My Purpose in the Pandemic
By Joshua Jay - Saturday, February 27, 2021
There was a turning point for me, sometime around the holidays, when I figured out why I needed to continue doing virtual shows. With a packed schedule of virtual holiday shows, something fundamental came into focus for me: my purpose in the pandemic. I’ve never experienced audiences who were more primed for entertainment. Forget wonder; most of my audiences would settle for a momentary escape from their isolated existence.
What had felt like work started to feel like a privilege: here were families who couldn’t be together to open presents, but they could congregate online as part of a magic show. As magicians, we deliver experiences. It didn’t matter that the card tricks were hard to see on the screen, or that the lag between myself and my spectators made every interaction a chore. What mattered, in the end, was the shared experience of wonder.
Magicians aren’t first-responders, and we played no role in developing the vaccine. But what’s significant about our craft’s tiny role in the pandemic is that we kept going. In the face of adversity, magicians fulfilled their purpose. We did what we always do: we kept performing.
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