Monday, July 2, 2012

My Favorite Audience

For the past 21 years, magic has been my profession, my creative outlet, and my muse. Magic makes it possible for me to go places, meet people, and share experiences that would not otherwise have been possible. Most of those places, people, and experiences are wonderful.

But every now and then it goes beyond wonderful; it becomes phenomenal.  

Such was the case in January when I performed at Madonna School. Sure, I’d heard about Madonna School before. In fact, I have a nephew who just graduated from Madonna. But I’d never really experienced  Madonna.
And what a wonderful experience from the moment I stepped through the door.

It was more than evident that the staff and teachers are totally invested in the students. The students were all happy and anxious for the show to begin. It was easy to tell that there’s a lot of love in that building.

Please allow me to explain something to you about my shows. As a magician, I am used to certain kinds of responses from an audience. I know when an audience is going to laugh, when they’re going to gasp, and when they’re going to applaud. I’m even pretty good at predicting the kind of laughter and the amount of applause.

But with the students at Madonna School, things were different. You see, most audiences whether they’re young or old, are hampered by having a filter of their reactions. The students that day gave me pure, honest reactions to my tricks. It was a breath of fresh air and it made the show even more fun for me.

That’s what elevated that show to the “phenomenal” category.

After my show I was given a tour and got to see for myself some of the programs that are offered. I did a magic show that day, but the staff at Madonna School work their own magic every day - they’re building lives. That goes beyond magic; I’d say that’s miraculous. 

I also support Madonna for personal reasons. I have two nephews with Down Syndrome. One of them shows me no mercy as he beats me at almost any game on the Wii (and I’m honestly trying to win). The other has a greater and purer appreciation of the performing arts than I can ever hope to have. Both are remarkable young men and I’m proud to be their uncle. 

I hope you are joining us for the Magical Moments Celebration Saturday, August 25.  I have some very special tricks and illusions for that night and I think you’ll have a great time.

But please remember one thing: no matter how much you laugh and applaud, you won’t be my favorite audience of this year. The students at Madonna School have that title.

-Jeff Quinn


link to the official
Madonna School Website