On Stage

Escaping Death

Fantastic feats for the Jewel of Magic

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls: Step right up to see an amazing feat of magical proportions. Before your very eyes, behold what happens when a community gathers together to support one of its own as she fights for her life against one of humankind’s most evil entities.

“Escaping Death: A Circus Variety Show for All Ages” will benefit longtime magician and comedian Crystal “the Jewel of Magic” Sinclair at a one-night-only performance Sat., June 7 at the Bellingham Circus Guild’s Fairhaven-based Cirque Lab, and you’re invited.

While the tongue-in-cheek title of the show is designed to draw attention to the fact that Sinclair is currently engaged in a life-or-death struggle against cancer, event organizer Anna Luna reports that her friend’s disease is in partial remission (approximately 65 percent) and 100 percent of the funds raised during the benefit will go directly to helping “the Jewel of Magic” pay her medical bills.

Luna says she’s glad to do her part to help put the event together. She first met Sinclair around an outdoor fire a few minutes before a show at Alger’s Lookout Arts Quarry, and, since then, she’s gleaned a variety of life lessons from the globetrotting performer, whom she considers to be a mentor.

“Crystal is absolutely inspirational, to me and many others,” Luna says. “She is one of a handful of female magicians—there were even less when she started performing—and she set the stage for others to follow. Despite many obstacles, she kept at what she wanted to do and she traveled the world doing it. Not only is Crystal incredibly talented with magic, but she’s also hilarious and has opened for the likes of Steve Allen, Jay Leno, and Ellen DeGeneres.”

Although there’s a good chance Sinclair will command the stage at some point during the fundraising festivities, she’ll assuredly be on hand to watch the group of talented performers who are coming from near and far to support her.

Magicians Bruce and Jennifer Meyers will make their way from Seattle to ply their creative trade, and Olympia-based singer and songwriter Valerie Markell Gallagher—a friend of Sinclair’s for nearly 40 years—will also travel to Bellingham for the gig. Additionally,  folk musician Misty Flowers will share her talents, and Fyodor Karamazov of the Flying Karamozov Brothers will perform his classic cigar box juggling routine. But that’s not all—a host of other Bellingham-based performers will also volunteer their various skills.

Touting a “something for everyone” ethos, attendees can also make like human gyroscopes during rides on an orbitron, get their faces painted, ride a handmade teeter-totter, feast on pies and fries, pet snakes, behold stilt walkers and more.

If you can’t make it to the show, but still want to help, Luna says donations in many forms—housework, firewood, garden duties, etc.—are also appreciated.  Through June 23, you can also go to http://www.youcaring.com  and contribute.

And, while cash infusions will help relieve some of the burdens of Sinclair’s recent struggles, it’s likely that the true magic to be found at “Escaping Death” will happen when Sinclair sees the performers and audience members who have gathered together to show her they’re on her side—no tricks or sleight of hand required.

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