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 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.