If I ask myself honestly, “Where would I be without Jeff McBride,” I know deep in my heart that he saved my life. Jeff is a shaman who empowers us through his magic to reach our highest potential. During the first time I saw Jeff lecture and heard him talking about real wizards living on the earth, I was placed in a mythical space. Jeff taught me that magic could be a gift, and that you can use it as a metaphor to empower and charge people’s moods and realities. Around Jeff, the world becomes a better place - Jeff pushed the wave of magic towards Art.
“It has always seemed that a ‘coin from the ear’ might be seen a metaphor for having hidden riches with us. Sometimes we need a mysterious stranger, who will pull something out of us... a hidden treasure, skill, knowledge, or a secret gift we posed... but need them to make us aware of ... to show it to us. It’s behind your ear... could that be a subconscious level? Just behind or beneath the surface we know as our ‘reality,’ then at a deeper level of consciousness we find riches beyond our current understanding or imagination.” - Jeff McBride
I was going to use a bird's nest for hat. I still used the magic wand my father gave me, created naturally by beavers. And wear wooden shoes. If you saw my park show in LA, the costume was close to this. I played this character for a while but have simply evolved into someone different now as an artist.
Bakshi is a real wizard. He is all about the message: what he is saying as an artist. He paved the pathway of animation, proved that it’s not just for kids, and made it a respected medium for grown-ups. Bakshi taught me about heart in art, how to believe in your work, freedom, expression, breaking rules, having fun, enjoying process, and being yourself.
“Live action writers will give you a structure, but who the hell is talking about structure? Animation is closer to jazz than some kind of classical stage structure.” - Ralph Bakshi
I love to sketch tricks I’m working on and let my imagination wander - then I might circle things and find flow between them to make set lists, etc. My dream was to have only one card trick and make it magical. I chose the princess and pea because it was the shortest fairy tale I could find. I was working with a rain stick, and beds were the stacks of cards. It’s back burner but I would love to come back to it some day. Those opening words are so magical: “Once upon a time...”