Just finished a series of street magic stints as part of a thingy (let's not get all technical; 'thingy' works fine) promoting a new Hollywood movie that opens in cinemas today. My job was to accompany a small team of free-stuff-givers, and to do close-up magic for people meandering too slowly to avoid me. Not that I was getting all Lord-of-the-Savannah, accosting only the aged, the young and the sick; no, I was getting all and sundry. On one or two days the crowds were spartan and it felt a bit guerilla, spotting them from a distance, dashing up and unloading an armful of souvenir posters and the like before hitting them with a trick or two (oops, nearly wrote 'large stick', which would have been incriminating and inaccurate).
Reactions? Superb, especially since this is Stampede time. Yup, we're in the middle of another year's cowboy-hat-and-bandana bonanza. Tourists aplenty, some of whom were thoroughly confused at being entertained a propos of nothing at all, and then given free bumf. Out of hundreds of encounters over the five days, only one bad reaction: a German engineer who refused to watch as he had a morbid fear of magicians. I was rather chuffed at having caused such terror; I usually have to work so much harder at it.
Check out the last photo - me, two of the free-stuff-givers and a handful of the people I performed for. What's cool about the pic is that in the background you can see we are moments away from being crushed underfoot by an ebullient mob of Spain supporters celebrating their World Cup victory over the Netherlands - Spain had scored their one and only goal only minutes earlier.