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laughter photo: Laughter laughter.jpgAs a magician in the Philippines, I believe gunning for enthusiastic audience reactions is every magician’s goal every time he performs.

Roars of amazement, thunderous applause, screams of delight—all this energizes him. An uproarious reaction always goads him to do a better job than if the audience responds coldly.

A reaction is better than a tepid or no reaction at all. Whether the reaction you get is in the form of tomatoes being pelted at you, at least this is a real-life reaction. It means you are performing for a live audience as opposed to just dreaming about performing while you laze out on a rocking chair.

halloween photo: halloween halloween.jpgI once performed in a large venue before a dead audience—and it was not even a Halloween show. All the laugh lines I dropped crashed and burned, failing to raise even a smile.

The tricks I performed came and went without earning even the scantiest applause. My only consolation was that everyone—children and adults—stayed on their seats, staring at me blankly. The whole scene was so weird I thought I was on the TV show The Walking Dead. 

I finished my show, shaken and rattled. I almost even rolled on the floor, just so I could completely understand the movie title “Shake, Rattle and Roll.”

Well, here’s the weird part. When it was time to pack up, I went to the parking lot to fetch my van. I bumped into some of the guests (about a dozen of them) in the parking lot. They were smiling and laughing when they saw me. “Sir, ang galing ng show!” someone said. “Picture, picture tayo, Sir.”

And so we had several group shots taken by their cameras. They were enthusiastically telling me the parts of the show they liked best. They even repeated some of my funny lines.

I was stunned. I couldn’t figure out why these people did not react while the show was going on but lionized me at the parking lot long after the show was over.

yul bryner, king and I photo: King and i Yul F KingAndiYulF.jpgAs Yul Bryner said in the movie the King and I, “It’s a puzzlement.”

Okay, if one smart aleck reader will suggest my show is good only for parking lot viewing, I’ll turn him into a goat.

Stay magical,