"Magical" Thinking

Monday, February 20, 2012

I recently came across an inspiring blog post by magician Brian Brushwood, who, fourteen years ago, asked Teller for career advice and learned something so valuable that he decided to pass it on. The below is just an excerpt from a very good email reply that the young man, still struggling to create his own professional identity, received after he "happened upon Teller's email address, and in a fit of frustration-induced bravery, wrote" him:

Now, calm down.  Remind yourself of a few things.

I am 47.  I have been earning my living in show business for twenty years.  I have been doing magic since I was five, which makes it 42 years.  And I had the good fortune to (a) meet Penn and (b) become an off-Broadway hit at the exact right moment in time.

When we started we HAD no style, no understanding of ourselves or what we were doing.  We had feelings, vague ones, a sense of what we liked, maybe, but no unified point of view, not even a real way to express our partnership.  We fought constantly and expected to break up every other week.  But we did have a few things, things I think you might profit from knowing:

We loved what we did.  More than anything.  More than sex.  Absolutely.
As I often say, read the whole thing, including Brushwood's backstory. It's as amusing as the advice is solid, encouraging, and universally applicable.

-- CAV

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