Darshwood the Conjuror is releasing his DVD titled Postmodern Magic on October 2nd at Zazoos Bar and Grill with special guest performers Ohlm (an instrumental acid metal band) and the Va Va Vixens burlesque troop. This is his first DVD release, and it’s a major step as he follows a family tradition of entertainment.
His grandfather spent three years touring with Ringling, Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus as a clown. His father was the original drummer for the Dazz Band and many other traveling rock, jazz and gospel groups, while his uncle is a professional stage illusionist who has performed on international waters and in 17 countries.
“I doubt I will ever forget the moment I saw him borrow a cigarette from my dad only to make it seemingly vanish at the tips of his fingers,” says Darshwood. “ He then proceeded to make it appear behind my ear. What ensued after that was a series of vanishes and reappearances of the cigarette. I followed my uncle all over the house for the next few minutes as the menthol entered into the abyss of our kitchen sink only to be found under our couch cushion in the living room moments later. Then into the VCR it went, somehow ending up behind a potted plant in the bay window of our dining room. It wasn’t until years later I was informed that this was merely a demonstration of sleight of hand technique. I was hooked and completely enthralled with the desire to perform my own mini-miracles just like Uncle Peter.”
In the following years, Darshwood was given a magic kit and taken to see David Copperfield at a live show. He made a vow to travel all over the world like his uncle and Copperfield, so he began to explore everything he could get his hands on. When he entered high school, he made some pit stops along the way to explore other interests such as music and girls and after high school, Darshwood traveled with Hare Krishnas who gave him the name Darshanandaji - which is Sanskrit for “one who is lovingly devoted to witnessing miracles.” It was attendance at his uncle’s wedding that led Darshwood to renew his vows of love for magic with the introduction of Cary Pollack, who is one of the country’s most prominent “up close” sleight of hand magicians.
“[After the wedding] when I came back home to Cincinnati and saw what the new guy on TV, David Blaine, was doing, I was totally convinced that magic was going to be my trade,” says the conjuror. “... and not the furniture moving stuff that Uncle Peter and David Copperfield do on stage. I wanted to be a knuckle busting sleight of hand artiste. When it came time for me to choose a stage name the decision came quite easily as I was already being called Darsh by a number of friends and even my Mom. Adding the syllable “wood” just made it roll off the tongue much easier than “anandaji”, so Darshwood I became.
Since then, Darshwood has become a master of the art of prestidigation. He continued his studies in magic and focused his energy on the manipulation of small objects as well as the unique psychology of misdirection before he began performing publicly again at Derby City Expresso and Sub Rosa: The Gypsie Courtyard. Since then, he has made appearances at many bars, art galleries and venues such as Churchill Downs, Comedy Caravan, The Alley Theater, Slugger Field, Kosair Children’s Hospital, Lynn’s Paradise Café, Glassworks and The Seelbach Inn.
All of his studies and performances have culminated into a series of performances with the group Keepers of Magic and the show Postmodern Magic which will now be available on DVD. Postodern Magic is Darshwood’s way of keeping the traditions of magic alive in times to come.
“There are a number of magicians in the world right now who are always trying to create the next new trick but I’ve always wanted to stick with the classics of our art. As a magician, I am part of an ancient trade that predates human history. Many of magic’s scholars will argue that our craft began with the medicine men and shamans of tribal society, but it is believed that magic got it’s start even before man ever left the caves in order to evolve. There was a magician in every court who was responsible for consulting the king before every important decision was made until just a few centuries ago. As the Renaissance came about, science replaced magic, and even the conjurers that began practicing alchemy were eventually eradicated by the Inquisition. In order for the magician to survive, we had to take on the role of entertainer. I recently made a mission of exposing my audiences to the huge impact magic has had on history and pointing out that even today, mystery and wonder will always prevail as a means to inspire and delight. That is where Postmodern Magic came from.”
The Magic and Mayhem Show begins at 9 p.m. on Friday, October 1st,2010. There will be no charge for admission. ZaZoo’s is located at 102 Bauer Avenue in Louisville, KY. Postmodern Magic DVDs will be available for $10.00 and Darshwood will be available to sign every copy sold.
Photo by Kaley Roberts: Darshwood entertains me on 4th St Live!