We have just performed a couple of previews for Tricks – we open officially on Saturday – and it didn’t take very long (the first performance actually) to realize why it is we do what we do. It always comes from some interaction that we’ve had with a member of the audience, either onstage or after the show, in the lobby during a “meet and greet.”
When we were performing The Conjuror at the Shaw Festival, it was the comment from a little boy who assured our director (and co-writer) Patrick Watson, with a whisper, that he knew how I had made a large silver ball float above the stage. The answer: a trained hummingbird inside the ball that responded to my commands.
A magic moment.
Well, at the first preview of Tricks, there was another magic moment that made my heart soar. It took place after the show and was initiated, once again, by a young member of the audience. He had been onstage with me for what I call “An Ode to the Holidays”, or what some magicians call “The Miser’s Dream.” In this piece I pluck large silver coins out of the air and drop them into the Champagne bucket. At the end of the piece, I extract several coins from a child’s nose. It is always fun to watch their reaction, and that of the audience, when the coins emerge.
So the magic moment?
As the child was leaving the theatre with his father, he used his finger to poke and prod his nose, looking for more coins. Finally, his father said, “There are no more coins. They’re all gone.”