I’m not exactly sure how many times we’ve performed at the Florida Theatre but it’s always a fun gig for us.  We arrived into town on Tuesday night, even though the show wasn’t until Friday.  Wednesday morning started very early.  Kendall (from the Florida Theatre)  picked Chase and I up at 4am – yup, that’s early!  We met up with Tracy Conley from ActionNewsJacksonville at the Alden Road Exceptional School.  Starting at 5:30am, we did our first hit of the morning.  We did several more interviews throughout the morning…made the noon news…and then again at 5pm.  Thank you Tracy for all that great exposure for the Hocus Focus project and the show at the Florida Theatre!

Starting at 8am on Wednesday morning, I conducted two professional development workshops for teachers at Alden Road Exceptional School.  This is an amazing school for students who have profound developmental disabilities ranging from physical dysfunctions to autism.  The teachers here are incredibly special.  This is a job they do because they want to impact these kids lives – not for the money.

After working with the teachers on Wednesday, I had the chance to let them see in practice what they learned in theory.  On Thursday, Alan, Chase and I spent the day teaching magic tricks to students with exceptionalities – physical and mental challenges that would dampen the spirit of most of us. Yet, somehow, these kids were filled with life and laugher that was only magnified with the mastery of each trick.  This is always one of the most inspiring experiences I can have.  Watching these kids learn magic tricks and then perform them for their peers is awesome.  At the end of the day, they presented me with this giant “thank you card” that they made and signed.

After two amazing days at Alden Road Exceptional School, it was time for the show at the Florida Theatre.  Performing here is like coming home. Erik, Kendall, Katie, Saul (and the IATSE 115 crew), Danny, Lisa, and the entire team at the theatre take such great care of us.  Today was no different.  The show went up quickly, thanks to a great crew.  My guys did a great job as well – allowing me to go to my dressing room and get some work done for most of the afternoon.

Doors opened at 7pm for the 7:30pm show…and we held the show until 7:40pm because of the huge walk-up ticket line!   The audience tonight was fantastic – definitely the best audience we’ve ever had at the Florida Theatre.  There were families, kids, adults, seniors, and tons of 20-somethings all there to experience the magic.  The energy was great – cheers, applause, and enthusiasm for each of the illusions.  The volunteers used in the show were wonderful (including Tracy from FOX30 who ended up in the Spikes of Doom).  After the show, I had the chance to meet hundreds of people in the lobby and hear their favorite moment.  It was the perfect day!