of Wales), and run The School of Busking — a School I founded in 2006. I can safely say it is a privilege to be involved with students in this capacity. I never dreamt that the doors would open as they have for me to teach around the world as I do now.

Another great privilege is to teach alongside some of the best performers in the world. Recently, in 2010,as part of an international tour, I had the opportunity to work with Jeff McBride at McBride’s Magic and Mystery School in Las Vegas. The focus of the weekend was Street Magic and I was there to teach the art of Street Theatre. I was not prepared for how much I would learn by working alongside Jeff. The sincerity of Jeff and Abigail is wonderful. My whole outlook on Magic has never been the same since. In addition, the students were great; I feel I have made great friends. I am now part of the teaching faculty of McBride’s Magic and Mystery School, and am looking forward to returning to Las Vegas to teach and perform in 2011. I also look forward to spending time with friends.

A great privilege was given to me in March 2011. I was given a lifetime honorary membership by “Club Arte Magica” in Milano. It was given to me for services to Magic while on a lecture tour in Italy. I was then told that this was a rare honor, and I was deeply moved.

I want to leave you with what I consider a gem, a street performer’s secret weapon — Curiosity. As a street performer, I want to create curiosity in the passing public. If they are curious they are twice as likely to stop and watch my show. Here lies the gem  — In curiosity lies magical wonder. I often hear a child ask me “Mr., what are you doing?” I never answer with an explanation but rather a demonstration, perhaps I will say “WATCH…” and right there is the door hinged to a magical world! Their question is not born out of confusion, rather curiosity has got the better of them and now they cannot contain themselves any longer and break their silence to ask! My aim is to have my whole audience gripped with the power of curiosity. On the streets their eyes are wide open and they are leaning forward. The saying “sitting on the edge of their seat” stems from curiosity.

As Magicians, the art of creating curiosity should be our aim in all that we do and therefore create more magical moments in people’s lives and in our own.

Mario Morris

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