Here’s some inside information for you – doing magic is actually really boring and fucking frustrating as hell. Casting a spell generally requires you to chant the same sequences of words for several minutes, sometimes as much as half an hour. That may not seem like a long time but try it sometime. Choose a phrase and then say it over and over and over again in the exact same way for ten minutes. It’s a fucking drag. Especially when you’re still learning and after all that the spell fizzles most of the time anyhow. I lost my voice a lot in the early days just from the amount of chanting I was doing.
My second mentor told me that it used to be different, that there used to be more magical energy in the world and so it was easier to call on. He told me that the amount of energy in the world has been slowly decreasing and one day there won’t be enough magic left in the world for anyone new to learn it. When you’re learning you can’t grasp at the tiny little scraps of magic that will be left, only masters will be able to do anything with magic. And once they all die there will be no magicians left in the world. He was a good person but he could slide into melancholy old man at times. Some things he said made me think he’s been alive since the 1600s. At least. That could have been bullshit but I don’t think so.
The reason you have to take so long is because magic energy reacts very strongly when you try to grab it. The harder you push the greater the resistance is – it’s like the reverse of Chinese fingercuffs. Is that racist now? Can you still say Chinese fingercuffs? I can’t think of a better example. You have to gather in the energy for the spell very, very slowly. That’s what all that chanting is about, it’s a way to focus your mind. It is maddeningly easily to push a tiny bit too hard and lose the whole thing, especially when you’re getting towards the end and you start to get excited. And when you do that it pisses you off which only makes it harder to go slowly if you try again right away. It’s like being on tilt in poker. If there’s a better lesson in patience than trying to do magic I don’t know what it is. Significant time in prison maybe.
One of the criticisms old timers throw at us new generation of wrestlers is that we go too fast. That’s definitely a problem that most people have when they first start out – they’re just going move-move-move without taking a breath, and the match sucks because they’re going too fast. I was the same when I first started out because everyone is, but I was able to cure myself of that bad habit much sooner than most people because I was studying magic as well. That’s a side benefit they don’t tell you about learning magic. Learning the value of patience.
I don’t claim to be a great wrestler yet, but that’s one aspect of being a good wrestler that I have a solid handle on – I take my time. Do a move and then give people time to react to it. And if they’re not reacting to it take a moment to get them into it. There’s so many cheap ways to get people riled up at a show. They’re there because they want to get excited and yell and shout and be involved. You just have to give them a reason.