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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » What happened, was this... » » Deaf child (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

R2
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Tonight, I performed for very large family in Juarez, Mexico. Everyone was very well mannered and dressed to include the children.

My two assistants were busy preparing the sound, lighting and table pre-sets.

A young man about eight years old surprised me backstage as I was laying out my costume changes. He just stood there within the folds of the curtain and watched in utter curiousity.

I never counsel a child in my audiences nor do I give them orders. This is uncomfortable for me. I did however, nod my head in the direction of the seating area as if to say, "Scoot along".

I continued to perform my final pre-set checks when once again not twenty minutes later he was back within the folds of the now swaying curtain.

I was at the other side of the curtain and didn't wish to speak loudly so, I put two fingers in my eyes and then motioned in his direction. This is a squad tactic silent motion. My implied order was, "Stand watch!"

He never once uttered a word only an affirmation with his head just as I had earlier. His silence intrigued me but, never once did I suppose that he might be deaf. Not once!

So, there he stood throughout the show. I motioned for his assistance to help with a rope routine? He promptly complied. Afterwards, he went right back to the wings. I had expected that, he might tire and find a seat? Nope not little Daniel!

Having a little known person in the wings can be very distracting so, I decided to make it a running gag after every other effect and point to him as I uttered "Security" in spanish. The crowd ate it up!

I gave him one of the small magic sets that I sell after my shows as payment for his service.

This show was booked two months ago and Miss Gallegos made it a point to order everyone to attend because she had paid for a "magician".

Little Dan had known of my upcoming performance for almost two months. His mother said that he is always hesitant to go to functions where normal kids are going to be but, she said, "This time he was very eager!" This made her very happy as well.

I make it a point to sit down with every child and parent if they wish for a personal explanation of the effects in my magic kits after the show while my team reels in the cables and loads the equipment. I had expected Daniel but, he didn't come around?

It was then, after every other child had left that his mother asked for me to sign his magic book from his collection? She told me for the first time, "He is deaf and he wanted to thank you for making him feel like all of the other normal kids because no one ever picks him for anything like, I had?"

I was crushed...without haste, I leaned over, hugged him, and then gave him a firm handshake. This was the first time in a very long time that I shed a tear of sorrow...I didn't let him see me do so.

Magic has allowed me to breakthrough and make simple connections without words but, compassion.

"That is Real-Magic!" "Show compassion and give back what you can and then some!"

I am going to sleep well tonight!
Thank you my friends!
~r2
cato
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Wonderful story!!! It touched my heart.
Chrystal
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It was a wonderful story and I loved reading it, Rey Rey. It's amazing how magic can touch the lives of so many and leaves one with that wonderful ahhhhhh feeling. Seems like that little boy is going to remember you for a long time. Well done!
R2
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Thank you for reading this Chrystal & Cato.
It warms my heart to come back to this post and reread the events of that evening. Good kid he is!

I wonder what he will grow up to be like? I contacted the World Mission Society in hopes of helping to teach a Magic Class to the deaf people that they help here locally. The director told me that they would love to have someone teach them something that makes them feel special.

I have been compiling some simple effects with ropes and rings. These don't require words....The W.M.S. sent me a manual so that I could learn sign language. So far it is slow going, but I keep reading and hacking up the signs in my living room whilst listening to some music. Wish me some luck?
Fraternally yours,~r2
JJDrew
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I was just thinking, but maybe doing a show for the deaf would be particularly challenging as a performer. I mean, since they don't hear their eyes do double duty. As a large part of our job involves controlling where people look, would they be less susceptable to this and more likely to spot the "secret moves?" I imagine it might be like whispering around a blind person. They're quite a bit more likely to hear what you say then a sighted person.

I don't know any deaf people personally, so I could be way wrong, but if that's the case, besides having a fun teaching experience, you might have an incredible opportunity to further perfect your own performances.

Next question, what about patter? Can you do sign language while performing your routine, or would it get in the way of what you're doing? (For example I couldn't really say anything while juggling if I had to say it with my hands) Could you turn this to your advantage and utilize the sign language as cover for secret moves? Talk about possibilities! But it would have to be done perfectly to keep the sign language from looking all wrong (Imagine signing with a coin classic palmed). You'd have to tailor the things you said so that you didn't have to say a word which requires the showing of the palm as part of the sign.

I guess I'm sort of rambling, but the idea is really interesting! All the challenges and possible advantages or disadvantages to having a deaf audience. Good luck to you!

P.S. It's important to be able to spell things quickly and easily when signing because even if you don't know the word, you can always spell it and ask what the sign is. When I was studying sign language one exercise I did was I'd read something and while I read spell all the words with my hand. It's cool because you get to employ your brain in reading and the signing becomes second nature. After just a few pages in a book it will become smoother and easier.
icicular
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This story is great... maybe you just helped create one of the great magicians of the future.
A lot of fellows nowadays have a B.A., M.D., or Ph.D. Unfortunately, they don't have a J.O.B. - Fats Domino
Jaxon
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ReyRey. That is a great story and I'm glad you where able to give a deaf person that kind of an experience. Believe me I know because I am deaf myself.

Just last week at Abbotts magic get together I brought a deaf boy up on stage to assist me. It was great because like your Little Dan's mother said. It's a rare thing for a deaf child to really feel a part of a show like this where audience participation is a big part of it all. Because the performers rarely know how to communicate with them. I also commend you for being able to do so with Little Dan. Even though you didn't realise you where dealing with someone deaf at the time. It says to me that you were using the best form of communication there is. A smile and facial expressions.

I'm just so glad you shared this with us. I perform for deaf groups from time to time and give inspirational speaches for hearing people who are insterested in learning more about the deaf (for sign language classes, families that have a deaf members or freinds, etc...). If you ever have any questions about performing for deaf people, sign language or things like that. I'd be happy to help in any way I can. If you want to learn some sign language, and I hope everyone learns a little. Even if its just (My name is ______. What's you're name? and the alphabet). Because once you've done that you've already done magic for a deaf shild. You've entered there world and it's a rare thing.
A good online source is at handspeak.com.

Thanks again for sharing.

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
R2
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Brother Jaxon, you cannot imagine what a tremendous honour it is to have your thoughts on my experience?

I truly thank you for your insight into my comportment. I have since made contact with the World Mission Society and it's director. We are planning an informal workshop for the folks at the center. He was in full agreement that performance magic was a good tool for them to aqcuire.

I would love to have your input into my planned curriculum.

Thanks again for all that you do!
Fraternally,~r2
weepinwil
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I perform in churches witha Gospel Routine. As an icebreaker I often started by saying, "I always wanted to be a professional magician like you see on television, however my first wife was my assistant and was killed doing the catch the bullet trick. Ever since then, it has been impossible to find another assistant so I became a preacher." Everyone would laugh and we would go on. Then one evening I opened this way and my wife said a lady sitting next to her leaned over and said, "That's a shame about his first wife isn't it?" I often wonder how many times that went over peoples heads and I never knew it. After all, pastors are thought to never exagerate (even when performing magic) and everything we say may be taken as truth at face values by others if we are not careful.
"Til Death us do part!" - Weepin Willie
Patrick Differ
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Pardon me if I don't add much to this...I still have a lump in my throat.

Patrick
Will you walk into my parlour? said the Spider to the Fly,
Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to show when you are there.

Oh no, no, said the little Fly, to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair
-can ne'er come down again.
thegospelmagicman
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This story is grand... maybe with your performance and his help, he now feels loved and accepted.

John
thegospelmagicman
fccfp
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That is a truly wonderful story. The best part is that you did not realize what you were doing. To you, you were just dealing with the difficulties we all face from time to time. You handled it very profesionally. It could have easily gone the other way. I hope I will be able to remeber this when I am in a similar situation. You have shown the good side of what a magician can be!
A.K.A. Jay The Magician
www.jaythemagician.com
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