I was a college Theater major recovering from major surgery and needing a summer job when I answered a Help Wanted ad in the paper. The K-Mart Corporation was undertaking an unusual and ultimately ill-fated experiment. Trying (I believe) to capitalize on the success of Chuck-E-Cheese and Showbiz (remember them?) Pizza, but wanting to reach a wider market, they were starting a new restaurant concept called Abra-K-Dabra with two locations in the St. Louis area. They were advertising for kitchen help and…magicians! I wasn’t a magician, but I WAS an actor…I could ACT like a magician. So…I headed down to apply. The gentleman I interviewed with said, “Are you a magician?” I responded, “Am I a magician?! AND, I’m a juggler!” (notice I never actually answered his question), and I was hired! I spent that summer, breaks during the next school year and the next summer working a magician and a juggler. We did live stage shows every 30-60 minutes, depending on the time of day/day of the week, and in between we would go table to table and do close-up magic. I also spent a decent amount of time in the “Abra suit”. Abra was the “mascot” of the restaurant- a wizard who looked much like the attached picture. Therefore, the suit was a long gown under a longer, heavy, velvet robe, a heavy “Santa” beard and wig and topped with a big satin wizard’s hat! (My mom was SO proud! I always thought they had me play the wizard because I was the “actor” in the bunch. Looking back, I fear it was because I was the only sucker willing to wear it regularly!) Everything that COULD have gone wrong on stage DID over the nearly two years I was there! One certainly learns how to deal with adversity under pressure real quickly in a setting like that! In the end, the idea simply didn’t work and K-Mart cut their losses and ran. At the final meeting between employees and corporate folk, they asked me to make one more appearance as Abra. So as to make sure there was NOT a revival later on, I staged an “assassination”. While a regional Vice President for K-Mart talked, a pre-arranged employee jumped up, yelled “sic semper tyrannis” (Google it) and “shot” me with a starter pistol. A couple other employees got up and dragged me out by the feet while the K-Mart VP stood stood slack-jawed! (What were they going to do- fire us? Although I’m probably lucky we weren’t arrested!) I have been doing magic and juggling (but NOT in a wizard’s suit) ever since!
Perhaps I AM a little nuts to tell someone I could do magic when I couldn’t (no smart comments here, please!), but I fear that all too often we do little to nothing because we are afraid to step out in faith. We’re scared we’ll fail and people will laugh at us. In our concern over looking foolish, we fail to truly live. But I am living proof that we only truly fail when we quit. So what if people laugh at you! When they do, laugh along with them! Find humor in that which causes you to struggle. Find it hard to do something? Guess what? That makes you remarkably human. Give it another shot. Surround yourself with people who CAN, and soon you WILL. (How do you think I learned to be a magician?!) Have a great day, please share this with your friends, and stick with Jesus!