Bravely, I let myself trust his eyes. The directions in this acting workshop were to maintain eye contact and allow your partner to move you across the room.  Slowly, I surrendered to him, the Magician, afraid I’d crash into someone if I couldn’t control where I was going.  I forgot his name, this partner of mine–was it John or Jim—and I’ve forgotten the color of his eyes.  Maybe I never knew.  I do remember he told me he was a real live magician who performed at parties and weddings.  Wow, I thought.  He moved, I moved, together we glided as one, guided by our eyes, watching, trusting.  That was the secret.

 “Watch me,” Carol tells us in Koleinu rehearsals.  “Put your music down and watch me.”

It’s not her eyes we watch.  It’s her hands.  Her hands tell us how to sing—when to get louder, when to get softer, when to come in, and when to stop singing.  Her hands are our ears.  She assures us if we watch her, the magic will happen.  We want to tell her we don’t know the words to the song, and we aren’t sure of the rhythm either.  How can we watch her when don’t know these things?  We can, she tells us, and we do.  When all eighty eyes are on her, the music soars, flowing out of us, the rhythm correct, the words correct, too.  Just watch and listen to each other, and the magic will happen.  It’s as easy as that. 

I know the secret now.  Maybe I’m a magician, too, or is Carol the real magician?  No, Koleinu, our voice sings, all of us together, are the true magicians.

–Penny Kohn