WOW - We just had the most marvelous time entertaining hundreds of children and adults at this year's Celebrate Freedom Festival here in Atlanta. The festival is produced by 104.7, The FISH radio station... our favorite Christian station in Metro Atlanta. They are wonderful to work with and a real joy. This year, we presented 3 stage shows on the children's stage and one short routine on the main stage. Our second show was rudely interrupted by a rain shower, so we had to quickly make our props disappear from the stage . . . and the rain made the audience vanish as well.
But lots of folks came back for the third show which we performed with just a few items out of our pocket (since pretty much everything else was wet in the van). My family also had fun working our booth making nearly 500 balloon sculptures for boys and girls and their parents. We gave away a free magic show in our drawing and all had a wonderful time. After our shows, we were blessed by Stephen Curtis Chapman's concert.
We want to say thank you to Charis, who booked us for the third year, and to all the folks that work so hard to make Celebrate Freedom a grand success.
This past Wednesday, we presented the premier performance of our new Safety Safari show. We performed the 45 minute presentation for over one hundred children and a whole lot of adults at Chestnut Mountain Presbyterian Church in Flowery Branch, GA.
It was great fun for one and all. Vern the Bird showed up when four children selected one huge laundry basket out of six baskets for him to appear in. He gave us all a lesson about wearing the right helmet when riding our bike. We then learned about crossing streets, obeying the traffic signals, not touching guns (and never pointing them at Leo the Lion or anyone else), staying away from poisons, and protecting our brains. We ended the evening with the importance of trusting Jesus as our true Savior and the ONLY way to completely live a safe life.
What great fun. Thank you to Chestnut Mountain Presbyterian for having us.
Jeffini the Educator/Entertainer is excited to announce three new magical school assembly programs for Elementary Schools. Jeffini will be touring all around Georgia and Metro Atlanta with these three assembly programs.
The three assembly shows include:
The Safety Safari, a Jungle-themed assembly program, in which Jeffini the Safari Guide will challenge children to Think Safe, Act Safe, and Be Safe!
Reading Roundup! a western-themed assembly program, in which Jeffini the Trail Boss will encourage children to love reading books for LIFE!
Buddy Blastoff, a Space-themed assembly program, in which Jeffini the Space Commander will encourage children to be Buddies, not Bullies!
Jeffini is also announcing a new name for this part of the business - Meaningful Assemblies! Please pray that Jeff will have the opportunity to share these exciting new assembly programs with thousands of children in this coming school year.
We had a great time sharing with the elementary students at North Georgia Christian School this week. They are a terrific group of children and the teachers there are wonderful to work with.
We shared the Bible stories out of the Gospel of Luke about the Lost Coin, Lost Sheep and Lost Boy. Of course we added a little magic to it and had lots of interaction with the children. Because the Head of school said I couldn't bring in sheep, I brought Wiggles the Magic Bunny instead and shared the story of the "Lost Bunny" and the "Bunnyherd" (instead of "shepherd"). We made sure to help the children know that God is just like the woman, the shepherd and the father in these stories -- and that once the coin, sheep and boy were found, there was a great big Party!! You should have heard the children laugh when we were finding coins all over the place in children's ears, hair, and noses through the audience. And you would have loved the squeals of delight when Wiggles the "Lost Bunny" magically was found. Some of the teachers said Jeffini should come do all their chapels!! We look forward to being back at NGC again soon.
There is a lot written about entertaining children . . . and a lot more written about performing magic. Most of the information about performing magic pertains to "doing a trick" or focuses on method or performance. Very little is written about entertaining children. I have enjoyed joining a terrific group called "KIDabra International: The Association of Kid Show & Family Entertainers". They make it a point to encourage professionals to focus on the children and not on the magic.
Magic and puppets are simply tools to enhance great story-telling and child-focused entertainment. You may see a lot of performers who know how to do a nice illusion, but very few who truly understand children - their needs, their interests, and their energy level -- and then know how to really connect with them in an entertaining or educational manner. It's the little things like getting down on the child's level, looking them in the eye, listening to them, and giving them focused attention that makes a huge difference. These ideas go further than magicians . . . it also relates to parenting and anyone who works with children.
Story-telling is also an art in and of itself. In the old days magicians used what was called "patter" or a specific script for a particular magic trick. The patter focused on the trick and rarely on the child. When children were asked to be a part of the show, they were often used merely as props to show off the magician or magic. Today, I aim to engage children in stories that they can relate to and use the magic or puppets to enhance the story-telling. Kids love stories and good stories capture their imagination and even teach life-long lessons. A powerful, memorable story is better then a sermon or lesson . . . yet it can act as either.
Jeffini would like to welcome Wiggles and Hopper to the show!! Wiggles and Hopper are new dwarf bunnies that are enjoying their new private room (and quite frankly all the rooms in the house) along with all the attention they are receiving our kids at home and from all the boys and girls they meet at schools, libraries and birthday parties.
When interviewed, they both said they most appreciate the hay and carrots and are getting very comfortable with their new family. If you would like to meet Wiggles or Hopper, invite them to your next party . . . and you might ask that they bring along Jeffini as well.
Ever since I began entertaining children when I was only 10 years old myself, people have asked me if I could make them float. My standard answer has always been, "Well, sure. I just need a big glass, 2 scoops of ice cream and a lot of root beer!"
Seriously, though, I used to make an audience member float and had that illusion in the act for around 20 years until it just got too much trouble to carry around with the show. (Always a bit heavy and bulky . . . most folks probably don't think about floating as being heavy, but magicians do.) Well, I decided to go ahead and put that effect back into our children's show and we now offer to make the "birthday child" float -- it's great for pictures and a memory that will last a life-time.
There is a bit of a weight limit on the child who floats. After all those "wires" and helium balloons can only hold so much, but we have been having lots of fun with the new illusion. If you would like to have your (small) child float - why not invite Jeffini the Magician to your party. Oh . . . and feel free to throw in some root beer and ice cream. Wiggles the bunny loves root beer floats!!
Jeffini the Atlanta Magician has entertained children, families and adults for over 40 years. Jeffini enjoys using magic, puppets, story-telling, and drama to entertain, motivate and educate children of all ages.