Today didn’t start very well, when I went to shut my front door, the strap, on my bag, gave way, I hoped it wasn’t a sign of things to come for the rest of the day.
When I arrived at Great Ormond Street, I realised I didn’t have any contact details for the spread a smile, people (their website will be live in 2 weeks time), so headed to the cafe, where i had first met them, before heading back to reception where I found my contacts. Once I got upstairs, I found out I was working with 3 other magicians ,2 face painters and a fairy.
Once ready I started in a ward where children were having Dialysis. The first lad I went to said, he had seen magicians before but after realising he hadn’t seen me I was able to perform a couple of close up magic tricks. I then taught him some magic, a routine where he got to use a banger, which we made, with instructions I gave him and was used to reveal a prediction, to finish the trick.
Once I had finished with him I moved to an older girl, who had requested to see some close up magic. I again did a couple of close up magic tricks before teaching a different routine which can be seen below. Her dialysis was going to take another 2 hours and from talking to her she had done it twice a week for over 2 years. The best part of what I did was, I left her with a set of instructions on how to do the trick, as she had an iPad, I also gave her a web address and password, so she could watch an online instruction video and then show the nurses who hadn’t seen the close up magic trick and she could do this all before she finished her dialysis, hopefully making the time pass quicker.
My next visit was going to be to the next bed but unfortunately the doctor came so I had to miss her out. I promised I would show her something next time.
The next ward I performed in was called ‘lion’ the children in here, where a lot younger and where gathered in a group area. I did a 30 minute child’s magic show with the 3 items I had with me. There was a young lad with Down’s syndrome and some great comical moments where created with him. When reacting during one of my routines, after I made some funny sounds, he started to reply in a similar manor, it started an impromptu conversation of gobbledegook, which ended with not only the child in a fit of laughter but also everybody else. Once I had finished my last routine, another magician took my place and I headed off, with the fairy, to a room, where a young lady resided. When we arrived she was fascinated by the water tap. I did a short set, which included my torn and restored newspaper, upon the paper being restored i was greeted with, WOW! but you tore it up. I then left so the fairy could paint her face and I could find another child.
I headed round the corner to a single room, where I guess, the child had, had chemotherapy. I had never thought about it before but a child with no hair, is very difficult to age. I need to grasp an idea so I know what best to perform to them. Everyone, so far, had met my performances with great reactions. In this room, his reaction surprised me, as his response made me realise he was a lot older than I had first thought, after a couple of routines it was time to leave the ward though.
My penultimate performance was in the cafe, I did a story routine for a 2 year old before sitting with a family with a 14 year old daughter and her younger sister. Their father, during the close up magic trick, seemed to have lost control of his jaw as it was permanently dangling open whilst the children and mother where just saying “amazing!”
I finished by performing to 4 children who had been playing FIFA on the Xbox. They paused the game and let me show them a few close up magic routines. They where a very curious group and it was great fun as they tried to catch me out all the time, these types of groups for me are the most fun as you really have to be on your game, I left them to finish their match, on the Xbox and headed home after collecting my things. It was a great first day.
The funniest bit of the day was when one of the other magicians used a squeaker and got the children and parents in fits of laughter, achieving just what we where booked for, even if the reaction from the person whom booked us, made it even funnier, for all around making sure he did really “spread a smile!”
Till next time.