It has been asked of William Corey time and again, from those who wish to understand his skills yet have not seen them, what precisely Psychodynamic Entertainment is and how his performance differs from other entertainers. During this 30 minute interview, I have tried to uncover those answers and attempt to find out what makes him and his performances so magical.
Fields - William, you call what you do Psychodynamic Entertainment. Can you explain what that is?
W.C. - Definitely. The word psychodynamic simply is the study of behavior in relation to motivation or pertaining to the development and effect of the mental process. As far as the term entertainment, well, that's self-explanatory.
Fields - How does that relate to what you do and why did you chose this over a more easily recognizable description?
W.C. - I enjoy studying people and observing life at all levels, including behavior in relation to motivation, inspiration, drive and / or purpose, whether it be in culture, philosophy or religion. It's my opinion that the world around us can teach us, that everyone we meet can help us grow, learn and discover aspects possibly hidden or overlooked within ourselves. Within my performances, I try to communicate my findings through verbal and visual techniques. This is the basis of all my performances. In doing so, some have placed upon me the classification they are most comfortable with or that clearly defines in their mind what I do, whether it be the title of magician, speaker or storyteller, but, to me these titles seem a bit confining. The term Psychodynamic Entertainment or preferably Psychodynamitist most concisely exemplifies what I do -- words are meant to be understood and even though this description is obscure to some, it is what I am comfortable with.
Fields - Do you have anything against being called a magician, storyteller or speaker?
W.C. - No, not particularly. I understand the source of the titles. Unfortunately, when one hears them, ideas come to mind that may not be entirely correct or complete.
Fields - Can you explain?
W.C. - Well, the most frequently associated title with what I do is that of the magician and although the term has connotations of being a great and powerful controller of elemental energies, I have found that in today's world this title denotes a person who does tricks from cards and coins to the large stage illusion variety where the occasional confinement & abuse of assistance passes for entertainment. The magician of today is almost a non-entity, as the "magic" resides not in the performer, performance or presentation but in the trick.
When I have referred to myself as a magician, in my early days, people would most commonly ask what tricks I did and if I happened to describe something they believed they were familiar with, then the reaction more often than not would be "oh, I've seen that, do you do anything else?".
Tricks fool, and as a famous cereal commercial tells us, tricks are for kids. My goal, when performing magic, is not to fool or demonstrate
my cleverness as contained by an illusion that could be bought or easily learned but to entertain, at times educate and bring a sense of new wonderment about life to my audience. Tricks alone, no matter how good, can't do that. Unfortunately, many magicians choose not to grasp this simple fact or if they do, can't seem to implement it properly.
Fields - You have also been referred to as an artist. How do you take that title?
W.C. - That title is one I can live with. I consider being thought of in that way a major compliment however, it's not one that I would use to describe my performances, simply because art is subjective. I'd rather leave it to my audience to interpret their experience.
Fields - I'm glad you said that. As I look around your office, there are many awards, plaques, medals, trophies, and certificates honoring you for your work and performances though the years. I'm aware that your performances have been described by your peers, clients and audience members as artistic, unique, touching, honest, moving, creative, reflective, inspired and masterful, can you comment on these reactions?
W.C. - With this question, you've hit on the things I'm most shy about when it comes to what I do. First the awards - I don't like to dwell on them too much simply because, as its been said, "things won are done and the joy is in the doing". I am honored to have received them knowing that others have felt me worthy of their accolades. The awards and praise are special to me. However, to rely on past accomplishments is not my way, for me to do so is like saying look what I have done as opposed to look what I am doing.
For the other part of your question, I can only try to comment. In fact you may be more aware of the extent of remarks than I am. I only see what people write to me or tell me directly. You have been in the crowd and able to hear the comments -- before, during and after my presentations. Their reactions are what they are and people relate to what they know. The reaction received is an expression of thoughts, feelings and emotions. This could be positive or negative, depending on what I do or bring forth from within the audience member. Since my performances are based on many aspects of life, I believe everything from strong emotions to silent contemplation is par for the course. From what you have related, it appears my job and goal have been achieved, at least for those audiences.
Fields - Your performances are powerful and you have from my experience and observations successfully blurred the line between fantasy and reality in a way that forces others to re-evaluate what they know or believe to know about the world around them. Have you experienced any negative or unusual reactions to what you do?
W.C. - I knew you were going to get to this and yes, I have. The most common reaction is with people who have tried to convert me to their personal religious viewpoint. This doesn't bother me. In fact, I'll occasionally take some time and find out what they have to say which sometimes turns into a lively discussion. Yet, the most unusual incident was when a couple of individuals from a particular religious ideology attempted time and time again to get me to drop all that I do and follow their path totally. When I did not, they enlisted the help of a gentleman who stated his name as Kevin and his profession being that of a cult investigator and deprogrammer. Through friends and acquaintances, I discovered that he was asking several unusual questions about me and that he was indeed investigating me as being a cult leader, an idea I found laughable. After two or three weeks of investigation behind my back, he gained the nerve to call me. We had several conversations and even a meeting. During one of our conversations he informed me as to the extent of his investigation and who hired him. Unfortunately, when he said that his work was over, I requested his contact information if this couple continued, even though he stated that they wouldn't be a problem, I have yet to receive his contact information.
If I recall, you had inquired earlier as to the power and effect of my presentations.
Fields - Yes.
W.C. - Well I am not aware of another entertainer or creator, whether musician, actor, magician, writer, poet, director or producer ever being investigated as a cult.
Fields - In light of what you just said, would you say that your performances are geared to a certain type or group of people?
W.C. - Well, everyone has their own opinions and ideas of what I do, sometimes before they even see any of my performances. The depth and various viewpoints held makes me realize that although Hollywood and advertisers try to confine people to certain groups based upon statistical profiles, we all have our own reasons for interpreting things the way we do. I have designed performances for a variety of situations, needs, ages and concerns and have even specially designed presentations for groups, when necessary. The extreme reactions I've received only help to inform me that I must be doing something correct.
Fields - William, you said that you "enjoy studying people and observing life at all levels including behavior in relation to motivation and inspiration" so, where does your most powerful inspiration come from?
W.C. - Ah, my inspiration, life -- other than that, discovering the way other people interpret life.
Fields - Which ways do you go about doing that?
W.C. - There are three ways. The first, talking to others and listening to what they say, not being afraid to question. Second, I read primarily philosophy, psychology and metaphysical text but will wander off into realms of mythology and sci-fi and whatever catches my eye. Third, music - which for me is the most powerful and immediate form of growth, being that it's always at the ready and I don't have to completely focus to gain from it. In fact, I have found that if I am in the process of observing and a certain piece of music comes on - then it can change the context of what's happening.
Fields - What types of music do you listen to?
W.C. - I listen and have gained from all forms of music - Classical, Contemporary, Country, World, Jazz, Rock, Rap, Folk, Filk, R&B, Punk, Wave, Metal, Alternative, Goth and Techno, but my favorite would have to be Progressive Rock. To me this type of music is not only lyrically stimulating but musically explosive. Artists such as Genesis - during the Gabriel years, Yes, Caravan, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, King Crimson and Hawkwind, as well as many that I have not mentioned, are the ones I consider experts in not only weaving complex stories full of ideas and emotions but matching them to instrumentation transporting the listener to new and unique places which are not so removed from our own world that they are unidentifiable.
Although, I do not possess any musical talent to speak of, my performance goal is to affect my audience in a similar way.
Fields - What would be one thing that you would wish to impart to those reading this.
W.C. - If we were to look at the world around us and compare it to the world of 50 or 100 years ago in the realms science, medicine and technology then realize that the things we take for granted were once only possible within the thoughts of dreamers, then the words "The universe is change, our life is what our thoughts make it" may even be greater than "Marcus Aurelius" ever imagined.
We all live, work and eventually die. However, it's what we leave behind that's where the eternal lies.
-- Contact William Corey --
Metairie, LA 70033-3693
Other Contact Info.:
(Louisiana Based - Serving The Southern U.S.)