Yesterday, my kids elementary school had a carnival. I had volunteered to setup a magic show booth for the kids, and do several shows. I went back and forth about being excited about it, and regretting it (too much work!), but now that its come and gone, I'm extremely happy I did it.
I built this booth out of PVC piping and black duck cloth (no, not made from ducks: its a heavy canvas that prevents light from passing through - very effective). It's kind of a pain to transport, but once it is setup, its very cool. I have this golden shimmering curtain which adds some flair to the booth, and give it the necessary "magic show" type of appearance. I put up a black bulletin board with my name ("The Mystery Magician") and showtimes (I did three shows: 3:30pm, 4:30pm and 5:30pm).
The first show I was a little nervous. You see, I normally do these things for birthday parties, and usually in someone's backyard or living room. This time, however, the engagement was an open forum, and anyone who wanted to see a magic show, needed only to sit down in front of the booth at the specified time. Anyway, the first show started off a bit slow, because there weren't that many people there at the start (10-20?). Once I got started, the audience (which was standing - first mistake!) slowly edged closer and closer, until I was being pressed back into my booth. Nevertheless, they seemed to enjoy themselves, and I had a ball showing off some of my best tricks.
The second show was different. This time, word had gotten around, and a MOB of people (adults and children alike) showed up. There had to be something like 50-70 people there! I encouraged them to sit on the ground (to prevent the press), and had demarked a line on the ground so they wouldn't get too close. The 2nd show was wonderful. I did some different tricks (for those repeat attenders), and some same tricks. The audience was one of the best I had ever performed for, and there was lots of interaction. Many of the kids would shout out that they knew how I did the trick, and then their jaws would drop to the ground when I changed it up. Pure joy!
The 3rd show was definitely the best, as I pulled out the stops. I did everything, from Cups and Balls, to Hippity-Hop Rabbits, to Rising Deck, to Cut-and-Restored rope. Some of the tricks I didn't think would play well, turned out to be my biggest hits (Stiff Rope, and Dove Pan)!
On Tuesday, I have my big Halloween show, where I will be levitating a Jack-O-Lantern, cutting my daughter's arm in two, and walking through barbed wire. Wish me luck!