Sunday, September 18, 2005

What's In A Name? (Besides Letters!) (Part 1)

I've been thinking a lot about names.
I have a name, you have a name, he has a name, she has a name. Wouldn't you like to be a pepper too?
My name is Gord. More precisely it's Gordon. Even more precisely it's Gordon Gardiner.
But I prefer Gord. Gord Gardiner. It's not the best name in the world. Whenever I have to call someone at their office and the receptionist asks who is calling, I have to admit I wish my name was something other than an alliterators nightmare.
Unfortunately it is also a lousy stage name.
So, while I am not a big fan of the back to back "g"'s in my name, I have to admit I do like the "Gord" part. Gord is not the kind of name you hear every day, and in the business of show anything that makes you stand out from the crowd is good. (So is fudge, by the way.)
So when I started performing magic, I chose the name "The Amazing Gord." About the only thing amazing about that name was how fast I stopped using it.
It wasn't actually my fault. I would probably still be using "The Amazing Gord" today if it wasn't for Mr. Gibson.
Alan Gibson was my next door neighbor when I lived with my parents. I've known him since I was three. He was the man who, when I was nine, asked if I wanted to be in the chorus of a Pantomime, thus starting a stage career unlike any other.
Mr. Gibson was always very supportive of my performance goals. Soon after I started magic he let me perform, busk if you will (busking is what they called street magic before that guy mumbled his way into our living rooms) next to the little tea house he and his wife, Sylvia, ran. As well he allowed me the opportunity to come to the tea house any day I wanted and perform close up magic for customers. The Cousy Tea House was the first place someone told me they didn't want to see a magic trick, and you never forget your first time.

Yes, yes, I'm getting to the part about the name.

One year the Gibsons decided to hold a breakfast with Santa in their little tea house. The idea was simple, they supply a nice breakfast, some fun and games, a magic show and then a visit with Santa. I provided the magic show part, Mr. Gibson was Santa.
Now, for some reason I remember Mr. Gibson asking me what my stage name was, and I know I answered "The Amazing Gord" Because that was what I was calling myself, but Mr. Gibson has this kind of swiss cheese memory where certain things stick and others do not.
Imagine my surprise when I arrived at the tea house only to find out that I was now "Mr. Magic."
Well ok, I thought, Mr. Magic is kind of a cool name. It certainly get's right to the point. I mean, if you hear "Mr. Magic" you have a good idea that this is a guy (The "Mr." part) doing magic. (That would be the "Magic" part.)
So fine, for two Christmas seasons I was Mr. Magic. If fact, the summer between the two I performed at the English pavilion at Carabram, Brampton's annual multi-cultural festival, also as Mr. Magic. So you can see that I was committed to it, and not just humoring some old guy who couldn't remember my name.
And then I found out some terrible, horrible things.
First of all, I was not the first "Mr. Magic." Actually, I discovered that the name was quite common among certain circles. Secondly, I discovered that the name did not evoke the thought of quality entertainment. In fact the name "Mr. Magic" is, in magic circles, used as a derogatory name to describe a lousy magician who performs half assed birthday parties for fifty bucks.
So, as quick as you can say "I'm not like that guy" I changed my name to .......

Next post: We continue the story but won't give too much away because if we do you won't keep coming back week after week. But I promise we'll reveal what is in the hatch, and hey, we blew Artz up. That was cool, right?


Blogger Billp said...

I always like Gord Cadabra.

11:47 AM  

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