I have many memorable shows that I keep in my mind and cherish. One that really stands out for its sheer difficulty (and gratification) is the show that I did for the Philippine School for the Deaf in Pasay City .
The day of the show, I made all 600 or so children happy. Very happy, through magic and comedy.
The children were all deaf/mute.
In the weeks leading to the show, I racked my brain trying to find a unique way to perform for them, so they would understand the show. In the end, I decided to perform the show straight—music, choreography, verbal gags, everything intact.
The school provided me with a hand-signal interpreter who positioned herself at one side of the stage. Unfortunately, she was more of a distraction than a help. The children looked at her side of the stage and then looked at me on center stage. Their gaze went back and forth between her and me. They reminded me of tennis fans watching the ball during a match. Worse, the interpreter would stop the hand signals when she got absorbed in the routine. In the end, she gave up, went down the stage and watched the show with the students. I finished the show without a safety net.
It was weird performing to music when you know the children couldn’t hear it. I had a few boo-boos. Once or twice, I almost asked them to repeat the magic words!
All my jokes bombed. But oh, well, you should have seen how the children reacted to the doves and rabbits and the rest of the magic.
After the show, dozens of them, grunting and signaling their comments, swarmed the backstage wanting to see more magic. The teachers told me later that it was the first magic show they had ever seen in their entire life.
Well, I didn’t have to be good for them, as they had seen nobody else to compare me with. But it was a magical moment for me to see magic transcend physical disability.
Looking at their smiling faces, I felt a power surging from within me. I felt the magic probably more intensely than they did. That day I touched the lives of hundreds of special children and made them happy.
Buy Magic ‘To (The Next Level) tickets HERE.
Beautiful magic begins at 8 PM, September 8, 2007,
Philamlife Theater, UN Avenue, Manila