Hidden Talents: A Magician’s Assistant
Written by Bwog Staff
In Hidden Talents, Bwog seeks out the strange and mysterious abilities of your classmates! Today, Carly Silver enters the murky underworld of New York state magicians through Bwog’s own Arts Editor, Megan McGregor. If you have any friends/acquaintances/elevator-mates who do crazy things, let us know at [email protected].
This past summer, Megan McGregor, BC ’13, got a splash of hocus-pocus in her life. While working as a pool attendant in her hometown of Highland, New York, she was approached by local magician named John Hoey. “He knew that I was a dancer, so he asked if I would be interested in helping him with his magic shows,” says Megan. Though initially hesitant, she needed the extra cash and agreed to be the magician’s assistant.
A true sport, Megan did it all. She cared for magic rabbits, squirmed in small boxes and danced in a schoolgirl outfit to the Alice Cooper song “School’s Out.” “I had to dance around the illusion before we did it,” she recalls. The “twister” required Megan to crouch in a box, while Hoey worked his magic to make it appear as if her head were spinning around.
Besides spinning, Megan got severed. The infamous cutting a girl in half trick “ended up being quite scary,” she recounts. The box was constructed of two halves, one on top of the other, and Megan stood in a curled-over “C” shape. (Secrets revealed! Alliance compromised!) During one performance, when Hoey slid the boxes apart, her arm got stuck, leaving her a nasty gash.
Over the course of their ten shows together, the pair traveled around all around New York state to perform. Hoey usually dazzled with his fire tricks, but Megan remembers a few sore spots: “One time, we…performed [at] a Knights of Columbus senior citizens’ dance in Brooklyn and they were so unamused and unimpressed.” After the performance, she cha-cha-ed with an elderly man. Another time, Hoey almost lost his pet snake—only to remember it was hanging in the front seat between him and his assistant.
Hoey is quite the harlequin. “After he turned one bunny into two bunnies,” Megan reminisces, “he joked that, when he worked in a barbershop, he really learned how to ‘split hares.’” But, the dynamic duo wasn’t always in sync. Megan’s an interwebs enthusiast and Hoey doesn’t know how to work a computer. He assumed that, because she was a vegetarian, she only ate bagels, fruits, and vegetables.
Though Megan won’t be working with Hoey again this summer, she gained an out-of-the-box view of the occult while crouched inside the magician’s sawing box. And, of course, she retains her signature sparkle—must be the work of magic!