A number of years ago when Punx and his wife Dagy were staying with us, I invited them to the park I was working in as a wizard. He watched me do my thing with the kids four or five times. When we got home he asked if I could write a description of what I did and asked if he could write a series about me for the German Magic Circle magazine.
What I did was not everyones cup of tea but Punx loved it. Of course Punx was a storyteller and a lover of fairy tales. Anyway I wrote it down and thought it may be of interest to others. It is really about performing and knowing your audience.
The one thing I miss since I retired is not having that endless supply of children to work to. They are a great audience.
This obviously is not about tricks but presentation and knowing your audience and how you want them to perceive you. It applies to all venues. This is sort of a bizarre show for children.
The Wizard In The Cottage.
To understand the magic that I do it is important to understand who I do it for and where. I work in a beautiful park that is visited by young children with their families and school children on class trips.
The cottage that I work out of looks like a fairy tale house. The magic that I do is aimed at the children. I know that if I enchant them and they enjoy their visit, their parents and teachers are very happy too.
Young children can be easily frightened and a crying child is not fun for anyone. I CANNOT BE THREATENING!!!
I have bird feeders around my cottage and birds are never far away. Small animals such as squirrels and chipmunks as well as the birds who are used to being fed by me are always ready to make an appearance when I ring a bell. All will eat from my hand, the small birds even perch on my outstretched fingers.
Spring time to Fall flowers are blooming all around. This is my stage.
When I am not being the Wizard, I do gardening in the area so I am not wearing a tall pointed cap or robes with stars and planets painted on it. Instead my hat, which just keeps the hot sun off my head has a ring of flowers around the brim. I have a tall staff with feathers hanging from it, vines with flowers twisted around it, and a small silver bell hanging from a gold chain attached to the top.
From my belt hangs a drawstring bag. It is filled with silver dust (from an art supply store). I also wear an apron around my waist and in its pockets I carry the things I will need to perform my magic plus some peanuts and bird seed. This is my costume.
And now for my act.
When I see or hear children approach I turn by back to the direction they are coming from and busy myself with some gardening work. When they are close enough to see me, and me to hear them, I turn my head toward them. I act surprised and a bit frightened, as if they scared me. Children, being children feel pleased with themselves when they can scare an adult.
I say to them, "Oh, you gave me quite a scare, I was just getting ready to feed the birds and animals, would you like to help me?" I've never had any child say no to this question. I tell them they must be quiet or the animals will be afraid of them. I then point to the silver bell hanging from the gold chain on my staff and ask one of them to ring it.
In no time at all squirrels and chipmunks are peeking from under the shrubs. I reach into my apron pocket, take out two peanuts and rub the shells together. It is a sound they can't resist and are soon at my feet. I give the children peanuts and tell them to do the same thing, then put the peanuts on the ground by their feet. When the animals come out and get them the children are besides themselves with joy. By then the birds are looking for their treat.
I reach for a handful of bird seed and hold it out to them. The braver ones perch on my finger tips and peck away at the seeds.
I talk to the birds and animals, calling them by their names and act as if I am responding to what they are saying. I give the children seed to throw on the ground for the birds, then as if I just thought of it, I look at the children and very seriously ask, "Are you Elves, or Fairies, or perhaps Leprechauns?
Some say yes, some say no, and some are not sure. "Well, I say, let me give you a test" By this time I have a squeaker finger palmed.
"All of you put your finger on the tip of your nose. You see you are in the presence of a Wizard, and if you have even just a little bit of the Fairy Folk Magic in you, when you press your nose it will squeak. I press my nose and of course it squeaks. The children try and theirs do not.
"Perhaps you are not pressing in the right spot, let me try." I then lightly press the nose closest to me an it does squeak, much to every ones delight. Soon they are all pressing forward to have their nose squeaked. Having passed the test, I now invite them into my "Wizards Cottage".
To continue this lecture CLICK HERE.
Back to INDEX of LECTURES.
Home Main Page
|All the material in this lecture, on all pages, is copyrighted with all rights reserved to Carl Herron, 1997.|