Tuesday, April 26, 2011

life is like...

Beds of nails, shoes of nails, hook swinging, coal walking, tongue, cheek piercing, bodily mortification in general used to annoy the British so much, that they banned most of these from Hindu temples when they were trying to run India. There are of course lots of jokes about the bed of nails and it's really only funny until you're the guy who has to lie on one. Which I have to do. In less than a month. So I was out in the gym after 9:30pm last night and I will be in a yoga class at 9:30am this morning. From my point of view, the biggest problem with Indian magic is that there is no trick to it. You lie on a bed of nails or you swallow a sword or needles, or a burning hot coal (there must be a trick there but I don't know it as yet...) I once met a magician named Samjunath Lalnath Wadi whose show-stopping trick is to produce a live snake and a live scorpion from his mouth. He was teaching his son the act and I was able to get a video of the act in case his son decides on a more practical way to earn a living. It is a great act that I'm sure PETA will prevent you from ever seeing in America, but I'm not too worried about scorpion rights and my star sign is scorpio! The problem, from a performer's point of view, is that you have to put live snakes and scorpions into your mouth at some point before you magically produce them. But this is the reason that Indian magic is so amazing: people really do some strange stuff in India. Even today in that land of call centers and computer programmers and mega shopping malls, you can still find a few little wonderful bits of real magic. And to save you the time, effort, expense and trouble, I have spent most of my youth finding, watching, and learning Indian magic, and will present the results to you right here in the comfort of a lovely 1913 music hall. Aren't you lucky? It's me who will be lying on the nail bed.

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