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What If?


My friend, Terry Evanswood, called last month to remind me that it was the 20-year anniversary of our friendship. It all began with a story I wrote for the Chicago Tribune on his non-violent haunted house that he built in a shopping center. I followed that story with a full-length feature article on him, a 23-year-old, award-winning magician.

At that time Terry already performed across the country including at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, California and on the Bozo Show. Like a much older sister, I’ve proudly watched his career continue to soar due to his perseverance, perfectionism, and incredible creativity. You can see his spellbinding, family show, the Wonders of Magic, at the WonderWorks theater in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Terry is the longest-running headline performer in that area.

I’ll always hold a special place in my heart for Terry, not only for our friendship, but also the door he opened for me. With him, the magic began. Terry gave me a list of references to contact in regards to the article I wrote on him, and one of those names was my husband, Marshall. I spoke to Marshall over the phone  and then met with him in April of 1994 to interview him for his own feature article. Marshall and I were married the following year. Ironically, Terry’s career began with a gift of a Marshall Brodien magic set when he was a child, so we are connected on several levels.

The first magic show I ever saw in person was Terry’s. Since then, I’ve seen more than I can count. I’ve also met hundreds of magicians and assistants. Marshall is greatly loved and admired in this circle because of his kindness, generosity, and assistance to so many. Upon meeting magic people, some of the respect he’s earned is initially awarded to me as his wife, but I do believe many of the friendships I’ve built in this industry stand on my own merit. I feel a part of this very diverse community and grateful for everyone I’ve come to call my friends.

Reflecting back, I can’t help but wonder, “What if?” I was a single mother of three, working full-time at an advertising agency, and freelancing with the Chicago Tribune when I wrote Terry’s article. What if I hadn’t had the time off to shop at that particular mall, stumble across and inquire about the unusual façade of Terry’s haunted house, pitch the story to the Tribune, continue with a full-page feature on him that required references, was given Marshall’s name as a reference, follow-up with a story on Marshall, and so on?

We never know where a particular decision may lead us. The magic is in trusting our instincts and a path laid out for us that is so much more than we can imagine.

©2014, Mary K. Doyle

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