From a young age, 19-year-old magician Matthew Laslo dreamed of starring in a large-scale touring magic show.
And in February of this year, his dream was about to come true. There were semi-trucks, assistants, crew members and even a llama ready to hit the road for a 35-city tour. Then Covid-19 shut down the world, and Laslo’s dream along with it.
Like everyone, he was stuck at home not knowing when people would feel safe again to enter a crowded theatre. It could be months or even years. Then the idea of a drive-in magic show hit him.
“People felt safe in their cars, so a drive-in theatre was the perfect answer,” Laslo said.
Since there were no drive-ins anywhere nearby, Laslo decided to create his own. With lots of land and a central location, Mount Baker Farm on Orcas Island seemed the obvious place, and the owners were excited to support Laslo’s idea. After a few phone calls many friends and community members rallied to help out.
Once the governor gave his approval, the show and free online reservations were announced. In just 30 minutes, all the reservations were gone, and a second night was added.
“This was a small way I could give back to my community,” Laslo said. “It was important to me that families, seniors, and even frontline workers could take a much-needed break and enjoy a fun night out.”
The night finally came, the stars were out and the cars filed in. At dusk, Laslo took to the stage. His performance was projected onto a large screen that floated above him among the fir trees.
Nestled in their cars, an excited audience honked and flashed their lights with appreciation.
“In the end,” Laslo said, “I realized that the real magic of the drive-in magic show was how our community came together. We were able to help one another find a way to together yet remain safely apart. No matter what life throws at us, we are always stronger when we face our challenges together.”
To learn more about Laslo’s journey and for upcoming shows, follow him on Instagram @matthew_laslo or visit matthewlaslo.com.