Kickstarting the Kickstarter

As of late I’ve been focusing a lot on the bigger picture for this M.o.a.M. project. After finishing the trip from New Orleans to Seattle, I felt like I was done, like something was completed. As I began sorting through the hours upon hours of GoPro footage, I realized that I’d really only just begun. The DVD I wish to put together isn’t likely to be as small of a project as I’d initially thought. At first I imagined having a narrative-like retelling of crossing the country twice in my first year riding, most of the emphasis on the learning experiences of that specific tour. But as I review more footage of the performances, people, and places in between the riding, I realize that I’d like to focus on this lifestyle.

Now that I have a faint grasp of what it’s like to live on a motorcycle, I could see myself doing this for a while. With the right gear, it’s really not that uncomfortable, the rewards vastly outweigh the sacrifices, and it’s an incredibly exciting way of life. The same goes for street performing — the lows are low, but the highs are high. No two days are ever alike, the places you see and the people you meet are incredibly fascinating. I’d like to give the outside world an inside look at the life of a young man passionately pursuing the path to becoming a professional nomadic street performer.

I must re-emphasize “with the right gear”. Some riders spend years preparing for trips like the SEA2NO2SEA tour. I left Seattle in September with less than two months to prepare from a zero-motorcycle-experience standpoint. I bought my first new helmet on the way out of Washington, a few hours South of Seattle. I was lucky enough to not get touched by a single drop of rain on the way from Seattle to New Orleans, but on the way back I definitely learned how valuable things like waterproof boots, insulated gloves, and a padded seat can be. These necessities are often the difference between a good day and a difficult one. In my first year I barely had the basic gear at my disposal, most of which had almost disintegrated by the time I made it back to Seattle. In order to live this sort’ve way comfortably, there is a certain degree of investment to be made.

That is why I’m going to utilize the fundraising website Kickstarter to provide the safety gear necessary to complete this sort’ve adventure. Now, I realize the contradictory nature of talking about how profitable busking is in one post and then discussing a fundraiser in the next, but don’t get me wrong: I’m not at all seeking to have family, friends and fans pay my bills. I don’t want you to pay for my gas; that’s not what this Kickstarter is about. On the NO2SEA trip I adamantly refused financial aid from several sources because I wanted to know I could survive on magic. I loved saying that I literally poured Magic straight into my gas tank. That spirit will continue into this next trip across country — but traveling across the country on a motorcycle alone is a fairly dangerous thing to do, and I’d like to do it in the safest way possible. A new helmet can run $400, riding boots close to that price, and pants+jacket+gloves can be another $600. That’s almost $1,500 for riding gear alone, and I wouldn’t leave the house with the tattered armor, torn gloves, and leaky helmet I have now.

The Kickstarter will be themed along the lines of “Help finish the filming of ‘Magician on a Motorcycle: SEA2NO’ DVD”. It will have a fairly low goal, likely somewhere around $2,500-$3,000, with rewards of T-shirts, stickers, DVD-presales, private performances, and whatever else I come up with. I’ll have a price list of riding gear and motorcycle parts, so that there is complete transparency about what the funding is going towards.

The videos I’ve been editing, the Kickstarter project, and this blog are tools to develop an audience for when the M.o.a.M. DVD is complete. As of now (assuming I compile the proper gear setup), I plan on riding back to New Orleans in October, taking more time to film and perform along the way. I now have a much clearer vision of what I’d like to create, and with what I’ve learned about street theater, adventure touring, and filming with GoPros (both on the motorcycle and off), I’ll be able to capture better shots with much more efficiency. I’ve also been working on a GoPro magic trick that I can’t wait to start performing.

I can’t believe I haven’t been home for a month yet and I’m already planning the next cross-country tour. I went full-speed ahead towards this dream, throwing myself completely into the wind, and now I want to finish capturing the incredibly imagery of this country’s landscapes and cityscapes. I’m incredibly excited to co-create a great story =)

I’ll be taking this weekend off to go to the Summer Meltdown music festival in Darrington, WA. It’s a fantastic little music festival at a beautiful forested venue nestled in by a river in the mountains. I went last year, and it was my very first weekend-long music/community festival I’d ever been to, and it was also my very first time camping on a motorcycle. Each year it falls on my birthday weekend (along with the Pereseids, the brightest meteor shower of the year).