A time to share

Monday, October 08, 2007

Birthday party magic

Some friends at the church I attend had a birthday party for their six year old son Drew. I arrived at 6:30 pm just after they had eaten dinner... I set up and everyone sat around in the living room. I had two steps above them as it was a sunken living room. Seven children ages 5-12 and 11 adults, we won't discuss their ages!
Since it was a six year olds birthday I wanted to make sure and include him specifically in some magic. I started off with the bird catcher trick. I get down on the floor to their level and we have a bit of fun. Drew's' grandmother wanted a closer look so she joined the children on the floor. Next I performed a twisting the aces trick for Drew using animal cards. He trained his to roll over and I trained three, I couldn't get his to roll over because it was trained to only roll over to his voice. Drew's eyes got REALLY BIG when his animal rolled over for him!
I performed the Chinese sticks to much laughter and oohs and ahhs. No one had a frog hair again!
The Legend of the Five Mystic Rings went pretty well. I still feel like I'm flashing but no one ever says anything, in fact Drew's mom said she really liked the rings and so did his uncle, I'll keep working with them. The silent pass through always causes a gasp. A really pretty moment in the linking rings.
Cut and restored rope went well and I dove tailed it into Lassoing a card. That got some nice oohs and ahhs and clapping too.
Well by now I'm on roll, so I took up my grand fathers bag trick and of course it went great too. Drew's cousin Anna is still mystified as are all the other relatives! Fast becoming a fan favorite as well as the the Vanishing Bandanna which I performed next to raucous laughter and much clapping, of course I ended with the patented Cups and Balls. I wasn't going to perform the cups and balls as most there had seen it last Sunday during church. I spoke with Gary and Carrie(Drew's parents) about it and they both said that everyone loves it. Besides, seven of the 18 people there had never seen it. The children were really close to the performing table and I had to work to keep the angles tight. Still, I think there were two times when the loads were caught. The first was a normal ball in my right hand, but as soon as I loaded it into a cup, she was baffled about where it went, she knows she saw it, but then it was gone? Her younger sister caught a glimpse of one of the oranges. They were sitting below the table, I could tell by the look of surprise on her face and gave her a knowing touch on her nose. It was funny when I finally revealed the orange she "caught" because she said, "I saw that one." I asked her if she saw "this one?" Or "This one?" She said "No." So I said "How about this one? Or that one?" By this time everyone was laughing because of her obvious astonishment at missing the other five. Not too mention their own astonishment when six oranges suddenly appeared from beneath three cups and a pumpkin appears from beneath my hat! Quite an explosion of spontaneous laughter and applause and shakes of the head in bewilderment.
I finished my set with one more special trick just for Drew's' grandparents who celebrate their wedding anniversary next month. Anniversary Waltz, a splendid card effect for couples.
I was still very nervous before the performance. As I was practicing before I left my home and on the drive there. I cannot understand why this is still happening. I am doing good shows, getting nice reviews from my audiences. I practice hard and often, so I know I am going to be fine, when will this ill feeling pass? I mean honestly, I was performing for a six year old child's birthday.
I find it comical at times that I stress out over these things.
I used to play many sports and always was nervous before tip off or the opening pitch. As the game wore on I settled in and usually had great times and played very well. So what is it? Performance anxiety? The need to prove myself? After each performance there are always little things I could have said or should have said that would have improved the whole. Of course the audience doesn't know any of that, so why can't I relax with my magic, secure in the knowledge that my magic works and is well received?
Maybe just time and effort and a thousand more performances?!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take some Valium!

7:46 PM  
Blogger Timmy Jimmy said...

Hahaha,,, that's funny, not a bad Idea! Can you spot me some?!
Us "A" type personalities can always use a little calm me down.

11:10 PM  

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