It was hot. Super hot.
The building was old so the only air conditioning we had were open windows around the room. It was fine for the guests but I was under the lights.
So I was hot. Super hot.
But I'd forgotten how hot it was. I was working. I was in my element - in the moment - on stage.
For months I've been working on a piece for the end of my show. The routine has several strong moments throughout but those little moments are only there to build up to a huge climax. And that's where I was now.
Magic only exists in the minds of the audience, so getting a volunteer to react properly is a must. If their reaction is strong then the audience will react strongly, too.
The pieces were in place. During the earlier moments, I had gently conditioned the volunteer on where to stand and how to react. The time was now.
She was thinking of a memory and I gently steered her to a point where I thought I could get the best reaction. I looked her in the eyes and said the magic words - the exact memory she was thinking.
And she lost it. Her eyes welled up and she said "I'm going to cry."
I jotted down one last thing on a pad and showed it to her. And that was it.
With tears rolling down her cheeks she hugged me and thanked me as she left the stage.
It was still the same group of people in the same hot room we'd been in all night. But something was different now. The room had shifted. The applause wasn't because I'd asked for it. It wasn't because I was taking a bow. This applause was different. Everyone was clapping because they knew they'd just witnessed something special.
As people rose to their feet, I thought back to all the writing and rehearsing I'd been doing this year. It had all paid off.
For just a moment, I had been an artist. I had taken a small idea and pushed it to its limits. I had shown a small group of people something they may never see again.
I had shown them real magic.