The Beauty of Busking, Post Election 2016 is part of our “Stories from the Pitch” series, in conjunction with the Busker Hall of Fame. Have a story you want to submit? Email us, or submit your story here

This story originally appeared on @Magician On A Motorcycle’s Facebook Page. In it, he tells us of something beautiful he witnessed on the streets of New Orleans…

Alexander Os

There, in the middle of a dispersing crowd on the streets of New Orleans, a Texan cowboy embraced an Indian-African family in a spontaneous group hug.

This is a short story about an amazing interaction I witnessed on the street yesterday – I think you’ll be happy to hear about it.

Surveying the crowds in New Orleans over the last few weeks, tension and distrust were building as the presidential election loomed ahead. It was nearly identical to how London felt when I visited there the week leading up to Brexit. Crowds were distracted and very slow to loosen up, anxiety hung heavy in the air.

Now that the election results are in, the American public still feels tense, but they are thirsting for an escape, anything that can take them away from the overwhelmingly negative politics that have engulfed everyday life for the last year.

Yesterday, while another magician was performing his street show, one of the strangest and most beautiful incidents I’ve ever witnessed on the street took place.

Here’s the setup for the trick: A signed $100 bill is borrowed from Spectator #1 in the audience. Spectator #1 is then asked to find a face in the crowd (spectator #2) that they think they can trust, and the person they select is handed a “magic rose”. Spectator #1 has the bill in their hands, Spectator #2 has the rose in theirs.

The magician then takes the bill from Spectator #1, vanishes it, and pretends like the show is over. Another routine is performed, and then at the end of the show, Spectator #1’s bill is found to be hidden inside the magic rose held by Spectator #2.


In this particular show, Spectator #1 was a big, tall, wealthy-looking Texan with a giant cowboy hat. When he was asked to find a face in the crowd he could trust, he pointed to a Indian-African teenage girl and said in a heavy drawl “I believe I can trust you”.

Throughout the show, as this big Texan was stressing about his vanished $100 bill. He kept looking over to the girl, playfully encouraging her to keep an eye on the rose.

At the end of the show, the bill is revealed to be hiding in the rose, the crowd goes wild, and the magician returns the bill to the Texan. Before the crowd could collapse inward to tip the magician, the Texan walks directly across the stage and hands the $100 bill to the teenager. The crowd watches this in stunned silence. The magician takes his hat off to begin collecting payment from the crowd. The Texan pulls out another $100 bill, throws it in the hat, and then meets the teenager as she walks to the center of the stage to thank him, her family right behind her. The cowboy throws a big hug on her, extending open arms to include the teenager’s mother, father and brother.

There in the middle of a dispersing crowd on the streets of New Orleans, a Texan cowboy embraced an Indian-African family in a spontaneous group hug.

We have so much more in common than the media shows. Take care of each other y’all.


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And if you want to experience human unity and togetherness (and magic), you can find Alexander Os here: