Wine combined with wizardry the following day as I provided conjuring and calligraphy for guests at a tasting for wine enthusiasts. I have found that many enjoy the novelty of quill and ink calligraphy in a world of automated printing. I enjoy bringing it to them at events in the form of quotes, charms and even writing out “fortunes”. We followed this early evening fun with a formal performance of Water Wizard, my show about our planet’s most precious resource. It was fitting to share water magic with a group of winelovers!
This summer also marked the launch of Green Magic, a column I will be writing monthly for magicians in The Linking Ring magazine. Changing the world with enviromagic is something I hope many other magicians will do with the advice and suggestions I provide in this column. Our world needs more green magic!
Sharing MAGITRICITY with attendees at the Connecticut Science Center
Legend, folktale, fantasy novel and magic-themed epic movie all agree:
It will not be an old wizard who saves the world. It is the role of old wizards to help the younger heroes of these stories to do that job.
Merlin schools young King Arthur.
Gandalf guides Bilbo & Frodo.
Dumbledore trains Harry Potter.
Following this tradition I seek to enchant, educate and empower my audiences so that they have the confidence, knowledge and skills to protect our planet.
Let us work together!
I am offering a number of enviromagic shows this year!
All shows are suitable, or adaptable, for audiences of any age:
MAGITRICITY introduces the basics of energy and climate change. It teaches that everyone has the power to save energy, save money and save the planet. It began as a companion piece to an exhibit on climate change at the Yale Peabody Museum.
WATER WIZARD WATER WIZARD uses Vegas-level water magic to share important information on conserving and protecting our planet’s most precious resource. It incorporates the master level wizardry that my teacher, Master Magician Jeff McBride, used to best Penn & Teller on their TV show “Fool Us.”
RECYCLING IS MAGICRECYCLING IS MAGIC has been my mainstay show for more than 15 years. In a story of monsters, magic & too much trash, a wandering wizard learns that recycling is the best magic to cure the woes of a village beset by messy ogres.
LITTLE FAIRIES, BIG MAGIC
LITTLE FAIRIES, BIG MAGIC teaches the importance of humans, animals (and fairies) sharing wilderness. It was created for fairy festivals but succeeds in providing its fun and important message in all settings.
RESOURCERY presents environmental magic and environmental learning on a variety of topics in a TED Talk fashion. While Resourcery is usually shared with professionals and other adults as part of training programs and conferences, it can be adapted for younger audiences.
Iceland is a country renowned as a land of fire and ice, Viking settlers and northern lights. I was fortunate to take in this magical landscape after performing “Recycling is Magic” for several schools in the Reykjavik area. While I enjoyed sharing my environmental magic with my Icelandic audiences, the utter elemental beauty of the country reminded me that Nature is the greatest magician.
This adventure began with a magic to rival that of Iceland’s beauty: love. My wife and I decided to celebrate our 25th anniversary with a visit to a land for which we had such longing. We were able to combine our own celebration with a partnership with Landervernd, Iceland’s most prominent environmental organization. I worked with Landvernd’s Caitlin Wilson, Margret Hugadottir and Gundmundur “Mummi” Gudbrandsson (a fellow graduate of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies) to create a bi-lingual version of “Recycling is Magic” for elementary school children. We made some cultural as well as language changes. For example, my American “ogres” became Icelandic “trolls”, a strong cultural tie.
Given the love that Icelanders have for their majestic landscape I was surprised to learn that their recycling efforts are mixed at this point. Reykjavik has curbside pick-up for residences, but recycling at businesses and other locales around the island nation is very intermittent. As such my offer of recycling magic shows tied well into Landvernd’s efforts to help Icelandic schools participate in a growing international green school effort: Eco Schools. It was nice to contribute my own small bit of magic to help such a splendid land in its work to protect its environment. #iceland #enviromagic #spokeswizard #recyclingmagic #recycling
As a “good wizard” I believe in supporting fair trade as well as environmental sustainability. Fair trade organizations, such as Ten Thousand Villages, pay artisans, farmers and others in the developing world a living wage for their work. I support this by buying coffee, chocolate, magic props and gifts from my local Ten Thousand Villages store here in New Haven, CT. I also support their fair trade efforts by performing “fair trade magic,” in the local store. I theme the routines to fair trade and use props from the store itself. Fair trade reverses the trend of creating poverty overseas so that we can have cheap and disable goods at home.
Liz Rider, manager of the Ten Thousand Villages store in New Haven, CT, has partnered with Cyril the Sorcerer to bring several performances of Fair Trade Magic to her location.
“Magic, by its ability to capture the imagination, can change the world.” – CJ May
This video is a brief introduction to my two most popular shows, “Recycling is Magic” and “MAGITRICITY”, and how they help others see the magic they possess.
The video was masterfully created by Irene Liebler of Art of the Cell. She, and her partner Sandy, showed such creativity in the still and video photography they showed me that I trusted this effort to them. The finished video exceeded my expectations.
I am proud to say that I am the first magician to have ever vanished a four ton carbon footprint. I will follow this environmental miracle with another first for a magician: I am happy to tell you how I did it.
Okay….I didn’t really “vanish” my carbon footprint. Instead I first used the Yale Community Carbon Fund to calculate the amount of carbon dioxide released during my magic-related travels last year via air and car in 2012. The Fund’s calculator tells you how many miles traveled, how much carbon dioxide was released as a result and how much you can contribute to put in place energy efficiency efforts to avoid the production of an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide. My magic-related travels resulted in a release of a little more than 4 metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2012.
My local travel produced only a small portion of this foot print as ground travel via a Toyota Prius hybrid is fairly efficient. Coming in at 40-50 miles per gallon, the Prius is a fairly magical way for an environmental wizard to travel. The big part of the footprint needing offset was my air travel. I don’t have Harry Potter’s Nimbus 2000 and rely on planes to fly to far away destinations for performing. I also make my annual pilgrimage to the real-world Hogwarts, McBride’s Magic and Mystery School. JK Rowling’s school for wizards is somewhere in northern England or Scotland, but America’s is in Las Vegas. Makes sense. Getting there takes lots of jet fuel and carbon offsets are a good way to reduce the impact as airlines and engineers work to make air travel more efficient. Distance learning with McBride’s Magic and Mystery School allows contact and classes throughout the rest of the year with near magical ease. Technology is part of the magic we can use to keep our planet from heating up too quickly. Carbon offsets is another. Beyond this…solar panels on my roof heat my water and make electricity. That trims the carbon footprint right off the bat.
The fact is that the carbon dioxide I produced last year has already traveled up into the atmosphere. Perhaps 45% of it will be absorbed by plants and the ocean over the next decade. More than 50% of it will remain in the atmosphere for hundreds of years, warming the Earth all the while. So even though it was good for me to offset my carbon by contributing to a program that will reduce future carbon dioxide creation, we should all work our magic to curb our production in the first place. Reduce your energy use through energy saving lighting, appliances, vehicles and by using an electricity supplier that uses renewables. My state of CT has two suppliers for folks seeking “green” energy.
But we still generate some carbon dioxide…and we can try and offset it.There are many carbon offset programs that can help you calculate your footprint and make a contribution to counter it. Read more about them at HowStuffWorks.com and Wikipedia. Terrapass is a good basic program as it allows you to offset the carbon dioxide produced from the driving of your personal or business vehicles. To learn more about climate change and its effects on life, the economy and the environment here in New England, stop by Yale’s Peabody Museum and experience the “Seasons of Change” exhibit. It features a host of interactive learning stations for young and old alike.
Make 2013 magical…vanish your carbon footprint! You don’t need to be a wizard to help the planet.