Going back about 15 years. maybe more, Phil and I were getting ready to close up for the evening and we get a phone call from Chris Kenner.
“Hi Phil, its Chris Kenner. I’m here at the Place Des Arts with David Copperfield and we were wondering if you have a certain prop.”
We did and we said we could send it down there by cab if he wanted.
“Well, why don’t you bring it down yourself and I’ll have complementary tickets waiting for you and Evy at the box office? ”
Phil said okay and then proceeded to tell me of the plans. I said I had to go home to change. In those days you got dressed up to go to the Place des Arts. I was wearing an old pair of slacks and a T-Shirt.
But we don’t have time to go home.
Then I’m not going.
Don’t be silly. You look fine. (men!) We’ll probably get seats up in the gods and no one will see you anyway.
Oh no, our seats will be front row center.
Sure, he’s going to give away two $75.00 tickets.
Why not? What’s it to him.
Well, I’m telling you this. Whatever happens, I’m not going on stage.
Evy, no offense but did you ever notice that he usually gets these voluptuous very young women on stage.
So I reluctantly agreed to go. Like I had a choice. We get to the box office and picked up our complimentary tickets, Front Row Center! Phil couldn’t believe his eyes. We went in and sat down. A few minutes later Chris Kenner came over and sat down in the empty seat beside Phil. They chatted for a while, Phil gave Chris the package, Chris gave Phil the cheque and they continue talking, as magicians do. Then I heard Chris call me. “Evy, you’re going to help us out, aren’t you? I just looked at Phil whose mouth and eyes were wide open. (How could she know?)
I’m not going on stage!
You don’t have to go on stage.
What’s the deal?
He produced a huge pair of black field glasses and said, When David does his second trick, which is a card trick, keep the binoculars on your eyes and follow every move he makes. Don’t take your eyes off him even for a second.
Now in my mind I figured that someone was going was going to select a card and somehow that card would be revealed to David in the glass of the binoculars. How it could be done I didn’t know, but since David can do anything, why not this? I agreed to do it. Chris gave me the binoculars and left.
So there we are, front row center with the binoculars on my lap and there is still some time to go before the show. We looked around to see if there are any fellow magicians we know and we saw Gary Ouellet sitting 5 rows behind us. He called out to us.
“How do you come to have front row seats?” ( Gary worked with David at that time)
I held up the binoculars.
“Oh, you’re the one.” and he laughed. I should have known then.
The show began and then the second trick started. I picked up the binoculars and followed his every move as he did his card trick and walked back and forth across the stage. I hung in there. I was not going to spoil David Copperfield’s trick. Suddenly he stopped what he was doing. He was center stage at this point. He looked down at me.
“What’s wrong? You’re not close enough?” He looked up and said “Lights please, right there!” pointing at me. “Look at her everyone! Front row center, with binoculars!” he said as a series of spotlights landed on her, who did not want to be seen. “Stand up, will you?” What the heck. In for a penny, in for a pound. I stood up, laughing. Give me that thing he said holding out his hand. And with the spotlights following me and 3,000 people watching and laughing, I walked over to the stage which seemed like a mile and handed him the binoculars. He put them up to his eyes and followed me with them and kept them on me and said, “How does that feel? ” I had surrendered by then and was actually enjoying the attention.
Thanks for the blog David!