After a few days at home, it was time to head out again for our tour in the Midwest. First stop, South Dakota! Eli, Chase, and I left Lynchburg and three days later, we arrived in Aberdeen, SD. There had been plenty of advertising in advance of our show including this article in the ABERDEEN NEWS.
MONDAY – APRIL 8
The first day in Aberdeen was spent working in several places: first at Project Search and then in some of the schools with incredible kids. We worked in elementary, middle, and the high school with students who could improve their skills through learning some simple tricks.
Actually, the high school workshop was one of the most fun! In the photo below, I’m doing a little magic for a group of high school guys. You can see the expression on their faces as five $1 bills turned into $500.
After a few tricks, I spent some time teaching all of them a trick or two. One of the students, Josh, learned several tricks but he also had great stories. Once again, the Aberdeen News captured the day in a nice feature story.
TUESDAY – APRIL 9
The next day started with a radio interview on one of the local arts programs. This was broadcast live – and I love these kinds of interviews! They are spontaneous and you just have to go with the flow.
Following the radio interview, Chase and I were on our way to St. Luke’s Avera Health Hospital to do a 3-hour continuing education workshop for physical and occupational therapists. When we arrived at the Hospital, Dalita (the director of rehabilitation) had everything ready to go. I walked into the conference room and we kicked into gear. It’s amazing to me how quickly 3 hours can go when everyone is fully engaged in learning. Chase and I spent the afternoon working with clients in various rehabilitation departments until about 5pm.
Eli spent the day driving to Sioux Falls to pick up Keith and Cindy at the airport. Unfortunately, horrible weather was also moving into the region – horrible as in ice and snow storm! As a result of all the bad weather, all flights were delayed in/out of Chicago. They finally landed a few hours late and, by that time, ice was destroying Sioux Falls. Trees were breaking. Power lines were snapping. Roads were in rough shape, covered in ice and snow. This turned into a BLIZZARD with more than 20 inches of snow falling. Thankfully, they made it back to Aberdeen safely and we had avoided the storm.
As it turns out, this was not the end of the adventure. Once they made it back to the hotel, Cindy started to become very sick. By 3:30am, we were in the emergency room at the very same hospital where I had done a workshop earlier in the day. She had picked up a virus or (most likely) some sort of food poisoning during the day. We spent the next several hours at the hospital trying to get her feeling better.
WEDNESDAY – APRIL 10
After getting Cindy back to the hotel around 7am, I grabbed a couple hours of sleep before it was time to drive over to the Aberdeen Civic Theatre to start setting up for the evening show. There’s no way Cindy was going to be able to do a show so we were also going to have to do a little “adapting” to pull it all together! Chase and Eli did a great job of splitting up her responsibilities during the show. In the end, it all came together well.
We pulled into the loading area, Stacy and Dawn were there to meet us…along with a crew of guys to help get unloaded. Let the day begin – again.
I made a couple of trips back to the hotel during the day to check in on Cindy. I wanted to make sure she was resting comfortably and that she was taking the medications she needed. Stacy was so understanding in all of this and even put together some chicken broth for me to take back to her.
When I returned to the theatre, it was almost time for the doors to open. The guys had figured out most of how the show was going to run – who was going to do what – but we still had one issue to resolve. I had promised many of the people in the Aberdeen community that I would, in fact, be “cutting someone in half” during tonight’s show. It doesn’t make any difference how many new, cutting-edge illusions you have in a show. If you don’t cut someone in half, it’s just not a magic show! With Cindy sick in the hotel, Chase volunteered to step into her place. And he did a great job with the performance!
THURSDAY – APRIL 11
After the show, the snow started coming down in Aberdeen. We had been spared for the last 3 days while much of the state was slammed with snow. Interstate 90 from Sioux Falls to Rapid City was closed. And city officials were still trying to pull together things in Sioux City. As we o up on Thursday morning, it was clear that we were not going to be going anywhere today. I was supposed to be doing some Hocus Focus work in Sisseton – a small community about 90 miles from Aberdeen. At 5:40am, the decision was made to close schools…which means I got to stay in for the day and try to catch up on some work.
FRIDAY – APRIL 12
This morning, we left Aberdeen for Grand Forks, ND…show here on Saturday night at the Chester Fritz Auditorium. And guess what? It’s snowing.