Above everything else we do at Ellusionist, the one thing we push above all else is inspiring our customers to perform with the stuff they buy. And there’s one performance venue that is very close to our hearts: Performing for kids at hospitals. E VP Jason Brumbalow talked about it in this podcast, and more recently, put out a call to action.
One guy answered the call, and wrote us back with the best e-mail we’ve read in a while. This is from Don Boyer, of New York City:
This isn’t so much a question as a message directed at Jason Brumbalow. I wanted to thank him for the notice a few months ago in the blog about NY Methodist Hospital needing magician volunteers. I’ve been there a little while now and I’m having the time of my life.
This is a true win-win situation. I get some valuable exposure and practice with audiences (and they aren’t always pushovers!), while they get a little entertainment to brighten a dull day – staring at the TV will only go so far even for a teleholic – and distract them from their problems. I’ve been set up for now in the pediatric unit, and I’m there Wednesdays from 4-6pm. I generally try getting in weekly, though I did have to miss a few Wednesdays while getting a medical issue of my own tended to and moving in with my girlfriend (who just so happens to live a few blocks from an F train station in Queens, making the trip a piece of cake). Amanda told me I only needed to appear as little as once a month (they’re flexible with entertainers’ schedules), but I think you know as well as I now do that I couldn’t wait that long between trips.
For all the fun I’m having and they’re having, there’s been a few really cool moments. There’s two that come to mind right away, and they both happened the same day. In the first one, I had a kid actually tell me that he felt better after seeing me perform a few tricks for him and leave him a deck of cards as a souvenir. (I must have blushed on that one, really…) The other one was a girl who’d been in-patient for three days. When I finished performing for her, her mother told me that I did something that no one in the hospital or in her own family had been able to do for the past three days – I made her smile. After that second event, all I could do was stand there with a goofy grin on my face. I never believed that a performance could impact someone like that before – I mean, a great magician, perhaps, but someone barely more than an amateur like me? Never. But not any more.
Even if I never get another paid gig in my entire life (and I’ve only had one so far), what I get out of this is motivation enough to perform, well, forever. Thanks for introducing me to all of this. I mean, if it wasn’t for me looking for some cool custom playing card decks in the summer of ’10, I would never have found Ellusionist, never placed that fateful order that December, never started really getting more seriously into magic. It’s a great thing you’re doing, and I’m grateful.
We’re grateful to Don as well. He answered the call: He is using his newly-found skills to make lives better. He’s bringing awe and magic into the lives of people who really need it. People like Don are why we burn the midnight oil, why we press ourselves to come up with bigger and better effects.
With Thanksgiving and the holidays approaching, we hope you consider putting your magic to good use. Think about performing for others in a situation like this. Do what you can.
p.s. Those of you in the Chicago area, check out Open Heart Magic.