In the time since I received the Performer Fellowship Award from the AMA at the annual AMA awards, many people have come up to me to tell me they really liked my acceptance speech. I kind of liked it too. So I thought you might want to read it. Here it is.
My favorite place in the world is the Magic Castle. And so it is with great pride that I accept this award.
I want to thank the Academy of Magical Arts Board of Trustees, and the Academy of Magical Arts Board of Directors for choosing me to receive the Performance Fellowship Award.
I am so pleased that the AMA has decided to recognize the world of children’s magic in this way. More magic shows for children are performed each year than magic shows for adults. And more children see magic shows than adults do. And, YES, while children’s magic is often easy to perform technically, keeping 20, 50, or 400 kids entertained for an hour is not easy. You know that if you have tried it. And if you haven’t tried it, you know its because you are scared to.
I have been performing children’s magic for 25 years. And for many years now I have met the grown children whose birthday parties I performed at 20 years earlier. They come up to me enthusiastically and literally describe their favorite tricks which I performed for them so many years before. Kids magicians do have a big impact on their audiences.
I have worked hard throughout my career to improve the image of, and raise the bar for, magicians who perform magic for children. I did this through my column in Magic magazine, which I wrote for eight years, as well as my current column in Genii and on the Reel Magic DVDs.
After performing 10,000 shows I synthesized what I had learned into a book about magic for children called Seriously Silly. In 2013 the Magic Circle published a list of 28 magic books that, “All magicians should have read in their lifetime.” Seriously Silly was one of those 28 books. In it ideas from child psychology were applied to children’s magic. The book was not only about what to do, but why to do it, and why these techniques have a strong impact on children. It is my hope that through my writing I am helping improve the magic shows of my readers around the world.
The book and the columns introduced magicians to the idea that kid show magicians take our branch of magic just as seriously as magicians from other branches. We study each word and every moment in order to improve our shows just as you do.
Now there are more children’s magic lectures at conventions and more children’s magic columns in magazines. At the conventions and in the magazines, when people see the excellent work the modern kid show magician is doing they can’t help but be impressed.
For most people the first time they see a magician is as a child at a magic show for kids. It was true for me and I as sure it was true for many of you. That experience changed my life. I like to think that the thousands of kid show magicians performing for children all over the world, are inspiring the next generation of magicians.
I accept this award on behalf of the thousands and thousands of kid show magicians who are out everyday performing at schools, libraries, and birthday parties.