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Janet and I have been here a week and will be here two more weeks .We are also traveling with Janet’s mime teacher, a brilliant British mime, Chris Yerlig.
We are performing an average of three shows a day in homes for mentally ill children, orphanages, centers for HIV Positive children, centers for street children, and many more places. Performing for many of the most forgotten children.
Yesterday we performed for a marvelous organization called KidCan —works with children with cancer. So wonderful to see parents of children with cancer –crying when they see their child laughing and delighted during the magic shows. A mother of a a very frail, bald child undergoing chemo the last two months, said to us yesterday, “This is the first time I have seen my child laughing in weeks.” Makes the journey so worth all the effort.
We performed last night in an amazing Leper Colony –from the 19th century. A small “village” in the middle of the crowded, bustling madness of Mumbai. Was out in the wilderness when it was built over a hundred and fifty years ago. These poor folks are still shunned by society and I also feel they are made to feel ashamed of their deformities. They live together in this small village behind a high stone wall.
Before the show last night, a man from the colony came up to me and told me he had been a performing magicians before he contracted Leprosy. After that he could no longer get shows. He showed us his old press clipping and helped us out during the performance. So wonderful seeing him perform for his fellow lepers. One of the many magical moments along the way on this amazing journey we have been traveling these past thirteen years.
We will spent today and a number of other days, teaching two groups of children magic –ten boys from the DN Sirur Boy’s Orphanage and 14 girls from Prerana –all daughters of commercial sex workers from the brutal brothels of Mumbai. (we have been working with these wonderful girls for four years).
Closer to home, we began a project with a group of ex-gang member felons at Homeboy Industries in LA two weeks ago. Two young magicians who work with us, Ryan and Wes (who perform at the Magic Castle) will be doing the teaching. An exciting new project. We had a marvelous time at Homeboy launching the project on January 6th on our way to India.
If you want to support this wonderful work, go to our web site, www.magicianswithoutborders.com and make a donation to keep the magic alive and growing. We appreciate ANY donation –nothing is too small. Thank you,
Tom, Janet and Chris