Are great magicians born or trained?
We come from noble magic blood (although slightly anemic) and yet we cannot claim equality with our father, Li’l Tom Hardy (“America’s Most Entertaining Psychic Performer”), or grandfather Thomas Hardy II, and certainly not the scion, and according to some court records, the father of the entire line of Hardy Magicians, Tommy Hardy, “The World’s Magic Ambassador.”
Then, of course, the proud history of the Blackstones, Bambergs, Wilsons, Hermanns, and Wilsons and Weiss families.
Why do we ask, you ask.
Jolyon Jenkins, a BBC reporter, hoped to learn how to be a street magician despite having no training, experience, or lineage in the craft.
At least he chose a great teacher for this particular aspect of our great performing art.
“The man is Gazzo, a legend among street magicians, and at Cardiff’s ‘School of Busking’ he’s teaching 20 would-be performers the arcane arts of attracting a crowd,” she reports.
Gazzo tells his students they can “make twice the average income from street magic but most people just love the thought of earning money from their hobby.”
How did Mr. Jenkins do?
Gazzo gives him the straight dope. “Your character wasn’t defined, you wouldn’t keep a crowd on the streets. I don’t want to make you feel bad but I’m just going to tell you the truth, it was not very good.”
In fact, the school is so tough, they tell the reporter he cannot join his classmates to perform on the real streets for real audiences.
“Not everybody becomes a busker as a result of the school,” he says. “Busking is a calling – but long term it’s not yours. You haven’t even got a crowd build” – a method to attract people in. Teach me a crowd build, I say. He takes me out the back and shows me his technique but then says it’s his act and I can’t use it. I’m flummoxed.”
“Flummoxed” is British for something that people don’t want to be, we think.
Read the full article at the BBC web site.
You can listen to the story as it was presented on BBC radio here.