The Intimacy of Performing Magic

Today, I nearly cried at “work.” I was hired to perform close-up and parlour magic at a chateau (on lovely grounds) for a family gathering. The mother, father, and their extended family and friends were all celebrating the son’s completion of a doctorate in dentistry and the beginning of his career. We all ate together and in-between each course it was my job to amaze and enchant for a set. The moment that got me, sitting in this room filled with complete strangers, is when the father said a few words about how proud he is of his son’s achievement. He said a line about how hard his son had worked, the difficulties he’d overcome, and then he choked up (silently crying). I had the impression of a quiet, respectful man, who rarely showed such emotion in public. His wife came over and stood by him for support. He finished his speech and the feast went on. How lucky are we performers? Sometimes people we barely know, or have never met, invite us to add beauty and wonder to heighten events that are already highlights in their lives. Sometimes, like I did today, we see them expressing their love for one another in ways that some of their own family members only see a few times in their lives. It’s a gift.

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