Click on the arrow above to listen to Emilie’s reading.
“Hi, my name is Emilie Collyer and this is my piece called Prestidigitation:
If you can hear me, I need your help.
One of the hardest things about prestidigitation is figuring out how to say the word. That is why most amateur magicians say: ‘Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!’ and ‘Can I have a volunteer from the audience. Please put your hand inside that box. Now please tell the audience: is it a real box? Thank you very much. Give NAME a round of applause!’
The magician that I work with is in the early stages of his training. It is not uncommon for those of us most experienced to be assigned to novices. Not uncommon, and never very much fun.
My magician at present is only capable of performing simple magical effects for between 5 and 15 minutes. This means up to 12 tricks on a night when things are not going his way, and 4 on nights when he is in the ‘zone’. That is his terminology, not mine. I am – obviously – always the highlight of the show.
According to the rules of the game, my magician is only supposed to be:
Lifting up to 10 kilograms of mass, chilling or warming up to 2 kilograms of nonliving matter and creating small objects – usually crude and artificial in nature.
In short, he is NOT supposed to be attempting any acts of a disappearing or sawing nature at this point! Thus far, my appearances in and out of his hat have all been created by clever sleights of foot – mine.
He has overstepped the mark, over-stepped his talents and now I am in great danger. He has made me disappear and the damned fool has no idea how to bring me back.
So, I repeat, if you can hear me now, I need your help!
Please centre yourself, both feet on the floor, inhale and say in a nice, loud, clear voice:
I beg of you.
It’s lonely here.
You know that you will have succeeded next time you see something flash out of the corner of your eye, you will turn around and see nothing but know, in your heart, that it was me, stopping by to say thank you.”
ABOUT EMILIE COLLYER:
Emilie writes poetry, prose and performance works. Her writing has appeared most recently in Blue Dog and Kill Your Darlings and as part of Cordite’s Electronic(a) issue. Her plays have won awards and been produced by ABC Radio National, La Mama and St Martins, among others. In September 2011 Emilie is launching an illustrated chapbook Your Looking Eyes as part of Overload Poetry Festival. In November she is presenting a new work Maybe We’re Never Together for the Big West Festival. You can read Emilie’s words and find out what she is up to at: www.betweenthecracks.net
“I have been to Varuna twice. The first time was in 2001 on a playwriting mentorship. The second time was in 2006 when my manuscript Birdland was selected for the Varuna Awards Masterclass, to work on intensively with Peter Bishop. Varuna is a kind of magical place. It provides a unique space to be as a writer, where unexpected things will happen with a piece of work and with one’s own writing process. I have formed close and supportive writing relationships from my stays at Varuna that I value dearly. And to have the opportunity to work with Peter Bishop and have his wisdom and insight contribute to a work (and craft) in progress is an incredible privilege.”
Your Looking Eyes (poetry chapbook) (2011)
Death by a thousand cuts (essay) Kill Your Darlings (2011)
How did I get here & Powder Traces (poems) Blue Dog (2011)
Touch (poem) Page Seventeen 2010
Tiny Happy People (short story) Best of Torpedo 2010
Confessions: The (not quite) evil stepmother (essay) Kill Your Darlings 2010
Home maker (poem) Varuna Picaro Press Poetry Anthology – The Green Fuse 2010
Small Containers (short story) and On those Days (poem) Page Seventeen 2009
Campfire Conversation Crafty Magazine 2009
Tiny Happy People (short story) Torpedo 2009
22.7 Square Miles (short story) Cottonmouth 2009
Arts and Culture in Australia (Primary School Book) Binara Publishing 2006
Finding a Place (essay) Viewpoint 2004
Review: Flying in Silence Australian Book Review (2001)
Review: Eucalyptus Australian Book Review (2001)
Maybe we’re never together, Big West Festival (writer/performer) (2011)
Undue Voice: Tremor (writer/performer) (2009)
Dinner in a Dry Dam, Punctum (2009)
Eric, Melbourne Fringe Festival (2008)
Shack, Punctum (2007)
U CAN B ON TV, 2 The Arts Centre (2007)
Ready for LCD, Undue Voice (2007)
Under the same roof, Kensington Neighbourhood House (2006)
Boxed, Short and Sweet (2005)
Hover, ABC Radio National Airplay (2005), Playbox Theatre in the Raw (2002), Melbourne Theatre Company affiliate writer (2001)
The Morris Shed Collection, Punctum (2005)
The Gas Connection, Shepparton (2004), Melbourne & Bendigo (2003)
Was he an angel?, St Martins (2004)
The Last Potato Man, Jigsaw Theatre (2003)
Damascus, Australian National Playwrights Conference (2003)
Ripe, Kaidan @ The Store Room (2002), Melbourne Writers Festival (2001)
Golden Square, Bendigo (2001)
Promise, Castlemaine (2001), George Fairfax Award (2001)
Brickworks, Chapel off Chapel (2000)
Radio City, St Martins (1998)
Argonauta, Athenaeum Theatre (1998), Winner Young Playwrights Award & Playworks Award (1997)
Stuck Up a Tree in the Forest of Love, The Star and Garter (1997)
The Point Being, Melbourne Fringe Festival (1996)
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