Easy Heroics

Today’s post is sponsored by The Kids Know Best,
my book on family/kid show magic:

Today I spoke/performed at my second grade son’s Career Day.

I did four twenty minute sessions. About twelve minutes of tricks, followed by a talk and some career day oriented questions.

FUNNIEST PART: After the second session I heard a student loudly say this in the hallway outside the classroom:

“This is fun! There’s a WHOLE magician in there!”

MEMORABLE PART: Getting to perform in front of my son’s friends and make him proud of his dad’s odd career path.

EDUCATIONAL PART: Kids LOVE to help the magician. And that means kids of all abilities and challenges. Back when I was performing 250 school assembly programs a year, I knew what routines in my show were handicap accessible, and with different degrees of ability in mind. I didn’t even have to change the material. A little forethought, preplanning, and adapting on the fly is all it takes.

One of those opportunities happened this morning.

An 18 inch diamond silk vanishes by the usual method. I walk towards a young girl in the front row. “I thought I remembered you from the Super Secret Magician Meetings! Please hold out your left arm.” She does so. I reach in her sleeve and pull out about 3 inches of silk hanky.

Her head whips around to look at the rest of the audience as if to say, “ARE YOU SEEING THIS, TOO!!???” The rest of the hanky comes out. Everyone clapped, laughed, and cheered. She was elated. The kid got to be the star. She gets to feel the other kids cheering her on and being envious of her. The entire audience feels the warmth of the child’s happiness.

If the only benefit to this material choice was making this little girl happy, that’s more than enough.

But there’s more than that. If you’re an emotional softy like I can be (and I’m not the only one), seeing a little girl with challenges get to be a rock star in a magic show PLAYS HUGE. It will be remembered long after any other moment in the show.

It doesn’t require cases of props.
It’s doesn’t require packing big props.
It requires the right decisions and preparations. Once done, you’re not only playing big, you’re playing kind.

If this kind of thinking resonates with you as something you’d like to see reflected in your shows, you can learn more about in my book, The Kids Know Best.

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