Carnaval Sztukmistrzów is an unforgettable festival that brings joy and fun to everyone who attends. This magical event, featuring outstanding performances and unique artists, brims with excitement and cheer. Magdalena Olbromska interviewed two talented street performers: Mark Beltran (Magic Mark) and Andrea Mineo (Andy Spigola), who presented their original shows: „Magic Mark Show” and „Boato”.
Magdalena Olbromska: Are you enjoying the festival so far?
Mark Beltran: The festival is great! I did two shows yesterday. It’s my second time performing here. I’m thrilled to be a part of this project. I love returning to Lublin because the people in this city are amaizing.
Why did you decide to make a living doing magic?
My oldest brother was the first person I saw doing magic. I decided to follow his passion because I realised that people would like me as much as him, which was very important to me. We performed some tricks for our family, and everyone loved it. To be honest with you, I’m a shy person. Magic helped me find the perfect way to communicate with people.
And what do you like the most about performing on the street?
My heart is in the streets; it’s where I started. I like the freedom of travelling and working at the same time.
Don’t you think that performing on the street is more challenging than performing on a stage ? For one thing, it requires more effort and commitment. You must be able to cope with unpredictable weather and entertain audiences of different ages. Keeping both adults and children engaged must be difficult…
You are right, it is challenging, but mostly because everything is unpredictable and constantly changing. There are many distractions on the street, but coping with them makes you a more powerful performer. In a setting like a theatre, people are seated, waiting for the show to begin. In the street, anyone can walk away at any time. It is challenging to make them stay and, even more so, to pay after the show.
Is it easier for you to learn new magic tricks now than in the beginning of your career?
It depends on the magic trick. When you learn magic in general, you use the same philosophy or the same hand and finger techniques and mix them up to get satisfying results. So basically, yes, my knowledge and experience make it easier for me to pick up new tricks.
You travel a lot. How does that affect at your work?
Well, travelling the world has always been my biggest passion. After graduating from university in my early twenties, I had no immediate plans, so I took a short trip to Australia. While there, I once saw a street performer doing a show. I was amazed because I had never seen a busker before. People were clapping and laughing, making me happy for the artist. Everyone was having a great time, and it was nice to see the audience appreciate the artist for her effort and creativity. And then, suddenly, everything started to make sense. People often say that when you are young, you have time but no money; conversely when you are older, you have money but no time. I came to understand that street performing can provide both travel and money.
It’s fantastic that you have managed to find something that makes you happy and satisfied. And what inspires you to create new shows?
My inspiration comes from life. I’ve been performing the same show for a long time. Most of my tricks remain the same, but the structure of the show changes every time I travel. That’s because working in Poland, Canada, or Japan is entirely different, and you must adapt the show to a specific audience. My new show is based on a personal tragedy – I lost my eye in 2016. After what happened, I lost my strength and sense of independence. I wasn’t sure if I would ever be able to perform again. However, years later, I understood that every negative experience could become positive if it inspires at least one person in the world.
What message do you wish to convey to Carnaval Sztukmistrzów’s audience through your show?
Never give up. Follow your passion and dreams. Always appreciate what you have, learn from life lessons, and live your life with an open heart and mind.
That’s very profound. Okay, last question. What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Actually, because of the pandemic, which left me grounded in the Philippines with no work or travel opportunities, I gradually changed my career path and started teaching yoga. Initially, I did it more for myself than for anyone else.
It’s great to hear you found some peace in that difficult time.
I did. It also allowed me to release all the tension in my body. My life isn’t easy: I travel a lot and run from one airport to another. I perform two shows during the day, travel to another location and repeat the process the next day. It takes a lot of energy. I’m kind of used to burning it all up. I experienced anxiety and frustration since this energy had been trapped inside me for a while. Taking up yoga helped me deal with it. Eventually, I opened my home to students. Many people visit me, and we do yoga together.
Getting back to your question, I will be on tour with my show in the coming months, and I’ll focus on meditation and training in my downtime.
I think you are doing great as a yoga teacher, because your calmness got me, even though, as I presume you must be excited about your upcoming performances at the festival. I’m looking forward to seeing your show. Good luck with all your plans and thank you very much for the interview.
Yes, I’m very excited! Thank you as well.