From March 2020 to May 2021 I performed exclusively at virtual events. But with most of the adult US population being vaccinated and certain areas having very high vaccination rates, private clients have started having small parties again. I had one event in San Francisco for 6 people, another in Huntington Beach for about 30, and one recently in New York for about 25 people. We knew in-person events would return, but I admit, I didn’t think it would be this soon.
Performing as a virtual magician is great and I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to perform for clients around the world during 2020 and 2021. But there’s just nothing quite like performing in-person, face to face. The dynamic of actually being in the same room feeding off each other’s energy can’t be recreated in the virtual setting. So I was excited to get back to performing in-person.
By the time I was performing that first live event in May 2021, I hadn’t had an in-person event in over a year–the longest stretch I had gone without performing an in-person show since I was 14 years old. And the types of magic and mentalism I perform in-person is completely different from what I do in my virtual shows because the mediums and constraints are so different. Suffice to say, I was a bit nervous I’d be rusty. And I was a little rusty! But quickly I was reminded how great it is to perform for people in real time, sharing the same space and moment. As a magician and mentalist, you get that unparalleled experience of managing a sequence of events with other people where you as the performer sort of dissociate and hover over the moment. It’s a special feeling and I’m glad to have it back.
With COVID considerations still in place, the first in-person events to come back have been small, private gatherings of vaccinated adults. I anticipate that as more of the population is vaccinated, as companies feel a pressure to return to in-person work, and as a desire to entertain their employees builds up, larger corporate events will return in the fall.
In this transition period where many organizations are not returning to in-person events yet, I am still performing at a lot of virtual events. I look forward to more in-person events as we hopefully enter the final phase of the pandemic in the USA and in-person events come back in full force!