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  • Annette Dawm

My Birthday with Keith Brown, Eric Ethridge & River Town Saints

If I could describe my birthday (June 10) in one word, it would be "magical". No, really. I went to a magic show. I saw Keith Brown's newest creation, Hotter Than Potter to be exact. Someone asked me if the show was actually hotter than Potter and I told them I never liked Harry Potter and he's not real. So, yes. *Mic Drop*.

I have always been a sucker for a card trick, and that's how I met Keith in the first place. I was at a fundraiser for an AIDS hospice in London, which featured one of my favourite performers, Justin Hines. My friend, Justin Hammond had just passed away tragically and I was having a hard time dealing with the fact that I was supposed to be having fun while my friend was being laid to rest, so I just cried the entire time. I have said this before that it was no coincidence that Justin Hines and Justin Hammond shared the same initials and a lot of the same qualities. They both acted like a friend you'd want to have and when I said goodbye to Justin Hines, I really felt like I was saying goodbye to Justin Hammond. So I think it was meant to be that way, but I think Keith Brown came into my life that day for a reason too. He asked me if I wanted to see a card trick. Instantly, he took my mind off everything and for a moment I had stopped crying. As part of the trick he actually said, "Don't be alarmed but we're going to have a moment." In that moment I had gained a friend and I didn't even know, but I promised myself that because of how this one moment turned things around, I would continue to support this magician. Not to mention he picked my card.

Last year, I had a chance to see Keith's full show and it blew my mind. He did a lot more than just card tricks but even if it was just card tricks, I could watch that all day haha. I think that's because I tend to overthink all the time and the way he presents himself, he eliminates a lot of possibilities, so there's only one answer: It's magic. People will say otherwise, but they're no fun.

I have a fear of being on Dundas Street at night time so when I saw Keith had an afternoon show on my birthday, I thought this was perfect, I told him right after I bought my ticket. I figured he might forget about it, but maybe he'd see me there and I'd get to pick a card. Sad news: I did not get to pick a card. (Damn you.)

Actually, what Keith did was way more special and I can't stop telling people. So here goes:

As I said, Keith knew I was coming to the show on my birthday and he said happy birthday to me when I got there. That was nice. That would have been enough. However, there was this moment at the end of the show where we looked at our watches at the exact same time. That probably didn't mean anything, I just thought it was weird. He then said he had time for one more trick.

He mentioned that he has an elderly mentor who pretends like it's his birthday every day. Keith said he had been doing this too because "If you think it's going to be a great day, then it's going to be a great day, like it's your birthday!" Then he called me out and said it was my actual birthday so the audience sang to me.

(Taking pictures during the performance was a no-no but it was my birthday....)

Then he said, "It's not a birthday without a birthday cake and a birthday card." He got out an envelope and handed it somebody. Then he asked if anybody liked to colour. A lady came up to colour in a picture of a cake that Keith had drawn. Keith blindfolded himself and told the lady where to colour on the cake, like, "Can you colour in the candles?" but he didn't tell her which colours to choose. She had red candles, the top was blue, the trim was orange, the bottom was yellow and the side was green. Keith guessed all of these colours correctly and had written them correctly on the card inside the envelope! Afterwards, he went and got the cake seen here, with all of the correct colours! I didn't think the cake was real but I ate a piece after. I couldn't believe he did all that for me!

But the day wasn't over. As I mentioned earlier, I have a fear of being on Dundas St. at night time. So I declined to go to a concert featuring Eric Ethridge and River Town Saints even though Chris Labelle offered to get me backstage (I must be getting old). I thought maybe if I went around 4 after Keith's show, they might be nearby and I could go see them before the concert and look who I found....

This hug was staged. Chris Labelle yelling, "I SEE ERIC'S BUM!" at this exact moment was not.

I even told Chris Labelle and Chris Lacombe about the cake. It was that amazing. I couldn't have asked for a better day!

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