Thursday, 24 September 2009
Character Profile - Man
The man is aged between forty and fifty and has lived in London his whole life. His parents were artists and used to row a lot; he turned to magic as an escape from reality. Although he did badly in school, he was a talented actor and a great performer. At twenty, after winning a local talent contest with his magic tricks, the young man was asked to perform for a local TV station and this led to various shows and appearances, including a guest spot on the Des O’Connor show. That night he wore a white suit and put on a spectacular show - it was to be the peak of his career.
As the popularity for TV magicians diminished, the man found it increasingly difficult to find work. He would perform at weddings and office Christmas parties where he would be ridiculed and his magic unappreciated. He found a job as a Magician at Butlins and eventually worked his way onto the slightly more glamorous stage of Centre Parks- it was around this time that he started turning to drink for comfort. Soon drinking began to have an effect on his performance and he was fired from Centre Parks after he failed to turn up to a couple of shows. He took a job at Pontins but became very depressed and once again found himself unemployed when eventually they took an aversion to his crying and urinating during performances.
He moved back to London after being contacted by an old friend who had a job designing tricks for 'Marvin's Magic'. His friend hooked him up with a job at Hamley's as an in-house magician performing and promoting 'Marvin's Magic' tricks. The man was popular with the children and stuck at the job for almost a year, gradually weaning himself off the booze. Then, in 1997 David Blaine made his first television appearance and became a star overnight. This was the final straw.
Outraged by this new “sexy” brand of “street” magic, the man fell back into his old drinking habits. Bitter and disillusioned, he soon began using his podium in the popular toy shop to make drunken speeches about televised magic and David Blaines obvious use of camera tricks. One day, after making a bottle of Jack Daniels disappear in front of a group of stunned children, the man produced an effigy of David Blaine and set it on fire in the middle of the shop. The result was two fire engines and immediate dismissal.
Twelve years later he has given up the search for work. He refuses to read newspapers or watch television because he believes the world is full of ignorant people. He is effectively detached from society. He no longer performs magic - his escape is now a two litre bottle of White Lightning. His actions are slow and repetitive, he wants as little social interaction as possible and although he is aware of his alcoholism, he doesn’t see it as destructive. It’s a way of switching off his thoughts and it makes the days go quicker.