This past week I went to New York City for work, visiting for a nice three days of non-stop meetings. I expected the meetings as that was what my trip was for, but I also expected to perform a trick or two for my coworkers.
Backing up a little, though I've said it plenty of times before I think it's worth reiterating that I work from home. I've been a remote worker since maybe 2016 -- back before it was "the norm." This has provided me with a lot of opportunities to practice sleights and routines during work -- heck, every single meeting I'm in, the camera is pointed just high enough to hide my hands that are constantly doing work with a deck.
My coworkers know, at least several of them do, that I'm playing with cards all the time. Some might think it's just a way of fidgeting, but those that have asked have learned that I'm a magician and I'm just practicing. Several of them have said that they'd love to see some tricks whenever I visit, and truth-be-told I always plan a set or two and a few impromptu things just in case an opportunity arises.
For this trip, I brought 7 decks of cards -- one to actually use for tricks, the others to get some photos and maybe videos of for social media. I also brought along a few tricks:
- Laced Up
- Nest of Wallets
- Permanent Record
- Ultra Lucky Coin
I was really excited to get to try out Laced Up too, I've never performed it. Technically, I haven't ever practiced it either (unless you count watching the tutorial a couple of times). I planned to "build" the gimmick my first night there, practice it a bit, and then jump into performance.
Unfortunately, I never had a chance to perform anything. Not a single card trick, not Laced Up or Ultra Lucky Coin (which is technically a card trick =P).
During work, let's say 9am to 5pm, it was back-to-back meetings. I didn't even have time for lunch on two of the days. I couldn't really fit a "hey, you wanna see something neat?" routine in while walking between conference rooms, so I was kind of bummed.
After work, all three days, I was really hoping someone would have approached me and brought it up -- but nobody did. "Out of sight, out of mind," is what I was attributing it to. I had Revolution with me, which lets me spin a deck of cards on my finger, but given that drinks were flowing and I'd never practiced after having a drink or two, I didn't want to risk looking like a fool -- at least, not this early into my employment there =P
Why mention spinning a deck on my finger? It plays into the idea of, rather than me going up to folks asking if they want to see a magic trick, they come to me and ask what I'm doing, which would lead into "I'm a magician" and, well, you can get the gist of it. I've heard folks say that they'll fidget with a deck by dribbling it or even springing it for the same purpose of getting folks to approach them instead.
Anyways, I didn't do that. I had my pockets loaded, I had the right headspace for it, but the opportunity just never came up. I feel bad about it too because I want to get better at performing magic, but I'm not performing. It's as if I failed at an important step of being a magician -- engaging with spectators.
Maybe being so focused on performing for my coworkers was the wrong way to go about it. Perhaps I should have aimed to "just perform" -- whether it was at our different venues for random people, coworkers, or anyone that was interested. I'm not sure. I'll just have to try again next time!