After graduation, I started teaching first-grade at a charter school in Memphis, Tennessee. That was a bit of a struggle… As a result of the school’s financial problems, I only actually taught there for about half a year. The second half of that year, I took my magic, turned it into a street show, and brought it out onto the streets of Memphis. (I didn’t quite join a circus—though I did befriend a clown—but it was a lot of fun). On a similar vein, I used that experience (more recently) to write an article for Genii, an international magic magazine for magicians, titled “Women Street Performers: We Know Who We Are In.” That article is currently in review.
From Memphis, I flew all the way to Baoding, China (just south of Beijing) to teach English at a university. I was there for two years, traveling, teaching, and learning. In China, I quickly picked up on the presence of park performers: dancers, musicians, tai chi practitioners, Chinese yoyo enthusiasts, and—once—I even witnessed a group of five men tossing heavy sandbags among themselves.
So now I’m at the University of Chicago, working towards my Masters in Social Sciences, mainly because I am extremely curious about the lives of street performers in the US and in China. I’m not sure yet what I’ll be doing next – but I guess that’s what your 20’s are all about. I’m still writing (always) and still performing magic (always, as well). I’ve even started learning how to cook (or attempting to) so that I don’t have to eat sandwiches everyday. That’s actually what I miss most about SBP—lunches together and the tales we told while huddled over Easthampton cuisine.
“Magic” (Felice Ling performing at the First Annual Shelby Forest Spring Fest) by KimbaWayne Photography.
“Street Food Stands,” Felice Ling, Baoding, China.
Read more in the Where Are They Now series.