Wow…Where do I begin? AO5 has changed everything for me. It has been my outlet on a lot of personal things that have been going on in the past month. AO5 was my way out so to speak. As most of you already know, I broke up with my girlfriend. What you didn’t know is that it happened after some of AO5 was already filmed. When you see me in the black button up shirt and black tie that was before the break up happened. I had a nice rhythm going on the filming and editing aspect. But I honestly think that if the break up didn’t happen the way it did and I wasn’t in a slump then I wouldn’t have made something with such emotion. I sincerely, wholeheartedly thank you Jessica. I found that using emotion towards your art always proves to be on some other level for the sole fact that this art wasn’t just something you wanted to do, it became something you felt you needed to do as a way of righting yourself out.
After we broke up I stopped filming for AO5, I was too emotionally drained to put myself in front of a camera. So I took some time to rebuild and regroup before I started filming again. The only problem is that when I finally got out of my slump I only had 2 weeks to film the rest. At this point I had only filmed about 20% of AO5. Keep in mind that I still work a 40 hour a week job as a banker at Wells Fargo. Which means my time of day light shots were few and far between. I actually filmed on a lunch break (black shirt w/red tie) because I knew I had to get this done. Actually nearly all of AO5 was shot and editing within the past week and a half. This is why I didn’t even have time for a teaser. I have to thank my manager for letting me out early once he realized what AO5 meant to me. If it wasn’t for him, there would be no beach shots. I filmed at the beach the night before the release. Thank you Dan Cicero, you’re the man.
During the last week and a half my body was present but my mind was in AO5. I couldn’t focus when I would talk to people, my sleep patterns were all messed up, I lost weight, everything was upside down. I would come home tired from no sleep and working all day and I’d come straight to my computer to edit. I would then start to fall asleep while editing so I had to resort to Red Bull even though I don’t normally drink energy drinks. My body has definitely taken a toll for AO5. Even now as I type this my forearms ache and as does my back and all my joints. I talked to a few people who didn’t understand why I would be putting this much effort into a video I wouldn’t make any money off of. It has never been about that with me, which is why I still use copyright music because each video has a song that matches it perfectly as if they were designed together and split apart so that someday a puzzle solver would link them back up again. But seriously, why would I make it royalty free? So I can let youtube put some ads on it so I can make a couple quick bucks?
Its almost an insult to suggest I change my music for any given video. The music is probably the most important part to the video. When talking to people they would ask “Whats new with you lately?” and my response always led back to AO5. Nobody seemed to truly understand it in its entirety. The way I saw it, I was showing them a giant blank wall but to me the masterpiece painting had already been painted in my mind and I could see the painting perfectly where everybody else saw nothing. I guess you have to be slightly insane to see something so vividly while there is nothing there yet. Eventually I stopped trying to explain the video to people, instead I just summed it all up in one sentence.
Person - Whats new with you lately?
Me - Just gradually changing the world, and yourself?
Most mind find this statement arrogant and overly zealous..maybe it is. But this is my thought process. If I know a video that I put my all into will be seen as a way point for other up and coming card mechanics and non card folk, I’ll be giving them new fuel. Therefore igniting them into different directions all positioned towards the positive. When I say changing the world, I’m talking about the butterfly effect. You see small changes while looking at the current moment, I see 60 years down the line as to what COULD happen. This is my motivating factor to strive for perfection in every thing that I do. Which brings me to my new tattoo. The perfect circle.
Here is another hard to explain thing but I’ll give it a shot. I have always been inspired about the story of Giotto. I’ll just quote it directly from the movie “Sphere”
TED: I’ll bet if you put a laser micrometer on this, it’d be a perfect sphere. Perfect to a thousandth of an inch. That’s a message in and of itself.
BARNES: What do you mean?
TED: When Pope Benedict asked Giotto to prove his worth as an artist Giotto drew a perfect circle, freehand. Perfection. It’s a powerful message.
So to me, the perfect circle is a sign of divinity, perfection, and it represents that level that artists seldom reach. The level to where you can achieve perfection. This idea has always been spiritually intriguing. I think all humans are perfect who sometimes act imperfectly. So in a sense, the circle is my guide to remind me to strive for this level of expertise just as Giotto did in the 1800’s. It doesn’t mean I think of myself as Giotto, but I can strive for his level. To me, skill represents time and devotion placed into one area. When you look at skill in this light it changes everything. My card handling isn’t a gift or a natural talent, it is solely the outcome of persistence and passion. What if I could tell this to the world? That everything they wish they could do, they have always been able to do. We limit ourselves too much. I hope that my videos continue to improve and continue to chase new levels to what you believed to be possible for the simple fact that I have now expanded the ceiling of what you originally thought to be possible.
This is what drives me. This is my motivating factor. The fact that I’m changing people one at a time and all meanwhile changing myself for the better. AO5 had all my emotion, all my time, all my tears, all my attention, all my love, all my anger, all my sadness, all my dreams, all my planning, all my soreness, all my pain, all my all. When you do this in any art, your art transforms into something else. Not sure what yet, but I know it changes the variables. So although AO5 was made to inspire people. I can’t lie to myself and say I didn’t do it for me too. It brought me out of my slump. It gave me something to work on, it took my mind away from the current world all while embracing my current changes and being at peace with them. I allowed it to consume me. I humbly invite you to do the same. Use your emotions as fuel. Not only does it make for good art but it is the most amazing outlet I’ve ever come across.
You’re all artists. You’re all perfect. If you have never believed in yourself before, let today be the day you start. You are your own savior. Stop waiting for somebody to come and save you when you have the capability of saving yourself. You are your own superhero.
Thank you all. Thank you for being with me on my trek into infinity. Words can’t describe how thankful I am to have all of you. You are my family. I love you all.