Two weeks ago, I performed at a rich kid’s birthday party in Cuenca, a faraway town of Batangas City.
Surprise, surprise! In the audience was Karen, the pretty 15-year-old niece of my former officemate Joan.
After the show, Joan and I filled each other in with news about ourselves. The conversation later dwelt mostly about the Philippine National Bank (my former employer) and my friends and former office mates there.
We enjoyed talking about the good, old days. One of the topics that came up was Karen.
The last time I saw her was when she was still a tiny girl of five visiting my office. It was so long ago I couldn’t even remember how I interacted with her or if I performed a trick for her.
Karen confessed she remembered me after that visit in the office. In fact, over the last ten years or so, whenever the topic of magic came up, she would mention me to her Aunt Joan and to her other relatives. The reason? She couldn’t forget how I magically produced a coin from her ear.
I was dumbstruck. I didn’t even remember performing for her a coin trick, let alone one that’s so unforgettable it would stick on her mind for years.
If memory serves me right, it was Peter Marucci who said that pulling coins from children’s ears is one of the magical effects most appreciated by children. I didn’t know how true this observation was until Karen validated it to me through her testimonial that night.
Coincidentally, this past few weeks, I have been learning a new Miser’s Dream routine. The Miser’s Dream was one of the first tricks I learned in high school (direct from Henry Hay’s The Amateur Magician’s Handbook). I used to perform the Miser’s Dream at fiestas in Cebu City when I was supposed to be doing my assignments in school (I studied at Cebu Institute of Technology). I also performed the trick on the streets, to passersby of the apartment my family rented. That was long before David Blaine popularized street magic on TV.
So you see, the Miser’s Dream is a beautiful magic. It packs a wallop in terms of audience impact. The good thing is that no Filipino magician seems to be doing this today on a regular basis. This fact sends me to research-and-development mood. My idea is to bring back an updated version of the Miser’s Dream to my repertoire.
As regards Karen, before we parted that night, I guessed the name of her crush. He’s in your circle of friends, I told her. She said, yes. He’s older than you. She said, yes. He’s tall and good looking. Her smile became bigger as she said yes.
I then told her the guy’s name.
Like many 15-year-old girls, she freaked out. She almost fell from her chair trying to contained her excitement. Her reaction brought the house down.
I’m pleased with the thought that she will remember that magical moment for many years to come.