A sold-out event, this year’s Paul’s Run Talent Show did not disappoint. With every seat filled, friends, families and neighbors enjoyed a wide variety of acts that filled the room with laughter, got residents dancing on their feet, and even inspired the crowd to sing along.
From Zumba dance routines to harmonica medleys and 10 different talents that lit up the stage, one performing resident was excited to bring a little bit of magic to the room. Irving Lederman, also known as, “Oiv (Irv) the Great,” to his local fan base which has now expanded throughout Paul’s Run, has been performing magic for many years and he’s got the business cards to prove it.
Irv’s fascination with magic began years ago when he was working part-time at a furniture store. “The store hired someone new and I had to train the guy. One day this new worker performed a magic trick and I thought it was pretty neat,” he recalls. “When I asked him how he did it, he, of course, didn’t tell me.” Irv continues, “I refused to teach him how to make the furniture until he taught me how to do the trick,” Irv laughs with a clever grin. Irv’s genius exchange earned him the knowledge of numerous magic tricks and as a result, an exciting, new hobby.
“It started as a hobby and then I began doing actual entertainment at all types of events. I’d perform at birthday parties, Bar Mitzvahs, weddings” Irv says as he passes his “Irv the Great” business cards to members of the audience. The business cards jokingly indicate that Irv performs at both weddings and divorces. “Women would always ask me to make their husbands disappear,” he explains laughing.
Although Irv didn’t make any husbands disappear, he certainly showed the audience his tricks as he took center stage for the Paul’s Run Talent Show. Making flowers disappear and flames ignite from thin air, Irv delivered shock and awe, and of course, lots of laughter.
As Irv the Great walked off stage he smiled from ear to ear, pleased with his performance. Irv was happy that his magic could spread joy throughout the auditorium, and although he doesn’t have his next performance lined up, he continues to bring magic throughout Paul’s Run. “Living here, you can look forward to someone always smiling back at you,” he says.
Molly Bybee, the music therapist at Paul’s Run who helped coordinate the show with residents, was certainly one of those people smiling back at Irv. She says the whole experience was a joy to be a part of. “Everyone here has unique talents and being able to share that with your peers really provides a great sense of self-worth and accomplishment,” Molly explains. In its third year of production, Molly says Paul’s Run plans to continue this wonderful tradition for many years to come. Who knows what next year’s talent will bring!