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Video: Nine-year-old Truro boy takes magic and mime to Halifax Buskerfest


TRURO, N.S. —

When Thomas Haynes saw someone make a coin disappear it sparked something.

Thomas developed an interest that led to him becoming one of the youngest performers at Halifax Buskerfest. He recently took his act to Buskerfest for the second year.

“I was shy at first, but this helped,” he said. “Now, it’s fun seeing so many people enjoying my show.

“I’ve been going to Buskerfest since I was a little kid and last year I asked Mum if I could be in it.”

With more features added to his act this year, his mother, Cydney, was nervous about how well prepared he was.

“I worried that he hadn’t practised enough so I pushed him to work on his routine the last few days and invited a couple of people over to watch him,” she said. “He figured out what tricks transitioned best, and he had a 30-minute set ready for Halifax. It was fantastic. A couple of times, watching him brought tears to my eyes.”

At one point, one of the experienced silver-painted buskers even incorporated Thomas into part of her act.

“She started doing a wall, then threw a rope and pulled me in,” he said. “It was the first time I ever busked with somebody else.”

Thomas learned a lot from watching mimes and magicians online. 

“I watch Penn and Teller and see some neat stuff and learn things,” he said. “I watch a lot of things on YouTube too.

“I do tricks for my friends and they want to know how they’re done but I don’t tell them. 

“Mum is my director and she helps with lots of things.”

He’s currently working on a trick where it looks like a light passes through his head, and he hopes to learn one where he appears to bite the top off a coin and then spit it back in place. He also has a unicycle he plans to learn to ride. Until then, it serves as a prop for other stunts.

Thomas did well at Halifax Busker Festival. He performed for a day, from 10 a.m. until about 7 p.m., and made approximately $600 each year.

“I was encouraging him to save his money the first year, but he really wanted cheesecake and he was at NovelTea every day for a while,” said Cydney. “He’s decided it would be good to save more of the money this year.”

He plans to use some of the money he made this year to buy a headset he can use while performing.

“I think people like magic because it’s cool to see things happen that you don’t understand,” he said. “I like hearing people wondering how I did things. I want to keep getting better at this because it’s a lot of fun.”

Thomas will be performing on stage during Truro Busker Fest on Wednesday, Aug. 21 from 6-7 p.m.

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