But Friday night, I got to go back to my roots and do a sit down, single table, close up magic show for sixteen people, all adults, in a private room at Maggiano's in Skokie, Illinois for an hour.
The group was a periodontal dental practice's holiday party - the two dentists, both men, and the rest of the staff, all women.I was seated in the middle of one long side of a rectangular table, with two ladies on my left on my side of the table and one on my right. The two dentists, with two more ladies, were also on my right, three more ladies were on my left, with the rest of the group being seated across from me.
To say that this is where a close-up guy like me is really in his element is to put it mildly.
I tend to start out in a rather self-deprecatory manner - "Good evening, folks, my name is Lee Darrow... as if you cared..." pause, smile, wink... "I'm the magician, hypnotist and mentalist to Sandals & Beaches Resorts in the Caribbean... I know, I know... It's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it!" and right in to my Linking Rings routine.
With the 16" rings. Standing up.
From there, it was right into my sponge ball routine, complete with the "Sponge Ping Chien" move and sawing in half and the walnut finale, just to keep them laughing... shades of my days at the old New York Lounge on Lincoln Avenue, just down the street from Magic, Inc.
And we had FUN!
True, the Australilan Poker Deal routine (Wild Card) got them going with the oddball story about the "pasteboard shortage down under" and why they deal off the bottom of the deck and all... and they enjoyed the "Tom Cruise, Top Gun, F-14, Twin-Engine Failure, Bail-out Of The Aircraft and Get Anthony Edwards Out Of The Movie" routine (LePaul's Gymnastic Aces), but the topper of them all, as far as the laughs went, was the "Regression to Prevent a Bad Relationship" routine (a routine using 2 different denomination bills and a coin purse with a really strange mid-point.
I'm not bragging here (much) - I'm glowing. It's really nice to know that I can still do this kind of gig and get just as great a reaction as I used to when I was doing it four nights per week, almost twenty years ago!
By Gads, I LOVE MY WORK!