When I was in the group ‘The Young Magicians’, being taught as a teenager by Lyndsay Reitschel, we would visit aged care facilities to inflict our magic on the elderly as a sort of treat for them and an opportunity for us to perform in front of real people. Often, the real enjoyment for those people comes from not being asked to pick a card, but from talking to young people and reconnecting with the outside world. I always encourage magicians, especially those who are just starting out, to offer their services free of charge to these places as a way to get your “performing miles” up.
One magician who regularly does this, though he is not starting out, is Dane Certificate, and one recent experience is a great example as to why all magicians should follow this advice regardless of your performing status.
Dane was performing at an aged care facility recently and asked for an assistant to join him on stage. A 100 year old woman eagerly volunteered… and she was none other than Moi-Yo Miller, perhaps the most famous assistant in the history of magic, the principal assistant to the legendary Dante was now on stage assisting Dane.
As Dane reported “she jumped up and volunteered and gave sly winks while assisting and zapped my business card, ninja-style through my linking rings. Moi-Yo is 100, pushing 101 in April.”
After the show he had the rare opportunity to chat with Moi-Yo as she gave him some sage advice. “You’ve got to watch your angles. Practise in front of a mirror. People aren’t stupid. Also, stop washing that bird in the same tub as your shirts. The colours run.”
Get out there. Give your magic as a gift. You never know what priceless gift you may receive in return.