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avid amson He can’t even stay in the lines. By Mike Caveney That photograph of David color- ing his magic books tells it all. It’s not that he looks like a little kid with his Dr. Seuss books spread out on his bed- room floor. It’s not even that he is defacing the time-honored drawings of the Tarbell #%, Course. Look closer. The putz can’t even stay in the lines. David Williamson was raisedin Xenia, Ohio. Goin Ne enh seca Tins See Sere SC ree age a cna ne Pee Cee oe ae close-up magie very seriously and performed Seeetorest at eee Peo enemas preferring the term ese of elly-dance Pens ye 4 Interstate 75. David was dressed like a genie Ree nieRut nee neta! ea waited around until he got off work at 11:00 Peco nT earners tensed De ena auras oe David followed his high school sweetheart, Rn ese aUme ed inOhio, wherehe studied Art. Attheage of 20, he married Ms. Casdorpf. Marsha stayed in Poirier gr: Diy Urey Pere nace i eee ee sa er Drege kone ya poner ve seee cates Chimes ieee osetia ett) his wife by working as a professional magician performing elose-up, table-side magie for din- Geos chmentn cece tieetti hers amar crete rm Dave hated itand nearly quit ‘This uy: has been seriously cut of line for as long as I ave known him. Example: Ar the TBM convention in Baltimore isrominer, Dave was working the comedy club show. An: rouncing that he needed the sistance of a youngster from theaudience, hedurcedintothe crowd looking for just the right volunteer, After an extended search, he snatched fam the sannsofastunnedanocheranew- [ornbabyand carriedhima (ber!) uponiothestage He carriedthe bby lize yournightearryasoany kag of jello that was about to split open. He set the infant a his feer, his sbofoot, sixinch frametoweriagover i ‘After the show I sich “Are veunuts? You ean’ gra a baby cur of amother's sms. Whar if shat lady had been nursing her baby? You eould bave bad 10. Irate people on your hands” The nextday { went back to the show to ee ifthe baby pug swasa regularparrof Davi Tr wasn’, On this oseasiony he performed his Shorts Changed ‘outinewherethesindenwesron ‘oro young boys is signed with a laundey marcer and the pants magically change places while the kids are wearing therm, Dure ingtheperfonmanes, Davidlifed cheboysupofftheflocrusinghis knee, flaled tem around bee ance Cloth and ‘Aker the show I satd, “Are you mus? You were throwing thoiekWsuroundlikethey were vent dummies. I'm surprised the parents didn't come back and pop you one” Davidsaid,"Well,nabodygoe hut.” “Thae'syourdefinition ofa succesful show?" I auked, "Whennoone From thea seciouslyinjureder raid” Now it's a week later and We ate ac the FISM con- vention in Lausanne, Swier Jana Davi wil perform hs nal swo closeup shows on Hi ight He enters with a huge caraboardbox ovelowing ith ‘ended-uprewepaperandplas tic bubble-wrap. Diging down {eto this bo, he Babes out hie props and manages to sateer pocking material all over the Il. Ae che end ofthe perfor mance, hethrowsallofhisprops tnd most of the rbbish buck tneo the box. Then he picks up the lide gil who Iu helped ‘with the Cupsand Balls, dumps Irerintothetoxanddeagit into the wings. The audience wat lagghing hysterically. coutét telif ch iteeielwaclaughing. Hecface wasobecuredby plastic teabble wep. ‘Aker the show Igave David a Jook which he knew meant Ae you ruts? I told David shat che cleaning people ae the convention center had wsked thathe noe throwso much ah, around. (The peviou night he had emptied wash can ding hisoce) Hemuceraliomerbing abou sifling his arte free orn and headed off behind the curtain roxetupforhislaitshow. feared cheworseasl climbed invo the stands for what would bethefinalclose-uppedormance at the most prestigious magi- cian’ convention on earth. ‘AsDavidwasannounesdhe tbo throughthecurtalnwheel- ing huge trash dumpster. He cltbed up ontotheedgeficin fan attempt t reach bis props fd promptly Fell in. Bap of iptoge were ying ourin every Sesion. His head popped up just Long enough for us 10 se hm pour «few drops of worm sodafrom dicarded Cokecan imohiemouthThelinect good taste thar he had rowed the proviourevening wat no loagse ven insight The audience wes steaming with laugher. Somethinghappened in that hall in. Switzedand. Thore propletawsome wodd-clasma- fees thas evening, but ewes theiem geoftharman drewed in re you nuts? You can't grab a baby out ofa mother's arms. business suitcrawling around Inagarbagebin that they would camry away with them ‘Recently spoke with David aboutwhyhedoes whathedoes Terseed his lunaey Back to his Adayraraticedo-clad,table hop: ping, close-up magician a the Hayloft Dinner Theater in Manassas, Viegina. He wasdo ing the same tricks in the sane place tothe tame renctionsev- ‘exynight. The people watched Iishands, were suitablyamaed and then bud another bite of mashed pocatoes. David was bored, The customers were joying themselves because David ic a very sllfl mogi- ian, but David wasn having any fun. He deeided dhut be ‘ther had to pull the plog and {quits or tars having some fon, ‘The nextnight, Daviddida fewericksandthencrawledun- der the table, He collected a fewatrayshoesandstufedthem incor lady's purse. The people Iaughedattheirshoelessfriends andwalted towewbatthiscray magician would do next as he moved around the room, The peoplewerelavingagresttime tnd forthe fe time in along time, 30 was David. He now looked at each new table aan adventure. Another chance to do something memorable. It might be a magie trick or it tnlghe be pouring # glam of war ter over hishead t0 cool off The dinner theater was cxspty on Sturdy afternoons sothecast decided towriteand stage a kiddy show with songe and sories. On Friday nights David and Marsha could be found in the theater kitehen making 300 sandwiches. On Saturday afternoons, Davidand clown were in charge of seat ngand feeding the kide With hisnewoutlook on performing, the gags started as soon as the ids entered the theater, Ten kids weoringten giantehef hats helped disributethe food. Then David and the clown, cach armed withagnehagelog, would havea contesttoseewhocould pickup the month from dhe ids When tbocame clear that David was esi he wouldsteal trah ou ofthe clowns bag and Uhekswerequicktocendemn his ations atthe top of thle Tangs David chrived in thivene vironment where “anything foes" Trtumedout beard tte course In Improvisational ‘heater. As the show all the lide could alle sbout wat the Funnyclownand the conyfood- sy and the place was packed every Saturday, The lessons tha David learned at that dine teate, alongwith ehehelpandencour agement he recelved from his Fiendjohn Ekin lomlyevatved into a personal performing phi- losophy. Today, David says he can imaginedoingroutines the fame wajsevery time Ifhewere forced condhere toa serge dar ingeachperformaneche woul, quite simply, change careers. Devils gretet fer the thing that would depress him most, toring people. If an audience rmenberweretolockathivwarch ving Davis act, would kl fhm. He would rather have an aulence boo him than bave them awa. He belives tha if ead is chotens the audience doesn't really cave if you find ior na. ‘They hope you do but if you dont iene bigdeal Soinorder tocommandtetraeation, you teed to eeate cone. Fe n- anes fyousreinoduced and ‘esobviostharyeutenocreay, the audiences going to watch cloay 00 ove how you handle the situation, IF you walk out tithabiapleceofpiperiuckto yourshos,themodience wentte See how you react it If you Pek a spectator who dossn' Speak Englishy they are anxious tee how you handle i, how you resolve the cool. These ave the point of departure; the ‘momentwhen the audiencebe- liewes you are leaving your plaanedshow and heading ato Unexpored teetery. At chit patne enything Tablet hap: Wit Heyy . a aster fgg Roll at The White ‘eitaout the bat) MAGIC / OCTORER 951.31 eee] ! ENTER 1 MM AGOG COLORING CONTEST Ast Prize - A free copy of Dave Willamson's Sleight of Dave video. and Prize - Two free copies of Dave Williamson's Sleight of Dave video. ‘Brd Prize - There is no 3rd Prize. “Tosmiy clr eile lex py Dare pcos ae aap aunty caron tne oes bees taloen ltearnel tenes Seta atten 19 oben poly ‘wig ee contin clopopety SIWIAG 1 Wace lbesseoeed ins Soni baci A ETE pen- For most performers, any of theabove sssations could spell dsaaterandasyadviee stoavoid them. Buc when your name & David Williamson, chs i the moment that separates his per formance from everyone eles For example: Most close-up smagiclans carry a pack of cards in their pocket. When asked to perform, they remove the cards and have one selected. Davi ‘ames a deck too. But when askedto perform, hemight palm the deck, walk to the nearest vwaurebasket and apparently dig one out ofthe trash. After the trick, he eight toss dhe cards backintothe trasheanand leave ‘The spectators witnessed not conlyaremarkablecard wick, bat tro othersights that they aren't likey to forget. Neat tin asked, Dave might ps deck, grab spectator him upsidedown until a deck spparently falls from the guy's pocket, And the time after that... who knows, ‘Thepoine sthaheiseaking 1 chance, going out ena limb, People understand when 2 pee soralizedperlormance was exe ated especially for them. OK, a few people will say, "This ray is an ido,” but the majocey will, show their appreciation with bbughterandapplause. Andnone cof them will be bored asked David if he embar- rassed Marshaatlesst oncea day and he was quick co answer in the affirmative, Ther | asked if Magsha ever thought be went too far in his shows. “On the contrary" he said. Most wives get mad if their husbands ace late getting home from work or forget to pick up the milk, Maria gets upset if David does 1 eepular show wichout eaing any chances, She regulary ace cuses him of not going for rong Thats sights aot for enough. Tustabourthetimethismagae tine is being delivered 0 you, Marsha willbe delivering aby Intothe Willlamsoe family. Yea, tiny baby created by David and Marsha Wlliarnson. Tn yoars 9 come, | am eertain we will be reading about this child in the ‘ewspapers I'm just mos sure in which seetion. Many mailans thinkehar magic contests area waste of time, David has won the IBM Gold Cups (in 4981, he ee time they were warded) a wwellasthe In- terma- tional Magic ‘Award. {Althoughewawasd nor ‘heck was ever delivered. Prob ably sill in ehe mail) David feel that the nctanl aacds ace seod for the epo but atherwis, wworthless(and i aneexse iter ally wordless). Sul, he feels thacconiestsare well worth en tering: He says that most of the work he gets today, both inand ‘cut of magic isa result of bing seenatconventions, Plus nealy covery fiend he bas in mage is romeone he met following a magic eanventionecrestorper- formance. Fortharreaionalone, be will be forever thankful to conventions forgiving him the chance to show of his auf T abo asked David if all of those years of practice were re- ally necessarysince hewsesonky tiny percentage ofhis sleight- ‘of hand dlls ina performance, He feel that a lage arsenal of the confidence tochallenge any situation that right present itself. And when you work the way David does, every situation imaginable wil present itself eventually have to confess that Twas a linleapprehersiveabourdicws- ingDavid Williomson’yphilowo- phy ina magic magizine. How ‘many people wil ead this and sy, "Hurabhynomoce structured ‘magic. just have wo wing ic and bean idiot” Thar could prove disastrous. If Robin Wiliams is reading this magasine, OK, yeu can afelyerousthatline Foethe rest of us this i very dangerous territory. Tm not saying yeu should be affad wo adlib when, the situation presets ise bt spending four minutes off on a tangent, desperately searching ecalaugh, tas sore vey fo pour petfoemance to end up én the dumpster next 1s David's poops My sdvices rather than tying to copy David Williamscn, we shouldalljusesitbaceand enjoy him whenever we have the chanceandhope hedoean'thurt e ell, no- body got hurt. David Williamson's Chilly Willy's Gypsy Thread Repeat jitten &Mustrated thread is streched horbonnally Richard Mautinan, —betvecntheunandiseaue This ‘meturly doubles over the pore QneohWilliamson’owoek= cin of dread lying in the lee ing routines fs the Toon and hand. Extend the second, thir, Restored Thesed Heoficn it~ and litle fingers of both hands cldesaquickrepeatwhen he Cfigi). feclstheaodienceislistening. Cul the fingers around the Hevesaspookofwhitecot theead andlbeingyourhandsto- tonbsttinethread Attheendd gethersothefistfingerupeand of Gypiy Thread he stands _thumbstcuch ig2)