Raphus Cucullatus

September 24, 2018

 

Those of you who know me even a little bit, know that I dive deep into the things for which I have a passion. This blog is going to be a diversion from the normal magic talk that I am usually spewing here. I thought instead, I would talk to you, briefly about one of my passions. 

 

When I was in Highschool, I was a dreadful student. The topics didn’t interest me, teachers at my particular school didn’t have the time of day for students who didn’t catch, throw, swing at, or play with balls, so I found myself somewhat on my own. I would spend a lot of time looking into things I enjoyed, learning about theatre, magic, airplanes and other topics that I found fascinating.  It was through a website called stumble upon (that is now very different from what it used to be) that I came across an article from the New Yorker. After reading about this fascinating expedition and about the Oxford Dodo, I was hooked. 

 

 

 

That same day, I went through a handful of articles, looked at some images, tried to draw my own pictures of the birds and the skeletons. I even looked up to see if I could purchase a skeleton for my very own or even a model kit that I could put together myself. Sadly, I could not...

 

After months of infatuation and research I happened upon a TED talk given by one of my personal heroes, Adam Savage. His lecture was titled “My Obsession with Objects and the Stories They Tell” in this ted talk, he discusses his fixation on the dodo bird skeleton specifically. He used a picture in his slide show that had been in my digital collection for over a year now and this, accompanied by his extreme excitement and dedication to his projects, re-lit the fire I had for the dodo bird. 

 

I devoured everything I could find on the Dodo bird, articles, video clips, Books, images, Games! Everything that I had available to me. THEN! The most amazing thing happened. 

 

By this time I was out of high school and into my university years. Studying topics that I found to be of personal interest. Under professors who cared about all their students (not just those who fondled balls). I had access to a brand new data base of books and peer reviewed literature through the university libraries and I was taking full advantage of all of it. Then a study trip came up. I decided I would go. We were in London England for ten days and had the opportunity to see a bunch of great theatre, take part in some amazing workshops and tour the cities beautiful museums and art galleries. 

 

 

 

As I stood in the grandiose lobby of the natural history museum and stared at my facility map. I noticed a small ornithological hallway. And one of the silhouettes that was on the map to show the type of things you might find in the hall was that of a Dodo bird. I exclaimed to my travel companions that we MUST head to the hall of birds and we rushed off to see this fascinating specimen. I teared up as I got closer and closer to the end of the hall where this dodo was said to be. And there, behind a sheet of glass, stood two of the most magnificent things I have ever seen in my entire life. I was literally so nervous to have my picture taken with them I was sweating. This caused me to hold my arms out funny so I wouldn’t smell terrible for the rest of the day! That is something I will remember for the rest of my life. 

 

Now. I know I said I wasn’t going to talk about magic in this entry. But I have to a tiny bit. That feeling of nervousness that I had, the excitement I felt, the jitters and anticipation that I felt about the Dodo birds, well That’s exactly the feeling I had when I was introduced and experiencing magic for the first time. I strive to create those feelings for my audiences in hopes that they will leave my shows happy, interested, and as astonished as I am when I am introduced to my new interests. 

 

Until Next week, 

Ben   

 

  

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