Do you remember the first time you performed magic for a big audience you didn’t know? Of course big is relative. I’ve been doing magic for over 40 years (I must have been 10 at the time.) Just kidding! But I started learning and doing magic in the magic shop demonstrating different tricks when Perfect Magic was born. There was no internet or even VHS videos back then. If the customer wanted to see a demo of John Bannon’s lastest trick, you learnt it and did a demo. None of this running to a computer business.
So there’s a day camp in our building and a really nice guy runs it and we were talking and I offered to do a few tricks as camp would soon be closing. He has up to 60 kids. On one to one I’m okay as I’m used to showing the customers this and that but I never performed for a big bunch of kids, until today. Ages were from 4 to 12.
I had 4 effects with me, a Magic Coloring Book, An Appearing Flower, Growing Ball Outdone, and a Color Changing Wand. Some of the kids were colouring when I came in and he told them to stop to see the magic show. I took my cue from there and said that I have a colouring book too. When I first took out the book, before I performed it, one of the kids put his hand up. I was sure he was going to say he saw it before. I asked the kids to put up their hands if they’d been to a magic show. All hands went up. I figured I was in trouble with my colouring book. I told them there are rules about magic they should all know.
1. If you’re at a magic show and know the trick, you never say, “I know how you did it, or I saw it before.”
2. If you buy a magic trick, you don’t tell your friends how it’s done.
3. If your friend is also in magic you can discuss it with that friend as magic is sort of a club.”
Having said that the I proceeded with the Coloring Book. I assure you Houdini would have been thrilled to get the reaction I got. I knew they were in the park earlier, so I asked if they saw any beautiful flowers. Of course they did and I said that I loved flowers too and took out my little empty flower pot. I asked if they thought the flower was beautiful. They sat quietly thinking I was crazy.
“Don’t you see it?”
“You know why?”
“Because its not there.”
“No, because its invisible. If you want to see it I’ll have touch the flower pot with my magic wand,” and 50 jaws dropped in complete astonishment when the flower appeared and then they all applauded. I started to understand why people perform. It was a good feeling.
I then did the colour changing wand from black to green which also got a great reaction, but the pièce de résistance was the Growing Ball Outdone. I knew it would be, but they were so amazed they jumped up lfrom their seats and ran over to the table to see the little black balls. “How could that happen?” I said they could touch them and they did and passed them to each other and examined them as though it was the most amazing thing they ever saw. Of course I told them they could visit the magic shop and I had visitors not long after.
A good time was had by all, especially me!