Friday, August 28, 2020

Always have a plan B... seriously... Always!

 

 

By Rockin' Eco Hero - Steve Trash®

 

Of all the variety artists, magicians are the most endangered.  They have a sort of death wish.

Musicians can hit a wrong note, and the audience forgives them.  They don’t start booing and throwing stuff. 

A film’s pace can slow down and lose our interest a bit, but we tend to just keep watching to the end anyway. 

A comedian can tell one joke that doesn’t kill, and it was still an excellent show.

But magic shows? Magic shows are different. 

You mess up a trick, and the audience is unlikely to forgive you.

Did you get that? 

Magicians screw up, and they think we’re totally lame! 

That’s a lot of pressure, so the best way to NOT be totally lame is to always have a Plan B, so there is no mess-up. You need a way out. You need a Plan B.

No matter how flawlessly you rehearse stuff, life is gonna get in the way. 

You gotta have an “out” for everything because stuff just happens. Threads break. A kid yells that it’s in the other hand, and it really IS in the other hand. Crew members fall asleep during the show. Your suitcase is in Oklahoma, but your show is in New Jersey. The volunteer you choose to help on stage with your mind reading act speaks no English. Your music stops working during the show. There is no orange juice in the entire county – and it’s a major part of your opening effect. The only access to the stage is up a narrow flight of stairs, and you’re supposed to perform Jim Steinmeyer’s Origami Illusion.

Working pros know there must always be a Plan B.

The thing I’ve discovered, over the years, is how working pros tend to look less at how awesome this upcoming show is going to be, how magical the audience response will be, how fantastic meeting all those new people will be, how fantastic they’ll feel after “slaying the audience” – and instead focus on how many obstacles will pop up to keep their performances from being an A++.

A++ is obviously what we’re all shooting for, but experience tells us that even when we’re prepared, the ugly demon-head of chance pops up and BAM ... Now you better have a plan to deal with it. 

They call it Murphy’s Law because it’s a law. The adage goes, "Anything that can go wrong will eventually go wrong.” The best way to deal with this law is to know your routines, know your shows backward and forward, and then use your imagination to imagine the worst.

This doesn’t just apply to magicians; it’s true for all entertainers. So imagine the worst thing going wrong and develop an “out” that gets you back into “good graces” with your audience. If you mess up, or a trick goes wrong, sometimes your response can be as easy as laughing and saying, “Well, that didn’t go like I expected.” 

This can take a total disaster and turn it around in a very good way. The audience sees that you screwed up, but they also see you don’t take yourself that seriously, you’re full of good humor, and they LOVE you for that. 

You might have even messed up on purpose; they simply don’t know, and to them, it doesn’t matter. That’s powerful stuff.

Having a good Plan B is important. 

Plan A is, of course, know your material, be amazing, and don’t screw up – but Plan B is to have a way to bring the audience back to you. 

 

by Rockin' Eco Hero - Steve Trash®

Want to be SO UNIQUE in the marketplace they HAVE to ask for you?  You can, but you've got to find YOUR light bulb first.    www.findingyourlightbulb.com 

 

Thursday, August 13, 2020

A message to kids from Steve Trash during this COVID 19 Pandemic

 
 
This PSA will being airing on Alabama Public Television in the next couple of days. Please consider personalizing and sharing this message with your children, grandchildren, or any child you love and care about. Kids need to... KNOW... that there are many smart people out there working to keep them safe. Rewrite the message in your own words and then just wrap your arms around them and let them know. "They are safe. They are loved. They will be fine. We got this." Thanks Alabama Public Television for supporting this message. #kidhealth #psa #kids #donotbeafraid #pbs #sweethomealabama #love #nofear #imadethis #wegotthis Jamie Kiel
 
 

by Rockin' Eco Hero - Steve Trash®

Want to be SO UNIQUE in the marketplace they HAVE to ask for you?  You can, but you've got to find YOUR light bulb first.    www.findingyourlightbulb.com   
 

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Make You Laugh (or at least giggle)




One of the sweetest sounds in the universe is laughter.  

My favorite would be the laughter of children, but truly, any old laughter will do.  Interestingly, many (or most) of the magic routines I create actually end in laughter.  The trick itself can sometimes (even if it's super magical) elicit a laugh.  It's really my favorite ending.  Laughter is good for your body, mind, and soul.  It doesn't cost anything and it usually lifts your spirits.  

So here are a few silly - PHOTOSHOP - pics (a friend did these for me) that I hope will make you laugh (or at least giggle).  

Enjoy. 

Written by Rockin' Eco Hero - Steve Trash® 

Want to be SO UNIQUE in the marketplace they HAVE to ask for you? You can, but you've got to find YOUR light bulb first. www.findingyourlightbulb.com    

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Thursday, June 25, 2020

The best way to learn to be a show business success is probably to learn from someone who's actually done it...


Wooooooohooooooo! FINDING YOUR LIGHT BULB - has been sent off to the publisher and the PRINT version is scheduled to go on sale - July 1, 2020. https://www.renaissancevalleybooks.com/finding-your-lightbu… Thank you to The Art Goddess for "working up" so many drafts that her fingers began to bleed (not really but she was an amazing trouper and we did many many many drafts).

I'd also like to thank my editor Alison McFerrin James (also the editor of The Franklin County Times), who tirelessly went over my run-on sentences, my inability to use any form of correct punctuation and organizing the beehive of conflicting ideas that I brought to the page. Thanks Alison!
But it's done, and I could NOT be more excited.
I really really really wanted to create a book that would help journeymen, journeywomen, or journeypersons have the success in show business that I've had. I believe I've done that, AND I believe the principles that I share will get anyone that's willing to work at it, to where they want to go in this wacky world I inhabit... show business.

The path to that place, runs smack-dab through FINDING YOUR LIGHT BULB. Actually, the path runs through - YOU - finding - YOUR light bulb - and that's EXACTLY what my book is about. Helping you find it.

QUICK BACKSTORY - Several years ago I was asked to create a lecture for my friend Mark Daniel at KAX-KIDABRA in Los Angeles, so I did. It was a terrific experience. I made some AMAZING friends and the lecture came off quite well. There were things that I wasn't able to "drill-down-on" in the lecture and still felt like I had more to say, so along came John Abrams.
John asked me to be a part of his podcast THE VARIETY ARTIST.

So I did. John and I talked for a long time about my FINDING YOUR LIGHT BULB ideas, concepts, and philosophy of show business success. He's a good interviewer and we got to drill down even deeper. He's been kind enough to provide the link to this archived interview. Want to start down the path of show business success? I suggest you start with this interview on The Variety Podcast.

https://podcasts.apple.com/…/variety-artist-jo…/id1364779136

Once my interview with John was concluded, I realized that I needed to put these ideas into book form. I felt that anyone could use the principles and get themselves to where they really wanted to go, so I started writing. I wrote and wrote and wrote.

We finished editing and reediting it yesterday. Yeah... yesterday! I am so excited about this.

If you are a working pro (magician, puppeteer, ventriloquist, clown, artist, juggler, musician, storyteller), I believe my book can help you get more satisfaction out of your career and move you to the next level (if that's what you want). If you're just starting out in show business, this book can help you find your north star... ie... find your light bulb.

Here's a link to the Renaissance Publishing site too. I'm super happy to be partnered with them on this project. The book is going to look good and be a real asset to anyone that wants to build a meaningful career in showbiz.

 
 

by Rockin' Eco Hero - Steve Trash®

Want to be SO UNIQUE in the marketplace they HAVE to ask for you?  You can, but you've got to find YOUR light bulb first.    www.findingyourlightbulb.com  

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Saturday, April 11, 2020

Have children write reverse Santa Letter


by Rockin' Eco Hero - Steve Trash 

Parents – got a house full of kids? Consider giving this “home school” assignment to them.

It works on MANY different levels. It’s a writing, drawing, spelling, art, empathy, civics, social studies, science, research assignment, all rolled into one. Have the kids write and send a “reverse Santa letter.”

Instead of asking Santa for something, they can give something instead.

In this case, it’s a letter of appreciation to a hospital medical staff. Your amazing kid can research, write, edit, draw, address, stamp and then mail a letter of love and appreciation to medical professionals who are on the front lines of the current pandemic.

It’s rough out there right now, and it’s only going to get worse. They need encouragement. They need love. They need us to let them know we support them and love them, and we have their backs.

Doctors, nurses, medical techs and even the custodians and cafeteria workers are seriously in the middle of it right now, and everyone on the front lines will appreciate love from the kids who are thinking about them.

Choose a hometown hospital or send your letters and drawings to a hospital in one of the cities in the USA – we’re all Americans – that have been hardest hit, like NYC, LA, New Orleans, Chicago and Detroit.

My suggestion is to address it this way:
Name of Hospital
Attention: Medical Heroes
Address
City, State
Zip Code

Kids might consider using phrases like, “Thank you heroes” or “You totally rock” or “You are my hero.” Other suggestions might be “You are brave,” “We love you,” “I love you” and “Thank you.”

Your kids can draw pictures of appreciation, write words of thanks, cut and paste their gratitude – whatever. Just let your kid show appreciation and support for the courage our friends all across America are showing.

Be sure to have your child sign it but only use their first name. That’s enough.
Then go mail that “care package.” Do it today. You’ll be glad you did.

by Rockin' Eco Hero - Steve Trash 

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Baseball has been good to me


by Rockin' Eco Hero - Steve Trash

I've loved baseball ever since I was a kid. It's in my blood.

It's in my family blood. My dad was a crazy fast pitcher – Southpaw, as we used to say, meaning left handed pitcher – and he would hit the ball out of the park on a very regular basis. He's been gone since 1977, but I can still see his swing – and subsequent launch of the ball into the stratosphere – in my mind.

It's an easy memory to recall. It was magic. It makes me smile just to think of it.

My love of him and of "ball" runs deep. To this day the only two movies that can consistently make me cry like a little baby are “The Natural” and "Field of Dreams.”

Baseball taught me many things: Individualism. Hard work. Teamwork. Courage. Cleverness. Sportsmanship. Strategy. Grit.
 
I actually see "being American" much like I see the game of baseball. There is no game unless you stand at bat, all by yourself, with no one to help. You gotta do your part.  Hit the ball. Run the bases. Score runs as often as possible.

But the "rugged individualism" of being "the batter" is only half the game. The other half is being in the field, working together with teammates. It's teamwork.  No one person can win a baseball game alone. It's impossible!  Can you imagine one person trying to pitch, then catch, then field, then chase the runner around the bases to get them out? No – of course not. It's a silly thought.

It's silly because half the game is working with the team.

In baseball you have to think, work together, anticipate the needs of other players. You have to be a team and work together or you cannot win.

This sometimes takes sacrifice. You can’t selfishly “showboat” and expect to win. It just won’t work. 

Winning takes both halves.

Baseball is THE American game because it’s how America wins. Sometimes we are individuals at bat. Other times we are working with the team.
 
Sometimes we are cooperating. Other times we think of nothing but ourselves.

Sometimes we put our ego aside to win. Other times we are totally selfishly focused on what we want to do.

It takes both to win the game.

Baseball’s popularity has been surpassed in recent years by football and basketball, but it's still the American game because the game of baseball is how the "game of life" is played in America.

The game is the game, and to win you have to do both – stand alone and work as a team.

Sometimes we Americans forget this.

Sometimes we forget half the game is played in the field, working together with our teammates.  Maybe this is because the “at bat” is so lonely and scary. There seems to be no one to help us.  There is no safety net. No one helps.

We become so self-involved that we forget what is actually making the game possible. It’s the team. 
Right now, we are Team America, and we have to work together. We have to work as a team to get through this thing.

Think of others. Reduce the risk of infecting others. Stop arguing with your teammates. Help others when you can. Try to anticipate the needs of your teammates. Focus on winning. 

Focus on the team.

Also – try to stay well yourself. We are in this game to win. We are in this game together.

Team America... we got this.



By Rockin' Eco Hero Steve Trash

Monday, April 6, 2020

Stop those lily pads from doubling


by Rockin' Eco Hero - Steve Trash 

I’ve decided I’m going do a future episode of STEVE TRASH SCIENCE – my PBS kids science show – on exponential growth. It’s a math concept, and it’s become obvious to me that many people don’t really understand it. 

The reason amusement parks have closed, NCAA March Madness has been cancelled, Disney is shuttered, universities have closed, lots of major sports events have been mothballed and all our local schools are going virtual through the end of the school year – is exponential growth. 

As far as we know, this virus – which has no cure as of yet and can range from mild to deadly – can be transmitted only person to person, and it seems to be highly contagious.

Well ... so what?

Math, that’s what. Exponential growth math is what. 


Imagine a pond. If lily pads – representing new virus cases – in the pond double in number every day, and it takes 24 days to fill the pond, what day would the pond be half full? 

What day? 

Yeah, you don’t hardly even see the lily pads taking over the pond for 22 whole days. Even at day 18, the pond doesn’t look that covered up with lily pads. 

Did you get that? On day 23, it’s only half full – plenty of time. But no – it’s doubling everyday.
 That means on day 24 the pond is covered with lily pads. 

The quicker you stop the lily pads from doubling, the fewer lily pads will fill the pond.

Stopping the spread is going to be very economically painful for tons of folks, myself included, but it’s smart.
So many of my excellent journeyman entertainer friends and gig economy friends – who work their butts off – as well as restaurants, hardware stores and more are really going be hurt by this. 

Seriously, I believe America doesn’t understand how close all these hard–working Americans – musicians, magicians, comics and frankly all “gig” economy folks – are to the edge of the financial cliff, and this is going to be dang hard on them, but there’s NO choice. 

We’ve got to stop the lily pads from doubling. It’s math. 

PS: I suggest you not get your information about this disease from social media. The best sources will be https://www.cdc.gov/  or https://www.nih.gov

Hunker down. Don’t spread it. Don’t get infected. Don’t panic.

Send love and support to the front-line healthcare workers doing the work. To my mind, this is heroic work. Let’s nip this thing and come out the other side.


This is America. When the chips are down – we come through.


Much love to you all. 


Steve :)