Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Dan Turcotte: Aloha

'Til we meet again.

Dan Turcotte ended his battle with cancer two days ago on Sunday morning, September 18.

I wish there was another section this post could go, one where I could be sure everyone in magic saw it. Andrea is going to be going through some very rough times, especially after the initial shock wears off. Widow's grief really tends to hit three to four weeks after the funeral, when all the friends had relatives have scattered back to their own lives and the loneliness sets in. I ask that those who know her, do not forget her. And if you don't know her, you might get to know her; she's a wonderful woman.

In this life, Dan loved entertaining more than anything other than his wife and his daughter. When he lost the use of his left side last December, when they found the tumors in his brain, he still worked to get his DVDs distributed -- not solely to make a living for his wife and daughter, but because he wanted - even if only digitally - to continue entertaining people.

He loved teaching and he loved working with children. I'm sure he still does. Most of us find working with children just a little bit frightening, because they are the toughest of audiences. But when one wins them over, they're the most appreciative. Dan always won them over.

The visitation is at 3 pm today; the memorial service is at 4 pm, and the memorial service is to be a celebration the way Dan wanted. His life was magical and he loved bringing magic into the lives of his audiences, and he absolutely delighted in doing so right under their noses. Though he succeeded on stage, he remained fondest of close-up work and encouraged that in me. He ended up teaching me most of what I know when it comes to audience direction, and he taught me to find the best workers and to seek wisdome from them.

I have absolutely no doubt that Dan is learning more about life and hope now, and that he carries with him the joy and fun of magic. I have no doubt that he will continue to entertain grown-ups and children - especially children - through the eternities. And I have no doubt that he prepares for his loved ones, and hopes they continue to remember him well.

And that he's seeking out the best teachers of the past, because Dan was - in this life - ever-learning. I see no reason to doubt that he continues to learn and to grow. And maybe - just maybe - he's a little less stubborn.

For instance, I think he'd urge anyone who currently smokes to stop now, and give their families a few more years of their lives. And if one hasn't started, to never start. We might have had Dan quite a few more years.

One of my greatest regrets is that I'm in Ohio and can't make it to the service in time. I'd love to tell Andrea, face to face, how much Dan means to me.

This Saturday at 2 pm, I'll be doing a show at Be Amazing Magic's theatre, and that show will be dedicated to Dan -- for all that he taught me, encouraged me, and befriended me.

Our loss is great. Andrea's is greater. But Dan has an inconquerable spirit, and he won't be leaving her completely alone.

--Chet, who misses his friend


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