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Genii-Sept-10-Alex-Ramon Powered By Docstoc
        The Conjurors’ Magazine

                             SEPTEMBER 2010
                   Two Years
                  the Mast
                       BY JIM STEINMEYER
                            Photography by Norm Ofstead

             The answer Takes abouT half a second. alex ramon
             nods his head. The highlight of his tour? even thinking about it
             now, a year and a half later, the thought makes him grin.
               “oh, yeah. Madison square Garden.”
              by the time ringling brothers barnum & bailey’s headline-
             making red unit show, Zing Zang Zoom finishes later this year,
             alex will have performed for over four million people in over
             800 performances. as ringling’s first and only magician-cum-
             ringmaster (for the show, the producers invented a special term
             for him, “Zingmaster”), he has just experienced a long, dazzling
             dream that few would even dare to imagine.

42   genii
             he’s criss-crossed The counTry in The circus Train,
                                 performing a magnificent show of illusions interspersed
                                  with America’s most famous show business franchise:
                                        quite literally, “The Greatest Show on Earth.”
                                “You have to realize that Zing Zang Zoom,” Alex says,
                                  “is not just a magician in a circus. It’s a magical circus.”
                              The magic was integrated into the atmosphere of the show,
                    from the opening number to introductions and circus spectacles, with the

                                                             in charge of it all.
        So it’s easy to equate Alex Ramon’s experience as a show-     tion.” At the same time, Jay believes, San Francisco magicians
     business Cinderella story, a magic wand of opportunity           are unique in being competitive without being territorial.
     that’s been waved in the direction of a young, charismatic          “It wasn’t about Alex’s material,” Jay remembers. “He was
     performer.                                                       doing a card and dove act. Instant Magician. And he did a
        He’s the first to acknowledge his good fortune. Raised in a   routine with a mouth coil. Standard material.” Jay continu-
     modest Richmond, California home, in the Bay Area, it was        ally gave him grief for not being more original. “He was a
     Alex’s father, a courier in Oakland, who introduced his son      good-looking kid with a great smile, and his presence was
     to a friend who performed magic. When Alex was 13, he            enough; it let him get away with a lot. Audiences always liked
     watched his father’s friend dazzle him with some card tricks     him, and related to him. When he was 14, I used to tell him,
     and a floating paper ball. His father followed up with a magic   ‘Don’t be afraid to ask questions,’ and ‘Don’t act like you know
     book, and Alex was hooked. For two years, he practiced           everything. If you act like you know everything, no one wants
     card tricks and worked through the fundamentals of magic.        to help you’.” And in that way, Alex stood out from the “usual
     His mother encouraged his newfound passion, and when he          obnoxious 14-year-old magicians!” Jay laughs. “You could
     was 15 he performed a show for his family, the first slightly    see that he was serious about what he was learning. He was
     awkward attempt to corral those card manipulations and silk      the kid who always asked the right questions. And then he
     tricks into something that resembled entertainment. “I wasn’t    listened to the answers.”
     very good,” he remembers.                                           Marshall Magoon, the popular Bay Area magician, remem-
        But something about his enthusiasm always attracted           bers Alex from Joe Pons’ shop. “Alex was always the guy you
     audiences, and Alex was asked to perform for local birthday      knew would succeed. He had a real love for magic. When
     parties, paid a princely $20 for each show. The San Francisco    you’d show him a card move, he’d come back a month later
     magic community introduced a new group of friends and            and he’d not only mastered it, he’d added something to it,
     experiences—hanging out at Joe Pon’s Misdirections Magic         or combined it with another move. You wish that everyone
     Shop or swapping tricks with local professionals. “When he       approached magic that way.”
     came into the shop,” Joe Pon remembers, “he didn’t know             Alex gradually began winning awards, first at the local
     anything about magic, and he didn’t have much money. So I        magic club, then in 2004 he won the Lance Burton Award at
     sold him Mark Wilson’s book, and he made his way through         the World Magic Seminar. He began performing in a circuit
     it, learning everything. Every week he came back, anxious to     through Oakland area libraries. By the age of 16, he had
     learn more. He wanted to get better. He wanted an act.”          bookings that were the envy of many professional performers.
        “In another city, it might not have happened,” according      In 2006 he was cast in a Feld Entertainment production of a
     to Jay Alexander, a longtime friend of Alex’s, and one of his    Disney Live production, titled Mickey’s Magic Show.
     San Francisco mentors. “There’s a small, supportive group of        “He’s a good person, he has a good heart,” his friend Joe
     magicians here. Alex was able to quickly meet people who         Pon says. “I’ll tell you a story. The day he left for South
     made their living with magic, and I think that was an inspira-   Carolina, to start on the Disney show, he came to the shop to

44   genii
say goodbye, and he was dressed for a show. I asked him what                             ✦
he was doing. He said he had one more show to perform. It              “I’d like to do a magic circus,” Kenneth
was only a few days later that I heard, from a local nurse, that    Feld told me in 2007. “We’ve never done
he had done a free show at a children’s home. He wanted to          that before. Don’t say anything about it yet.
do that show before he left town.”                                  My question to you is whether it’s even possible
                                                                    to do great magic, big magic, in the middle of our
                                 ✦                                  arena.” The notion of illusions in the round, he knew,
It was on the Disney show that I’d first met Alex. I’d been         was a real problem, and he wanted assurance that the magic
hired to design the illusions for the show, which had               would not only be possible, but sensational. When I asked him
been conceived as a hybrid: a magic show incorporating              who would be his magician, he was more certain. “I’m going
Disney’s famous costumed characters. Kenneth Feld knew              to ask our guys.”
that it would be difficult. Admittedly, the costumed characters        Both Brad and Alex had proven themselves on the road, but
would attract kids and their parents. They all wanted to see        starring in Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus would
Mickey, Goofy, and Donald, or the pretty Disney princesses          be another matter. It was not just an ambitious plan, but a
waltz or blow kisses. But Feld was experienced when it came         real gamble. There was a big difference between the theater
to magic; he had produced Siegfried and Roy’s show at the           stages where Disney Live! appeared and the arenas that could
Mirage Hotel. Costumed characters could do very little, and         accommodate The Greatest Show on Earth. When both of
they couldn’t perform magic; no one would believe it. He            them were called down to winter quarters in Tampa at the
knew that the show would only work if real magicians—not            end of 2007, the circus staff noticed and the rumors quickly
actors in character costumes—took charge of the illusions.          started buzzing. “What are those guys doing here?” we were
His solution was to find two young, talented magicians. One,        asked. “They’re good magicians, but I hope we’re not thinking
Brad Ross, already had plenty of experience performing with         about them for the circus. They couldn’t handle that … .” In
amusement park shows. Alex Ramon was recruited to take the          fact, tucked away in an upstairs conference room, Kenneth
part of “Benny,” a young magician who aspired to be in the
show and ends up being encouraged by Mickey to do his very
best. In the finest fairy tale tradition, by the end of the show
Benny and Brad shared duties by performing the “Double
Sawing a Woman in Half.”
   The show was a big stretch for Alex. At the time, maybe it
was good that none of us knew just how big a stretch it was.
Brad was a seasoned professional who wasn’t fazed bouncing
between the illusions, the audience participation, and the
canned dialogue with the Disney characters. But Alex was
suddenly asked to take on a role (Benny, the inept magician,
complete with a fuzzy brown wig), and learn a number of
new illusions. His only life preserver was a short segment
of his Linking Ring routine, pushed into the second half of
the show.
   “On Disney Live!,” Jay Alexander recalls, “Alex was the
character with the lowest status.” His job, as Benny, was to
bumble into the performance, mess up a few tricks, tenta-
tively stumble through a few more, and finally finish up with
the Rings and the Sawing in Half. “At the start of the tour, I
know that Alex was uncomfortable playing that part. He felt
that he couldn’t play himself.”
   As it turns out, the combination of Brad and Alex was
perfectly cast, and the young magicians easily captivated
their audiences and developed a rapport with their Disney
co-stars. During the run of the show, the two magicians were
even encouraged to swap roles so that they could be familiar
with all of the material. For Alex, it was all a learning experi-
ence—first the illusion, the travel, publicity. Like any actor,
he found his way into the part of Benny and then connected
with the audience; this was the first time he’d ever been in
such a large, prestigious production. Most importantly, it
started Kenneth Feld and Nicole Feld, the producers of the
circus, thinking.

                                                                                                               sePTeMBer 2010       45
     and Nicole Feld explained to a small group of us that’s exactly
     what they were thinking.
        Brad ended up saying no. He was happy with the Disney
     show, and he followed it overseas, in many ways responsible
     for its continued success on the road. That left Alex facing a
     difficult decision. At 23, he would be the second youngest
     ringmaster in the circus’s 139-year history, and the circus’s
     first starring magician. As Ringling’s star, it could mean certain
     death or a glittering success—but he was guaranteed to have
     an awfully big adventure.

     The Felds voiced virtually the same
     concerns. When Alex went down to
     Palmetto, Florida, for the White Model
     Meeting, the kick off for the new cir-
     cus, where the concept and design is
     revealed to the production staff, Feld
     pulled Alex aside and told him soberly,
     “We live and die by you.”
        Kenneth and Nicole Feld and the
     show director for the 139th circus,
     Shanda Sawyer, knew that Alex wouldn’t deliver basso gran-
     diloquence. He would have to be a different kind of star. It was
     his energy and enthusiasm that would captivate the audience.           And maybe that’s why Alex’s story is not quite as simple
        Adding to the challenge are the size and scope of the circus.     as a Cinderella tale. Because more than anything else,
     The statistics make the show sound like a marathon. Each             his success has been the result of continual hard work.
     performance is three hours and 15 minutes long (including            One day in winter quarters, as the typical chaos ruled,
     the pre-show, during which Alex appears). He runs just under         hundreds of circus performers and technicians learned
     two miles during each show—that includes the trips around            their cues, as choreography was rehearsed, numbers were
     the 60- by 200-foot arena, backstage to the dressing room,           re-staged, and costumes were being altered, Kenneth Feld
     over to check the props, to the side of the ring to meet the         pulled me aside. “You know, I was concerned whether he
     kids that are going to assist with the next trick. He is onstage,    could do it. But every day, I’ve watched Alex get bigger
     in front of the audience, for about one hour. He goes through        and bigger in this role,” he told me. “Every day, he just
     two liters of water during a performance and makes nine              gets better and better.”
     costume changes. It takes 45 minutes to re-set for
     the next show. On some days, they perform three
     shows a day.
        “When people meet me backstage, the question
     they ask more than any other is, ‘Are you tired’,”
     Alex says. “And I always tell them, ‘Not yet.’ I can’t
     afford to be tired. If I slack off, 100 people notice, the
     performers of the circus. It affects the quality of the
     performance. At the beginning of the run, Kenneth
     told me, ‘We’re counting on your energy. If you don’t
     have it, the show’s not going to work.’”
        Alex has never missed a show. When asked about
     what happens when he gets sick, he just sighs and
     shakes his head. “Oh, we’ve rehearsed every possi-
     bility. I have a stand-in for the magic. But I can’t get
     sick.” He’s been there at every performance to intone
     the “G.S.O.E announce,” as the insiders call it. You
     know, “Welcome … to the … Greatest … Show …
     On … Earth!” “In the history of the circus, there have
     been only 37 people who got to say that!” Alex says
     with justifiable pride. “And I’m one of them.”

46   genii
  I know, from talking to Alex at the end of every rehearsal,        “You know, he’s been so successful, I’m not sure even he
that he was working very hard to live up to the job, as if he      realizes where he’s at,” Alex’s friend Jay Alexander says. “I saw
were watching a chess game at the same time he was rehears-        the circus, and I was shocked by his presence in the middle of
ing the show. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever worked with          that ring. It was completely different, a different energy, than
another magician who could have accomplished what he did           anything he’d done, even the Disney show. I couldn’t believe
in winter quarters. Alex had carefully focused on each bit of      that he could own that audience the way he does.”
direction and every line, anxious for notes to improve the per-      During Zing, Zang, Zoom, he does own the audience, and
formance, and curious about everyone’s perceptions of where        every eye is on him when he’s in the ring. He’s unquestionably
he was coming up short.                                            the “coolest kid in the room,” energetic and exciting, and a hero
                                                                                    to each of the children. And, of course, he’s
                                                                                    proven to be a formidable magician. According
                                                                                    to Kenneth Feld, he’s “redefining the role of
                                                                                    an illusionist.”

                                                                                                       Ringling Brothers stages
                                                                                                       the shows and rehearses at
                                                                                                       winter quarters near Tampa,
                                                                                                       then plays their initial
                                                                                                       engagement at the Tampa
                                                                                                       arena, which is the first
                                                                                                       chance to put it in front of
                                                                                                       a real audience. “But the
                                                                                                       first weeks are all about the
                                                                                                       approach to New York and
                                                                                    Madison Square Garden,” Alex says. This
                                                                                    is when the timing is tweaked, acts are cut
                                                                                    or lengthened as necessary, and technical
                                                                                    details are smoothed out. The show had
                                                                                    its official opening in New York City in
                                                                                    March, 2009.
                                                                                       “Those early weeks, all you hear from the
                                                                                    circus people is, ‘Wait until the Garden’.” It
                                                                                    began to take on a mythic reputation. “Our
                                                                                    100th performance was our opening at the
                                                                                    Garden,” Alex says, “And it was everything
                                                                                    you thought it would be. Everyone is excited
                                                                                    to be there. The audience is excited to have
                                                                                    the circus there. Madison Square Garden seats
   “The problem with a lot of young magicians,” according          nearly 12,000 people; we had show days where we performed
to Marshall Magoon, “is that the first inkling of success ruins    for over 33,000.” The excitement of Madison Square Garden
them. It goes to their head and it changes them. It changes        might be partly tradition, the 139th year that the “Greatest
the way they think about magic, and that’s always a mistake.”      Show” returned to America’s greatest city. But there’s also
That was the difference with Alex. “That never happened            something about the space, Alex recalls, that’s particularly
with him. And because of that, he is the guy you want to           “exciting, electric.” The energy of the room makes it curi-
succeed, the guy you’re cheering across the finish line.”          ously intimate, or at least, as intimate as a huge arena can
   Kenneth Feld’s doubts may have been understandable.             be. Everyone there feels the energy, and that adds to the
After all, just a few years earlier, Alex had been performing      atmosphere.
card manipulations in the Oakland library. But on that par-           In every city, the props, costumes, and scenery are taken
ticular day in Tampa, when Alex finally crossed the invisible      from the circus train. That means that the elephants have
finish line, I could see that the producer was satisfied that      to be walked from the train yard to the arena. The Elephant
he’d found his star. Feld stopped worrying whether the 23-         Walk becomes a sort of unofficial circus parade, an eagerly
year-old magician could lead the circus.                           awaited event in every city. In New York, the Elephant Walk
   “I couldn’t believe it,” Joe Pon says, recalling the day that   was particularly memorable. “I got to ride Asia, the elephant.”
the circus played in San Francisco. “I knew that he was doing      It was a particularly fitting entrance to New York, since Asia
a good job, but he was just amazing. He’s bigger than life,        is the elephant that disappears, at every performance, under
bigger than any magician working.”                                 Alex’s spell. So, at midnight, with police barricades up,

                                                                                                                 sePTeMBer 2010        47
     Alex—the magician—and Asia—the assistant—lumbered
     through the Midtown Tunnel and swayed down 34th Street in
     Manhattan, past cheering crowds.
        During the show, in addition to making an elephant disap-
     pear, he transforms Mr. Gravity, his clown nemesis, into a
     tiger, slices another clown in half using a gigantic rotating
     wheel, stretches one, and spikes another with an array of
     flaming spears. He escapes from a rack of chains and locks,
     trapping one of the clowns in his place.
        Alex also invites three children onto the arena floor and
     instructs them in a magic spell that allows each to cause their
     parent to float in the air. As the children cause them to float
     up and down, Alex circles from one parent to another, passing
     a hoop over the floating assistants.
        One transition starts with gigantic shadows appearing
     on a screen; when Alex claps his hands, the screen drops
     to the ground and a dozen dancing girls appear beneath it.
     At another spot in the show, he introduces the dog acts by
     producing a dog within a small dog house. Moments later,
     the dog returns to the house and is transformed into Mr.
     Gravity. For other transitions in the second act of the show,       traditional elements. “It took me a while to earn my stripes
     Alex performs a bit of Linking Ring magic, and even manages         with circus fans,” he admits. The circus performers often
     several dove productions. “When magicians come backstage,           come from small family groups, which means that friends and
     they say they were glad to see me do doves,” Alex smiles.           relatives will be appearing in other circuses around the world.
     “But magicians are the only ones who remember it. You have          “You really come to respect this world, and you’re honored
     to realize, I’m producing those birds after 11 elephants have       to be a part of it. When you’re part of a circus, you feel like
     just left the floor. Audiences don’t even remember I did it. Just   you’re tied to every other circus.”
     the magicians!”                                                        Ringling Brothers travels by train: the animals, costumes,
        His finish is an illusion of crawling through a large, spin-     props, and 300 people. Alex has his own room on the train, a
     ning fan. “It’s the only illusion that I just present, as an act,   sort of small apartment. “After traveling on the Disney show,
     instead of integrating it into another sequence. You have to        staying in different hotels, the train is fantastic. It’s really
     remember, I’m not performing the Ringling Brothers Magic            spoiled me. It’s like always having your own room, no mat-
     Show,” Alex says. “After the show, I often hear from magicians      ter where you travel.” Invariably, each performer discovers
     that they’re surprised how much magic is in the show. My job        the joy of falling asleep in front of the window, watching the
     is to make the magic look great, of course. But my job is also      countryside roll by. “And, of course, we’ve all had the experi-
     to make it fit into the circus.”                                    ence of waking up and discovering that the train has stopped
        Alex was surprised by the tight-knit world of the circus.        at a crossing, and people staring in the window at you!”
     “If you think that the world of magicians is small, you’d be           Besides the logistics, there are a number of secrets, behind
     surprised by the circus.” Circus fans follow the shows care-        the scenes, responsible for the smooth-running performance.
     fully, and don’t hesitate voicing their displeasure with non-          During the show, Alex wears an earpiece that allows the

48   genii
production manager and the musical director to talk directly          at their friends or their kids, then look back at me before the
to him. That means that he can be given directions if he needs        reactions start.”
to cover, or adjust for a delay or a technical mishap. “It also          In any new arena, Alex walks the empty room and gets
means that, sometimes, there are two people talking to me             a feeling for the zones of the audience before the lights are
while I’m giving my lines.”                                           lowered. “The job of a ringmaster is all about multitasking.”
   Playing a show in 360-degrees to 12,000 spectators calls           He’s “on” during the whole show, continually checking techni-
for its own finesse. “There’s a different kind of dynamic in that     cal elements, noticing if anything’s wrong, or anything needs
setting. You have to let the magic speak for itself. It has to be     to be fixed. Because it’s such a complicated show, filled with
clear and distinct, because there are a lot of distractions. Crisp,   potential dangers or mistakes, if there’s water on the ground,
firm motions. That’s why energy is always important; energy           or something isn’t plugged in at the right time, he reports it
in your arms, and in the core of your body. You can’t fake it. If     to make sure that the show won’t be delayed. “You can’t have
you’re not giving it your full energy, the audience reads it.”        blinders on. You really have to be aware of everything, all the
   “The big challenge is to always look at the audience, not          time, and have a sense of what’s behind you. I think that’s a
through them. Even in an arena, you make a connection with            great lesson for a magician, because that sort of awareness is
people. There are seven different sections of people in the           also necessary for our work.”
arena in the lower section, not including the upper levels. It’s         The circus is, itself, a sort of steamroller being driven by
particularly difficult to read the reactions from the balcony         hundreds of performers, technicians, and musicians. It keeps
sections, near the roof. That all seems distant, delayed. But         rolling, rolling in the interest of entertainment, and it can flat-
you still have to play the show to them. And it’s very impor-         ten someone who gets in the way. Alex’s success has been to
tant to appeal to the kids, because the parents often watch           figuratively hop on the top of the steamroller.
the circus through their kids’ eyes; they respond because their          The levitation trick is a good example. “The Parent
kids are responding.”                                                 Levitation is like a madhouse onstage. You’ve got three kids,
   Each illusion has its own timing. “All your focus has to be        three parents. There are three different stations on the arena
where you need the audience to focus, and you might need              floor, and I have to be in synch with the other performers
a pause, an extra beat, that might not be necessary onstage.          who help with the audience management. They’ll signal me if
I’ve learned to wait for applause,” Alex says. “The audience          something’s wrong, or if I have to handle a situation. I have to
really wants to applaud, but they have to catch up with you.          be sure to direct the focus to each kid, and then get the focus
In this setting, they sometimes react, then look down the row         back for the hoop moves.”

                                                                                                                     sePTeMBer 2010         49
        Mistakes are inevitable, of course. Animals can be unpre-   because I can’t really stop the show for that.”
     dictable. “One night the little dog, Pillin (pronounced Pe-      The steamroller moves on …
     Jean), that appears out of the doghouse, decided that he         In Las Vegas, Alex’s show invited a parade of great magi-
     wasn’t going back into it. And, you know,                                          cians, and he was excited to meet many
     I’ve got to get that dog! The trainers have                                        of the performers he’d admired over the
     just taken the other dogs offstage, so I                                           years. In Los Angeles, the load-in at Staples
     was on my own. I ended up chasing him                                              Center was delayed for the Michael Jackson
     around the arena. By the time I caught                                             Memorial. Alex was invited to attend the
     him, I was laughing. Fortunately, the audi-                                        memorial, then the circus staff raced to
     ence was laughing as well.”                                                        prepare for their Los Angeles premiere.
        But a smooth show means that most                                                  “I have to say, I’ve never really been ner-
     mistakes are cleverly buried. “You can’t                                           vous during the Ringling Show. I’ve been
     waste the time of 10,000 people. The kids                                          excited to be in major cities, but never
     who come up from the audience aren’t on                                            really nervous. I suppose that I was more
     a microphone. So if a kid says something                                           hesitant during the Disney show, a much
     funny onstage, the audience is 30 feet                                             smaller show.” Alex pauses, considering
     away. They can’t hear it. I don’t have time                                        his explanation. “I really prepared myself
     to repeat it. I can’t laugh at it, or the audi-                                    for the circus, I did everything I could
     ence becomes annoyed that I’m laughing.                                            to be ready. Maybe that’s why I’ve always
     If they can’t see what’s happening, it’s                                           been comfortable in the arena.”
     irresponsible of me.” On more than one
     occasion, when Alex asks the kid’s name,                                                               ✦
     he’s received some mumbled responses.                                              Alex remembers a conversation from win-
     “I just say, ‘Michael!’ or some other name,                                        ter quarters. “Kenneth Feld told me, ‘After

50   genii
  this, you’ll be able to do anything.’ I now know what he               This fall, Zing, Zang, Zoom comes to an end, and Ringling
  meant. It’s hard to describe, but that position of Ringmaster       Brothers, Barnum & Bailey will mount another Red Unit Circus.
  really changes your perspective. No one gets it unless they do      The Blue Unit, the 140th, is already on the road celebrating
  it—how you have to focus on the performance, how you give           Barnum’s 200th birthday with a show called Funundrum. Very
  all your attention to details of the show.                          soon, the magical circus, the disappearing elephant, divided
     “I know that Kenneth and Nicole have given me something          clown, and the illusionist “Zingmaster” will be chapters in the
  that few people have, the opportunity.” There’s something           long, storied circus history.
  about this mixture of self-confidence and humility that is the         “The big challenge is what he’s going to do next,” Jay
  secret to Alex’s appeal. You want to root for the winner, and       Alexander says. “That’s what I want to see, because he’s going
  you want that winner to be a nice guy. “More than anything          to have to engineer his own success.” Based on Alex’s focus,
  else, Ringling taught me to be versatile.”                          that next step is definitely going to be interesting. “He’s
    That versatility will be put to the test when Alex leaves the     driven,” Jay says, “and he has momentum behind his career
 circus and steps out on his own. “I’ve already started to put        right now.” Whatever direction he moves, it will be a different
 some plans in the works,” Alex explains. “There are some             direction, and something worth watching.
 interesting projects for next year and some good opportuni-             “Even in the middle of the circus ring, in those costumes, lit
 ties.” He thinks for a moment, and adds, “And I suppose I            with the beams of four Supertrooper spotlights, I can still see
 really shouldn’t be talking about them yet.”                         the young guy standing in the magic shop in San Francisco,”
    But most of all, he wants a little time off in the Bay Area       Marshall Magoon says. “His enthusiasm, his love for what he’s
 with his family. “For the beginning of 2011, I’m really looking      doing still comes through. That’s what people respond to. As
 forward to spending some time at home,” he says with a sigh.         long as Alex can keep doing that, audiences will find him.” •
 “I’ve been touring for five years. It really wouldn’t bother me to
do some shows around that area, some small shows.” By small,
he presumably means for audiences less than 12,000 people.
“It will be really enjoyable performing shows on that scale
again. Of course, I won’t have the pyro, the confetti cannons,
the elephants, the moving lights … .” He laughs,
fully aware just how much his perspective
has changed.

                                                                                                                    sePTeMBer 2010        51

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