I can’t believe it’s been close to four years since I added a blog post to this website! It’s not that I went anywhere, it’s just that my attention has been elsewhere. Other avenues have been explored, life situations have changed, and the website just didn’t seem relevant for a while. My communications with folks have narrowed to a closer circle. Social media gets a lot less attention from me these days, other than to update distant friends on my latest major developments. This website was maintained financially, but not practically, mainly serving the purpose of an internet business card. You know, when someone asks if you have a website, you’re taken more seriously if you can answer “yes”.
The Pandemic of 2020 effectively shut down the world for about a year, and since then things have been gradually ramping back up. There was a lot of time to think about future direction, and I experienced some changes in perspective. I made a decision about fan conventions as they were starting up again, which was that they cost me more than they were benefitting me, so I haven’t been to one in four years. I miss the costume contests and the opportunities to meet pop culture celebrities, but to be honest I never really grew an audience for my brand of entertainment in that environment. Now the only kind of conventions I seek out are the ones for working entertainers, where the focus is more on improving my act and my business, and not on getting autographs and selfies from TV actors. (Although I’m rather proud of some of the selfies I’ve snagged with magicians and ventriloquists I look up to!)
If you’re revisiting my website after seeing it in previous years, you may recognize that the emphasis of my creative world is not as much on wizards and dragons, although those fantasy elements will always be in the mix. Where we used to call it, “Flabbergast Wizard”, it’s now “Flabbergast & Friends”. They love me at fairy festivals and Harry Potter-themed events, but that’s a limited niche. And quite frankly, I got called Dumbledore one too many times when I wasn’t trying to be Dumbledore, and it’s just not worth the time to explain that there were a lot of wizards who looked like that long before J.K. Rowling ever typed a manuscript. I’m sure she would agree.
So now Flabbergast is not the name of a wizard who looks like Dumbledore, (or Gandalf, for the even less wizard-hip). Rather, Flabbergast is my magician name, and the “& Friends” refers to other characters I can play in my themed magic performances, as well as the puppet characters who accompany me. I am still more than ready to perform as Dumbledore when it fits the theme of the event. Likewise, I can be Obi-Wan Kenobi for Star Wars, Doctor Strange for Marvel, Santa for Christmas, etc. My main character, though, is the 19th Century conjurer as might have graced the stages or streets of Victorian England. His name? The Amazing… Flabbergast!
Another difference is that I am no longer a full-time special educator doing magic shows as a side hustle. Instead, I am receiving retirement benefits and working to build my self-employed status as a professional entertainer! Hence, I am back to updating my website as well as my GigSalad page and my YouTube channel! Probably the biggest development in the world of Flabbergast & Friends is that I have begun performing at nursing homes around the DMV area, and I love it! I’m looking forward to doing more shows for kids this year, but I’m actually feeling really good about entertaining seniors as well. 2024 is promising to be an exciting year of new opportunities!
How about you? Are you planning an event or program this year that could really use a whimsical, wonderful stand-up comic magician/puppeteer to liven things up? Zip on over to my Contact page and let me know about it! Keep visiting, and watch for more news as my “Friends” and I grow!