Magic Steven : Note to Self


Walking into Magic Steven’s show, audience members are instantly subject to a dark, quiet space, meditative music faintly backgrounding, a single mic and full glass of water. It is here we suspect an insight of thoughts, discussion perhaps? And out comes Magic Steven, of simple neat wear, yet both shoelaces unlaced, dragging against the floor as he approaches the microphone. Instantly, I feel a well-considered man, with a comedic glimpse of placidness to him. He carries a small hand-sized notebook filled front to back with his ‘notes to self’. It's this which he shares with us.
In what first feels like a slowly built incline to something crazy happening on the comedian’s recent drive from Melbourne to Canberra, we are quick to find comfort in his almost platonic approach to comedy. Emotionally invested yet otherwise unfazed. No cheesy punch lines, no bigger pictures, simply notations of non-event type situations in which he chooses to jot down, and share.
His undivided monotonic tone somehow brings to life rhythm with repetition of the smaller details like "my friend who’s a doctor", "said my friend who’s a doctor", "and then my friend who’s a doctor". I found this style of non-event telling impressive as Magic Steven needs no exclamation points and tonal arrangements, comfortably sitting in his naturally arranged state, which is where his comedic magic lies. Through Magic Steven’s show, he peacefully stands resting one hand under his opposite arm and makes not a single glare at the audience, casually absorbed in his notes and dedication to sharing his angle of perception. This made for a comfortable and non-intimidating environment to enjoy comedy.
The notes themselves comprised of deeper reflections into any occurrence, such as a woman asking Magic Steven "are you for real?". He dissects the questions into many possible intentions such as "was she asking me if I was for being real, as in do I support being real?" His cheeky play on phrasing here is clever and certainly a nice way to look at life. Another notable note was Magic Steven’s literal take on a recent guidance given to him being "those who give good advice are usually those who need that advice the most", sharing amusing moments in which he goes to the extent of sitting in an empty room to obtain full effect.
Note to Self creates its own dimensions binding wonder, intrigue and inner-confusion into short, clever and humorous annotations. The depth of Magic Steven’s viewpoints are addictive in their consumption and we leave with somewhat lighter attitudes to walk on with. When his notes conclude and his beige warn notebook closes shut, the meditative music resumes as Magic Steven walks off stage. I can’t help but assume he's sitting backstage taking notes, about reading notes, and so on.
By Georgia Spanos