NORFOLK - Members of the Norwood-Norfolk Senior Chorus hope that a sleight of the hand will help them get to Boston next spring.
Theyve recruited Richard Tenace, a professional mentalist, magician and author from Potsdam, for a fundraiser at 7 p.m. Thursday in the high school auditorium. Mr. Tenace will perform a two-hour show.
This week he was at the school to teach some illusions to the students that could be used before and after his show, as well as during the intermission and while they were out in the community selling tickets for the performance.
As the students gathered around Mr. Tenace in the schools music room, he brought out various decks of cards and showed them some tricks of the trade that they could master in minutes.
At least one of the illusions would come in handy when the students would take on the role of gypsy mind readers for a fee. The guest would pick three cards and the students would tell them what those cards meant in their life.
He pulled three cards out of the deck and laid them on top of a piano. One of them was the eight of hearts, which Mr. Tenace said meant jealousy or trouble, while another card, the king of clubs, means a friend or father.
Look at the cards. They tell a story, he said.
The trick to making money, Mr. Tenace said, was to move through as many customers as possible in the shortest amount of time.
The faster you do it, the more money you make. This is called turnover. You dont want to keep somebody there for 30 minutes, he said.
Mr. Tenace has a long history of magic under his belt. He said he started performing magic when he was 7 years old and had his first professional show when he was 10 years old.
I just fell in love with it, he said.
Acting and theater have also been one of his loves, and he went to The Second City in Chicago, where he studied improv. He is a graduate of The Players Workshop from The Second City, a school which specializes in sketch comedy and improvisation.
The love for magic came when he met a magician and apprenticed under him for four years. Mr. Tenace said he learned different aspects of the trade, including escape and illusions.
I was drawn to ESP and mind reading. Its not as colorful as a stage magician, but it takes a lot more acting. People walk out not knowing if its real, he said.
Its now been 40 years since Mr. Tenace started his magical journey.
Mentalism has been my love for 20 years, he said.
He shared some of those secrets with the handful of Norwood-Norfolk students this week.
I teach kids how to do some things so they can sell tickets better. It adds an extra fun layer to it. The kids are going to have fun with it, he said.
Hell be on stage on Thursday night to share his love of magic with the audience. Mr. Tenace said a friend in Canada did a fundraising show for schools and he decided to move in that direction, too.
I decided it was an extra source of income and required no money up front. The kids learn magic and sell tickets to a fun show, he said. This way its very affordable.
Admission for the two-hour show is $10 for ages 11 and up, $5 for ages 5 to 10, and under 5 are free. There will also be activities taking place in the lobby before and after the show and during intermission.
Mr. Tenace said what hell perform during the show are the same tricks he sells to other mentalists across the country for their use.
Its clean comedy. Its great for families and doesnt alienate older people. This is for families, he said.
Jonathan D. Burnett, the schools music director, said tickets are now available at Northern Music in Potsdam and through chorus members. He said its their first fundraiser of the year to raise money for the Boston trip.
Were going to be putting on a dance and caroling, he said.