Thursday, June 6, 2024

Earl Nelson's Last Magic Show

On September 20th, 2022, I drove up to Oak Creek Canyon for a day of magic with Earl Nelson and some friends.  We had many sessions over the years and I learned some interesting things from Earl, including the instantaneous 3 ring separation that I use as the final effect of my 3 ring routine.  Check out a recent post on my Instagram, @shawnericmagic.
On this trip, I had several effects ready to perform, one of which was the Rice Bowls.  I had just started working on it and the script was still a rough draft.  Nevertheless, I wanted to show it to Earl and the guys.
When I arrived, I saw Earl and was shocked.  I wondered if he'd had a stroke or something.  He was recovering from a fall and was moving slow, but that day he busted out his cards & coins and showed us several new moves he was practicing.  He did the Sun & Moon coin effect and we talked about that for some time.  He was always creating & practicing new moves and adding touches of finesse to existing sleights.
Whenever I perform with children in the audience, I imagine that I might be the first magician they ever see.  When I perform for seniors, I imagine I might be the last magician they ever see.  In both cases, I do my best to create a personal experience of astonishment, a memory of real magic and feelings of wonder, love & joy.  I think I might have been the last magician Earl ever saw perform.  He was hospitalized shortly after our visit and passed away a month later, on October 21, 2022.  It was an honor to be his friend.