In times of tragedy, I question whether my magic is something that people want to see. But I can vividly recall a significant event in my career that always reminds me of how magic can be welcome.
Years ago, I performed at a holiday event for patients of a cancer ward and their families. I distinctly recall surveying the crowd before my show and seeing the many ill patients in their wheelchairs with IVs and bulky electronic monitoring equipment. The patients looked exhausted and tired and there was so much pain and suffering in that room. I went in striving to give the best show that I could.
What I didn't anticipate was that this crowd, like no other I have ever encountered, wanted to be entertained and have fun. They laughed loudly. They enthusiastically applauded and cheered. And I will never forget the moment when I saw some patients remove their breathing apparatuses so they could freely laugh out loud. It's something that brings tears to my eyes whenever I think about it.
I will keep the families and community of Newtown in my thoughts and look forward to hearing how we - the public - may assist them. Meanwhile, with my appearances during the home-stretch of the holiday season this week, I plan to simply do what I do to entertain with magic. I humbly hope that it can be a bit of a respite from all this bad news.