The swami and the wizard

I had to observe a professional storytelling program for my recently completed class. I went to a program held at the Hans Christian Andersen statue in Central Park. Getting to the program could arguably be another post all by itself–but it’s not the point of this one. The point is also not my opinions of the program itself, even though I had several.

Rather, it is about the wizard.

You see, during most of the program I was very distracted by a black man sitting on a bench to the side of the program area. He was wearing wizardly robes and a pointy had along with white hair that was probably a wig. I kept peering at him during the program expecting him to get up and take part any minute. But he didn’t. He just sat on his bench holding his wooden staff. I began to think that, perhaps, this was just regular clothing for him and he had no part in the program at all.

In a way I was right. And wrong. At the end of the program a swami (really) stood up and announced that he had brought the wizard (Wizard Blackthorn of Central Park) to tell a few stories and that he might also share some stories of the Eastern tradition after the wizard had finished with his medeival stories. In effect the swami and the wizard hijacked the storytelling program. It was very strange. And I still crack up a bit when I think about it.