Contrary to rumors, I am a human being.
I have emotions to handle. The tear ducts in my eyes shed tears.
I have had bookers asked me to do shows for cancer-stricken children. Performing for sick kids has opened my eyes to an awful truth: I suck at emotion management.
I choke watching pale children in wheelchairs, with bottles intravenously fed to them, while I’m performing for them. It’s clear they can’t participate in the show. All they can manage is a feeble smile to reward me for my best routines.
I find those performances emotionally draining. I refer such shows to magicians who’s got hearts not as weepy as mine.
There was one show a long time ago that shook and stunned me. The terrible realization came too late. I was unprepared for the emotional devastation that followed.
After the party, when it was time to say goodbye to the birthday boy’s parents, the mom thanked me profusely. She said, “Thank you for making my son very happy today.”
At that moment, I felt flushed with success. I had observed the children, especially the 10-year-old birthday boy, having a great time during the show.
Then the mom sobbed before me. She still had the smile on her lips. But tears were rolling down her cheeks. She said, “This might be his last birthday. He has a few months left to live. He has been diagnosed with cancer. ”
I stood motionless before her. I didn’t know how to react. Or what to say.
Haven’t I told you I suck at this?