Author: JFortune

 

Go on, be afraid. I dare you.

Really? Every day?

It’s not hard once you give it a go.

Now, this isn’t saying ‘live dangerously’, or ‘do illegal stuff’. No, no. Rather, what might you do in your daily routine that you would perhaps never consider, or maybe have thought about but not done? Could be life-changing, such as asking out that colleague who you stare at each day. Or, maybe something like heading-up a meeting. Perhaps starting a conversation with a complete stranger. Think of something that gives you an inner feeling of being fearful.

Thinking? Good. Getting sweaty palms? The fight or flight response telling you to run, baby, run? Ignore it and just go and do it.

But why bother?

Ah, looking for an excuse to get out of this eh? I understand. But if you do try it, even for a week, you’ll soon find yourself being more confident in situations and seizing opportunities.

When I first began performing as a professional magician, I would pass hotels in and around London and then stop, take a look at the massive, intimidating revolving door often complete with door-man, and feel an overwhelming urge to just move along. But soon found that instead I would simply walk up and enter, approach the main reception and ask to speak to someone in events management. Before long I was having spontaneous coffee with senior management and pitching for magic gigs.

And waiting to be found out.

I eventually handled the entertainment for several hotels.

Be ballsy. You never know what might happen! Oh, and be ready for rejection. But that’s another topic for another time.

Go forth and be scared. It’ll become a good habit.

I can’t stop sniffing the stuff. Please help!

Calling all bibliophiles! Any advice to stop a constant sniffer?

Any book, new or old, I can’t break the habit of sniffing the pages. Do you suffer with this as well? Any advice?

Whether it’s the smell of oak, coffee, muskiness, or a more unidentifiable modern whiff, my nostrils are trained to somehow absorb the book more fully than simply reading it. And I know I’m not alone…

So come on, show of hands! Who’s with me? And how can we stop this epidemic?

Or do we have to?

And the looks I get! I’m now doing my book sniffing in cubicles like some kind of drug addict. And I’ve started sniffing my Kindle!

Got to go… about to start reading an old dusty book and need to make sure nobody’s looking while I give the inside pages a quick whiff!

I’ve just taken a breath. Please review me…

I’ve just taken a breath. Please review me…
 
Sounds mental doesn’t it? But this is becoming the norm. Why does everything have to be reviewed these days? In the last 24 hours I have been asked to review a customer service rep from LinkedIn who couldn’t actually help me, but wanted me to review him anyway (or rather the company did) and then a sofa delivered which I paid for (as in the actual delivery cost besides the sofa itself) and then the guys asked me to review them! For bringing a sofa in!
 
Why have we become so obsessed with reviews? And by making everyone a critic we’ve lost sight of what constructive criticism actually is.
 
One of the things that cracks me right up is the Amazon reviews. That Mother of all Review Sites. Ever read any of the 1-star reviews? More often that not, it shows the mentality of the reviewer.
 
I love horror and watched ‘I Saw The Devil’, a Korean classic, the other night. Very enjoyable (if you like that sort of thing). A particular 1-star review was most enlightening: ‘I didn’t know it was subtitled. I can’t read and watch a film at the same time!’
 
Need I say more?
 
In this era of being constantly judged, we’re drifting further from being connected from each other in the real world. Check out the beautifully prophetic Black Mirror series 3, the episode in question NoseDive. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nosedive.
 
So please. Stop reviewing! Instead absorb and enjoy all the experiences you can. If someone says ‘this film is crap’, or ‘don’t visit that castle, it’s boring,’ be your own judge! We all have our own experiences, unique to us, seen through our own eyes and perspectives. What one person hates, another will love.
 
Go forth. Ignore the reviews and try it for yourself. You never know; you may just be able to read the subtitles and watch the film at the same time.

Every Batman needs…

19756858_1401798489869031_3655569996234096968_n… a Robin actually. Someone to reflect and challenge your thoughts and ideas. Someone who compliments you.

But that’s for another time.

However, it does lead me nicely on to my partner-in-crime Jen Allen. Jen’s new print range is now available and can be viewed here; https://goo.gl/4E5BFV From Jen’s publishers DeMontfort Fine Art ‘Jen Allen has surpassed herself with her new releases – a pair of outstanding limited editions featuring iconic superhero Batman and his villainous nemesis, the Joker. Her ‘Silent Guardian’ offers a serious exploration of the dark romance of Bruce Wayne’s heroic alter-ego, while the Joker, who is often portrayed wearing a wicked smile, is shown as a genuinely menacing personality. Intensity of character and atmosphere seeps out of every brushstroke, demonstrating precisely why Jen has achieved her enormous worldwide success.’

Click here to view the collection brochure

Click here to purchase from this outstanding collection

I’ve an amazing idea… now what?

When inspiration strikes, what is the best way to proceed?

Write it down! The secret of the notebook. Not tapping it into a phone. No, no, no.

Why write it down? The actual process of writing your idea cements it into your thinking. But that’s only Step 1 in bringing ideas to life.

Shortly, we’ll look at Step 2. But for now, always, always carry a notebook and pen. Be like Columbo! (Except don’t always ask to borrow a pencil.) Keep a notebook by the bed, in the WC and in the car. And of course in your coat pocket, jacket pocket and jeans pocket.

Ideally, make it the same notebook. Saves money and time when it comes to Step 2:)

If you want to get things done and bring ideas to life; get a notebook (and pen).

I’m a L.A.

I’m a List Addict. There. It’s out. Phew.

Usually we all sit round in a circle and ‘come out’. Not pens or pads allowed.

Listers Anonymous.

The irony is us LA’s at LA have an ordered schedule of business (e.g. a list) so we can’t escape them completely.

And neither should we.

Make lists. A priority. In. Your. Life.

Fortune’s Formula; Make Lists = Get Things Done.

Join us. Become a List Addict. You’ll be glad you did.

Anything can happen…

Anything_Can_Happen_ThursOne of the things that brings a smile to my face over the Brexit debate (one of the few things given the dilemma of the topic!) is the constant line ‘we need certainty’. The ONLY certainty in life is uncertainty. Everything is uncertain. We often fall for the illusion of certainty. But it is just that. An illusion.

So, given things are uncertain, here’s a way to provide uncertainty in your everyday life. Inspired from The Big Bang Theory’s ‘Anything Can Happen Thursday’s’, my girlfriend Jen and I have created this as a permanent feature in our weekly schedule. Each Thursday morning we pick a slip from the ACHT jar (see photo) and whatever it says, we do.

So what’s on those slips? Anything! From going for a bike ride, to a full-on day activity; visiting an attraction, exploring new places and more. We add the ideas as they come to us (without telling each other) and drop them in the jar.

First one picked out last Thursday was to visit a palmist and have our fortune’s told! Ironic given my surname.

So, what can you do to embrace uncertainty and bring spontaneity into your life?

 

All in a day’s work

I took a moment the other day to realise just how varied my ‘job’ is. And yes, I say ‘job’ as it’s not really a chore. More ‘paid-play’. But I digress… In one day, I took a call re doing a series of magic workshops as part of my Magic Moments initiative for potentially 60 special need schools, then had a meeting re my Wundre furniture, spoke to a client re Jen Allen doing another live royal portrait, went cycling around a local nature reserve, finished the first draft of a short horror story which is one of many I’m thinking of compiling into a collection, began sketching a new piece of furniture for Wundre which is pretty awesome (even if I do say so myself… a-hem!), devised a new logo for a wellbeing centre in London’s famous Primrose Hill who I’m working with on their marketing, proof read a document for a new book by an established philosopher/author, held talks about a new conference I’m planning for Spring 2018, furthered discussions on a tour in 2018 and helped a magician work through a new magic trick. Phew! One of the benefits of risking new ventures and hoping that at the end of the day you’ve got money in the bank to continue to play is precisely that I never know what might present itself tomorrow. I never know who will call or what opportunities might come around. Not always good stuff, but on the rollercoaster of life it certainly keeps things interesting. Variety is indeed the spice of life. What do you do to shake up your reality on a daily basis?

Human Dynamo

Magical_ArtistHuman dynamo? Not my words, but those of the editor of MagicSeen Magazine; Jay is a multi-talented man who is equally at home designing high end ‘magic themed’ furniture as he is providing excellent drawings for magic books and trick instructions. We find out more about this human dynamo in the May issue.’

Thanks to them for this interview about my art skills used within the magic community for books, adverts and more.

Read the full article here; Jay Fortune Article Iss. 74

From BGT to MMS

I recently shot a great mind-reading trick using a borrowed book for our Premium Members at Marvin’s Magic School. Coincidentally, 8 year old Issy Simpson did excellently on last week’s Britain’s Got Talent with a mind-reading book trick. Issy is the grand-daughter of a good magician friend of mine Russ Stevens – looks like the future of magic is in safe hands! See Issy’s audition here. Well done Russ and Issy!

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