I had the opportunity to visit Moscow and the surrounding cities in January 1992. I met up with a few magicians from England (one was the late Peter McCahon) to perform at orphanages and hospitals.
The Russian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas on January 7. The year I was there was the first legalized Christmas in over 70 years. I was part of what was termed "Happy Birthday, Jesus" Parties.
I had a brilliant interpreter who helped me with basic kid's magic like the Coloring Book and Jo-Anne the Duck.
I also performed some close-up right on Red Square on Christmas Eve!
The adults loved our balloon sculptures that we made at the bus stations, but the police asked us to stop because of all the commotion! Believe you me, they didn't have to ask me twice!
I was most amazed that the Russians kept asking me for my autograph and my address along with it. I wondered why they wanted my address, and when I asked my interpreter the reason, he explained that for them, I was like a man visiting from the moon. They wanted the information to show their friends that they had met an American.
I was able to take in a Russian circus where the clowns performed some magic. During the show I bought a cheap "rope to tinsel streamer" magic trick.
It was a great experience. I'm hoping to visit again as I have continued communication over the years with my interpreter.