This is my favourite photo of Keith. In it, I see the performer he's becoming. The lighting creates a feeling of mystery, a theatricality, a raising of the ordinary. He's reaching out to take a card from an audience member, his eyes focused, highlighting his personal connection to the audience. The moment captures the face of the man - which is rare as like me, he has the challenge of looking much younger than he actually is. (It's great once you reach thirty but until then it's a huge pain in the butt.)
It's this photo that I'm using as the image of what I want Absolute Magic to be. (I hope you'll be coming to see it.)
It's an interesting process in that it's a collaboration. Like working with Rusa on Harper Girl, I don't get the final say. My job is to guide the artist into becoming the best expression of themselves. I have ideas - some of which Keith has been completely on board with while others just didn't feel authentic to him. Which is fine. His authenticity is what makes him stand out as a magician and a speaker and that quality is the thing I most want to preserve. I hold the space for him to be more vulnerable. I hold the vision of what the show can be. He puts the pieces in place.
I was remarking to Kent (remember him? The founder of Umbrella Talks and co-writer here?) today that this way of working suits me.
Doing theatre is always a growth process for everyone involved but this show is a nexus for both of us. He has talked about wanting to open doors of opportunity. This is one of those for him. For me, working with him has given me the catalyst to take the next step. I've been in preparation mode for a long time and this show has brought this new way of being from concept to reality.
And we open in 5 days!