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Delivering on a few entertainment options

Juggling a busy schedule is all in a day’s work for Elmira’s Simon Zenker, who’s been providing entertainment at a safe social distance throughout the COVID-19 situation. The former EDSS student developed a taste for magic tricks during his time at the school. [Sean Heeger]

Staying in is becoming increasingly unbearable during the lockdown, and we’re now looking for any reason to get out of the house and do something fun while connecting with others. Many have found new and creative ways to stay connected and busy while hunkering down with their families indoors.

Simon Zenker

Birthday parades became the new fad to give family, friends and community members a chance to celebrate the big day, and porch visits helped us keep a social distance while ensuring we could continue to have a human connection.

Elmira native Simon Zenker wants to add his own brand of magic to the list of quarantine entertainment by offering to perform on your front porch.

Magicians have been performing their routines at birthday parties and events for years, but Zenker is putting a social distancing spin on his act to keep you entertained during the lockdown. He decided to start doing shows from a safe social distance on people’s driveways, porches and backyards after shows he planned to do were cancelled because of the coronavirus.

“I had a plan to do a bunch of my own solo shows during the spring and summer at various festivals and everything, but I kinda got slapped in the face by this pandemic,” said Zenker. “But then I realized I wanted to focus more on birthdays because I’ve seen [that] many kids are having birthdays, [and] it’s really hard for parents to make their days special. So, I want to give them another option… another thing to help their kids have a good birthday.”

Zenker started to learn to juggle and do magic tricks about four years ago when DJ Carroll, drama teacher and CEO of Theatricks, taught him the basics in his high school drama class. He performed with Theatricks for some time and recently started to do his own solo shows.

Having just started to do his own thing and bringing his performance to your front door, Zenker says his act is full of humour and considers it a fun comedy show that revolves around juggling and magic. He says he has adapted to not being able to be near audience members to interact with them. His performance even includes some danger involving machetes, which he says people love.

“I’m very open to doing whatever it takes for any kid or any family to bring them entertainment. I know that it’s a really tough time for everybody, so I’d really just love to help people and make kids’ birthdays special,” said Zenker.

In the future he hopes to continue to grow his magical skills and bring new ideas and acts – which may eventually include a unicycle – to audiences across the region.

“I’m always brainstorming new ideas and new acts. I’m always writing things for it (and) I want to start adding some music. I basically just want to turn it into more of a unique show that you can’t really just find with any juggler (or) magician out there.”.

To contact Zenker and bring his magic to a safe social distance from your home for birthdays or just for some fun entertainment, email him at simonzenkerjuggler@gmail.com.

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