"In the beginning, there was nothing"
It seems somewhat poignant to mark the first blank page with this quote.
Not just because I'm inviting you to join a new story as I start my journey along this road (which will probably be largely inhibited by traffic - bloody jeepneys!) but because with Philippines being such a Catholic country, and myself being decidedly not-Catholic, I wonder how the perception of magic here will be defined by people's beliefs.
Filipinos are the first to admit that they are very superstitious. They readily believe in Ghosts (mumòs) and a terrifying sounding man-eating vampire thing, capable of severing its upper torso and sprouting huge bat-like wings to fly into the night in search of its victims (Manananggal).
When I perform magic in the UK, I'm careful to not leave any doubt that what I am doing is NOT a magical power. It is a learned skill. I believe that this makes the performance more amazing. If I can use skill and psychology to trick your mind, then that is fascinating and curious. If I could really summon a spirit I would probably do a hell of a lot more in this world than just card tricks.
That said, I have met some local magicians that make a point of styling themselves to make their audiences believe they actually possess powers. They are actively fraudulent. But it makes them a living.
Who knows where my ethical position will get me. This time next week I may have given up and be a spiritualism medium, asking my congregation to buy me a private jet.
Anyway, the story starts here.
I find myself in Manila, with over 10 years of professional performing experience behind me, and I'm starting from scratch. Why? (I've noticed that Filipinos love asking themselves a question that they immediately answer)
To most Filipinos, magic is:
1) for kids
2) cheesy stage shows
3) doves, rabbits & top hats
This is the trinity of perceptions I am NOT looking to associate with.
So, in short, here starts my mission to show the wonderful people of these 7,000 islands what modern magic can look like. How it can make you re-think the way you perceive the world and how it can do so much more than producing 15 startled looking doves, while wearing a suspiciously poorly-fitting, bulky-looking tail coat.
Join my campaign and I'll keep you updated on how it's going.
Or don't. See if I care.