The Once and Future Wizard

ConnectiCon was a very special weekend.  Lots of great stuff happened, like being surprised by my wife (who had told me she was staying home this year).  The Death Match was a thunderous, incredible success.  I caught up with some old friends and made some new ones.  ConnectiCon never fails to impress and uplift me.

I also did something special for myself.  It was a small gesture that I didn’t really mention to anyone, but now that the weekend is over I’ll explain what I did.

I used to host local burlesque shows for a troupe I belonged to under the name THE WIZARD.  (It’s in all-caps because I always dramatically proclaimed my name.)  My costume was simple: a pair of pants and a kimono-like robe, both with cosmic patterns.  It became my alter ego when I was on stage, and it became strongly linked to my passion for live performance.  Being THE WIZARD was a lot of fun… until I had a very bad falling-out with that same burlesque troupe, whose members not only kicked me out but worked to ensure I would be unable to perform in other local shows.  The details of that long story don’t belong on the internet, but the founder of that troupe (who remains a good friend of mine) agreed that it was a witch-hunt.  The Wizard was gone, and the wounds that came with his destruction never healed right.

The last time I was The Wizard was three years ago, at ConnectiCon.  I was double-booked for the convention and two burlesque shows on the same Friday night.  I did an overnight drive to-and-from ConnectiCon for the show, and the next day I hosted the Cosplay Death Match.  That year, I wore the robes of The Wizard.  It seemed right, given my double-duties that weekend.  I did not know it would be the last time I would don the costume.

This year, I decided to do something about those poorly-healed wounds.  This year I decided it was time for some care and recovery.  So this past weekend, for the 2018 Death Match, I wore the costume of THE WIZARD for the first time in three years.  I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing or what the costume meant to me.  The robe didn’t even stay on very long, as the crowd always insists I do the Death Match shirtless, but it was on stage and the character was resurrected in my heart.  I had to see if the old magic was still there.

The magic returned and old wounds were healed when the crowd, over a thousand strong, chanted my name.  Not “The Wizard,” because I didn’t tell anyone about the costume’s meaning or origin, but my name, because this year’s show was so strong and entertaining.  There was a moment during the Death Match where I was overcome with gratitude and told the crowd “I fucking love you guys.”  It was a moment that meant the world to me.

Was it validation?  Was it a measure of revenge as well as healing?  Maybe it was a little bit of both.  It was something I needed to do for myself, for my heart and soul, for my love of live performance.

I may never don the costume again.  The character may finally go into the west.  If that’s the case, at least now I can say THE WIZARD left this world on his own terms.

About Michael

Michael Terracciano loves comic books, superheroes, outer space, and telling stories. His friends call him "Mookie." He spent the last ten years as the author and artist of the fantasy webcomic, "Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire." He enjoys spending time with his wife and their three cats. His favorite planet is Jupiter because it's awesome. He wants having superpowers to be fun again, and for this to be a universe you want to escape to, not from. He hopes you enjoy reading Star Power.