"Mandrake is a native New Yorker who captures something raw and real about her subjects"
My great-grandparents were vaudeville musicians. My grandfather was Mandrake the Magician, and he and my grandmother began traveling with vaudeville, then continued to devote their entire lives to performing and inventing new magic acts, while raising their four children on the road.
Because of my family background, I'm naturally drawn to those who carve out their own unique paths in life. People who in some way go against the grain make the most interesting subjects to shoot. They are at once vulnerable and brave because they are always exposed in their communities as outsiders, and yet have the courage to push forward with their beliefs despite societal, cultural, political, religious, or familial pressures. They are what is beautiful and unique about life. They are rich, soulful and often misunderstood people that stretch the perimeters of acceptance and pave the way for future generations to potentially create a new norm.
An art therapist once told me that every work of art is a self-portrait. I believe this is true whether it's a drawing, a piece of music, performance art, a poem or a photograph. There will always be a part of the artist's subconscious exposed in every work of art they create.
"I truly feel [Ken Burns] would be amazed, the way I was. The writing of the script was truly inspirational. I just loved the narrative... gripped me immediately. It was so well done and truly kept me at the edge of my chair. I love documentaries and especially admire when they're done with love. It was a magical hour." - Woody
"This is a cleverly told visual story woven with evocative threads of magic realism (no pun intended), personal diary, vaudeville, documentary, and fairy tale with a nod to classic Black and White film making and photography. It is original, creative, sophisticated, moody, spooky and brilliantly conceived and executed." - Jeffrey Vock
"Magical." - William B. Golden
"This beautiful piece of cinematic art is just gorgeous. It is such an exciting mystery and a journey to the glamorous past of theater. I loved to hear your voice guiding me along on this fantastical road trip letting me tag along as I imagined myself as a dancer in his show and part of a group of show ponies, show girls and vagabond gypsies. You and your grandfather have a similar essence as you are and have always been a Magical woman, Warm, Delightful and Thoughtful, as this movie is as well." - Heather L
"The amount of research you did was amazing, going to the lengths you did to find out more information about your granddad. I so respect that." - Linda S. Woods
"Divine, beautiful tale, curiously unique style, very cool." - Tyler E
"What a beautiful dreamy trip. Wonderfully done. Refreshing. The resemblance between Kala and her grandfather is uncanny. Bravo" - Jen Senko
"Loved the film!" - Sandi Fellman
"Fascinating story. I am a fan of the Mandrake comics and found it lovely that the author and your grandfather were happy to cross-promote each other without making trouble over IP. He seems to have been a wholesome guy in other aspects of his life. I liked the dreamlike, evocative mood of the documentary, like stepping into the past." @Spaceshiprat
"The Manhattan resident’s hour-long, dream-like film is a personal journey into the old world of Vaudeville." - Tom Zillich
Writer-Director Perspective. The Documentary Fairytale
Please keep an ear to the "underground" for special movie screenings and events.
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