I've not gone crazy just yet... but it won't be long. That's a joke, I'm fine, but I do need a ramble, both physical and verbal, so here we go...
Doing comedy and magic for a living is a strange occupation, but boy is it addictive and it is I believe, a universal truth that we never realise how much we miss something until it is taken away from us. I never realised how much I would miss getting up on stage and trying to be funny. I love comedy, I love magic and I love making people laugh and amazing them. I am very lucky that I get to do that, or that I did, because in case you have been on mars for the last few months, live entertainment as we know it has been halted by a poorly bat in China. OK, It's slightly more serious than that so google it, even though all my shows are cancelled, it's still not my job to be serious.
When will it all happen again? Who knows? My first solo theatre tour "Against the Odd", an ironic title now, it seems, has been rescheduled from September, (yes new dates are on my website!) I suppose that's when the theatres are hoping that we might be back to some sort of 'normal' but as I said, who knows? I certainly don't think I will be doing much performance wise before September but we are in.... yes I have to say it.... 'unprecedented times'. In the meantime I am trying to be productive. Everywhere that could be tidied has been tidied. I'm catching up on reading and trying to write. I'm even getting to watch all those great TV series that people have nagged me to watch for the last few decades. Apart from missing physical contact with family and friends I am quite enjoying the challenge of it all.
I have resisted the temptation to reinvent myself as an online performer or teacher, I'm not sure it's where I would shine, I'm more of a live interactive kinda guy . I don't judge the many magicians who have done so, we are a strange bunch that survive on attention and reaction. Also I am not aware of their circumstances and maybe they need to do it financially or just for their own mental wellbeing and that's fine, I think, so long as they try maintain their own standards and don't just reveal our secrets in an attempt to get that attention. I'll continue to do the odd online interview and might post the odd trick or song on the ukulele but you won't be seeing the John Archer youtube masterclass anytime soon.
Of course social media is both a blessing and a curse right now. So useful to keep in touch with everyone but awash with a multitude of strange theories and opinions. I'm trying to keep it all light but the urge to jump into somebodies post and shout 'IDIOT' is never far away.... and breath, slowly, in and out... ah that's better.
They say that a drowning man, indeed a drowning woman or a drowning non gender specific person sees their life flash before them as they drown. Without wanting to sound too dramatic, I have felt a little bit like that with this lockdown. I've remembered lots about how I started in this crazy business and where the comedy magic life has taken me. I have pondered why I miss the stage so much, what is important and what is not, I have thought about my kids and my grandkids and wished for nothing more than to just be in the same room as them. I have talked a lot to friends on a screen, some of whom I hadn't spoken to for a while. I have stood outside my door and have given a standing ovation to strangers who never got 'in it' for the applause. It's made me realise the obvious. Life is good, maybe not for everyone and maybe not all the time, but for me, life is good and maybe it's nice to let some other people get the applause for a while.
I'll be back eventually, maybe not bigger, better or stronger (actually I may well be bigger), but I will be back.
That's it, I'm off for a walk.... Stay safe! :-)