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Topic: I'm a little angry, but: good news and bad news
Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (Aug 26, 2013 06:09PM)
So today I interviewed for the children's hospital. If all goes well, by the end of September I'll be able to start performing. That's the good news.

The bad news is the shameful story I was told by the kind lady interviewing me for the volunteer work. It seems they "had" a magician at one time who performed for the children. "Had," because they had to ask him to leave.

I thought, "Oh great here comes a pedophile story," but fortunately that wasn't it.

A mom requested him to come perform for her child. Upon entering the room- and this is where my interviewer didn't have specific details, it could've been that the child was unconscious or mentally disabled- the magician says, "Oh they/he/she won't get anything out of this," and leaves the room.

This is still making me mad just thinking about it. What is your problem dude? What an arrogant, self-absorbed jerk. Even if the child is in a coma, who's to know whether or not your added stimulation might have benefited the child's mind; the child might have been able to hear you. The parents might have been blessed by your magic and the momentary diversion away from the pain they were suffering at having their child in the hospital. Instead you crushed their emotions at one of the worst times of their lives.

If you're in Tucson and this was you- or you're anywhere and this was or is your attitude- please either learn from this or get out of doing magic. You're giving magician's a bad name.
Message: Posted by: Mark Boody Illusionist (Aug 26, 2013 06:19PM)

I agree, we perform to bring joy to others, if that magician wants to perform for himself, just stay at home and perform for the mirrior. Just my two cents, for what its worth.

Message: Posted by: Mark Boody Illusionist (Aug 26, 2013 06:22PM)
Oh, by the way congratulations. I know you will bring joy and happiness to many patients and their famalies with your magic and kindness.
Please keep us posted on your adventure. Thank you for making a difference.

Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (Aug 26, 2013 06:44PM)
Thank you Mark. Your two cents is worth a lot. I'll definitely keep you posted.
Message: Posted by: RobFromNZ (Aug 27, 2013 10:30PM)
Hope it goes well at the hospital. That story is a shocker! Hope you really turn it around for the hospital staff and patients, and use magic to bring a bit of comfort. All the best.
Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (Aug 27, 2013 11:34PM)
Thanks Rob!
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Aug 29, 2013 12:27PM)
Ted: I'm just beginning my forays into volunteering for my local hospital. I will remember this one.

There may be times when this is the initial and involuntary reaction upon seeing a person in an apparently unresponsive condition. But it must not ever show!! The parents are having enough of their own battles without having to deal with the performer's moods, too.

If it's not too much off topic - what would you perform in a case like this? Assuming the patient has eyes closed and cannot be touched, you can't do something visual or tactile. It would have to be something where the magic is audible?? Or would you basically just perform for the parents, and hope their enjoyment carries through to the patient?

Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (Aug 29, 2013 04:58PM)
Performing for the parents while talking to the patient and telling them what's happening would probably be what I would've done spur of the moment. If it was a case of the child being mentally disabled, maybe just do my regular routine with them being involved as much as possible and switching to parental involvement; gently, if it was proving unsuccessful with the child.

For instance, set up my table and go into some card routines where the mom and dad get to pick cards, but also talking to the patient- telling them I'm going to show mom and dad some magic. There is a chance they can hear so any stimulation can be beneficial. Shuffling, snapping cards for reveals.

Maybe do sponge bunnies for mom- since it wouldn't be a health risk- and leave her with a bunny to keep and give the child.

Ask some questions about the child- what are some of their favorite...colors? Red? Oh let me get a red card here... Ask a few questions where you've considered how it could be worked into the magic. Like their age. Then use their age number to do a card effect for mom and dad like Gemini Twins while talking to the child and pattering about their magical age number.

I'm glad you asked this question. Why don't we come back here with ideas and continue to help prepare each other for this scenario?

Are there any tricks that involve sound? Like you mention above. Not even necessarily as the effect, but maybe torn and restored something or other that you can do close up where the child might hear the noise and then when you restore it you can wave it around making sound with it also?
Message: Posted by: jcrabtree2007 (Aug 30, 2013 12:16AM)
I work in an ED and use my magic (when appropriate) to comfort children or break the ice and build a relationship with my patients.
I have built relationships with severely autistic kids who will not talk to anyone except family members with just a small part of conjuring. Their parents didn't think it would work but said go for it. What kid doesn't respond enthusiastically when you pull a quarter out their ear?
Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (Aug 30, 2013 10:33AM)
Nice :)
Message: Posted by: Ray Bertrand (Sep 3, 2013 11:52AM)
Preston68 - Your story exemplifies the basis for all magic and entertaining. We must be respectful of everyone around us. Because someone is in a coma does not mean they can't hear or feel. I commend you for your insight and compassion. Keep up the good work.

Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (Sep 3, 2013 12:37PM)
Thank you Ray.
Message: Posted by: Rook (Sep 4, 2013 03:55PM)
Good luck, and congratulations in advance! Based on your passion and caring in this post alone, I am quite convinced that you made a marvelous impression that--I hope--provided a corrective experience for the hospital administration with regard to magicians.

Whether or not the child could perceive the effects the way other do is immaterial. There's a reason that parents and loved ones are asked to visit and console those in comas. Even if they cannot hear or see you, they quite possibly pick up on the energy in the room (e.g., mood level). If the parents in the room feel that having a magician would be a good idea, your mere presence there will be an uplifting experience to those conscious and, indirectly, those unconscious.

Even if my debatable point is wrong, consider that perhaps those that needed uplifting were the doubtless frightened, saddened, and desperate parents in the room. Making them feel a little better...that anything is possible...for even a few minutes would be worth any magician's time.

I look forward to hearing how you improve the lot of others in this hospital. They'll be fortunate to have you on board.

One trick that I do that is very auditory is a variation of the Banana Bandanna. Although the magician's nonverbals make up a great deal of the entertainment, one could close their eyes and still get quite a bit out of it.

Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (Sep 4, 2013 06:56PM)
Thanks for the encouragement!

I agree with you- We can brighten the day of those who are able to fully receive the magic and possibly affect the patients positively as well.
Message: Posted by: jcrabtree2007 (Sep 8, 2013 06:35PM)
On 2013-09-03 12:52, Ray Bertrand wrote:
Preston68 - Your story exemplifies the basis for all magic and entertaining. We must be respectful of everyone around us. Because someone is in a coma does not mean they can't hear or feel. I commend you for your insight and compassion. Keep up the good work.

So true. Took care of a lady in a coma in the ICU for over a year (we couldn't get her placed). Each day I'd talk to her as I gave her her care. Tell her a few clean jokes. Tell her about my kids. Anyways- one day I walked into the room and said Good Morning Irene and she responded "hello James". I jumped back as if I had seen a ghost. Not only did she know my name , she knew my stories, kids, ect... "How do you know my name" ? I asked. She responded "because you never shut up James". She had heard everything I said in her presence and she recognized me by my voice only. What a lesson for me.
Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (Sep 8, 2013 03:09PM)
Lol- That's great!
Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (Sep 10, 2013 12:01AM)
Hey Ed,

To further discuss what tricks we might do; I just bought a couple especially for the hospital. In my recent purchases I was looking for things that reset easily, and are hands off or easily cleaned so I can show everybody and not be concerned about contamination.

Coin funnel- This will play great for the kids and maybe the parents, but the aspect of this that I also like is the sound. If the child is in a coma they will undoubtedly still hear this- arguable point to be sure, but I believe it to be so and jcrabtree2007, like many other stories out there, provides some good evidence. Plus it's good, quick fun magic. I do the battery finale version.

Hopping halves- Another hands off that you can make noise with if you're careful. I realize I would be performing this mainly for the parents- or any trick where the child is unconscious for that matter, but I think we can and should include the child in the magic patter as much as possible. "I'm showing mommy and daddy a trick with these two magic coins..." Etc...

Speaking of coins and noise- I already own Solari's Miracle Miser. That plays well to adults and is quick and loud. Optional devil's hank vanish ending of final coin.

And speaking of Bob Solari- I ordered Bunny Hop just for use in the hospitals and feel this is a wonderful purchase. It took me a minute to get a feel for the you know what with this prop- hard to explain, but anyway, this is a great prop for hospital work. I plan on getting as many little bunnies as possible and giving them away at the end of the trick. that way the child has a cute keepsake and so does the mom if the child is comatose. Mom and dad can keep the bunny to give to the child when they wake up. Here's a link to it:

https:bobsolarimagic.com/shop/Bunny Hop?keyword=bunny&category_id=0

Who knows? Maybe someday there will be a child waking up asking to see the noisy magician. I hope so.
Message: Posted by: Rook (Sep 10, 2013 12:17PM)
I think it was Jeff McBride that I saw do a sleight of hand routine with a squeaker in such a fashion that it highlighted the effect *and* provided a auditory presence.
Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (Sep 10, 2013 05:00PM)
Oh yeah, Tommy Wonder does a card trick with a squeaky salt shaker.

Message: Posted by: jcrabtree2007 (Sep 10, 2013 07:38PM)
Squeakers are cool. I've been thinking if getting the jeff McBride DVD on squeeking. I got a squeaker when I saw gazzo do his cups and balls. Very versatile little gimmick.
Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (Sep 10, 2013 09:38PM)
Emory here at Williams magic uses one when he does sponge balls. Very cute and good reactions for just a quick bit.
Message: Posted by: MAV (Nov 30, 2013 04:52PM)
I have made bead dogs for children for years now and I use a squeaker when cutting off the tail. The dog takes 16 beads but I leave the chain of beads in tact and make the dog starting from one end. While I am making the dog I ask the child what kind of dog they think it is?? It becomes obvious it is a poodle. I continue forming the poodle and complete it all the way up to the tail. Then I tell them that poodles don't have long tails and I need them to hold the poodle body while I hold out the tail.

I reach into my pocket and pull out a small pair of scissors plus I palm a squeaker. I tell them that the poodle might make a squeak when I cut off the tail because it might hurt them just a little, tiny bit. Then when I cut the tail, I squeeze the squeaker at the same time and watch their face. Incredible reaction from them!! This simple addition makes the dog come alive.

I then tell them that this dog's name is Tricksy?? Why??? Because he does tricks of course. I then make the dog STAY, SIT and PLAY DEAD. The kids love these little dogs and it is a very inexpensive item you can leave with them.
Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (Dec 2, 2013 12:34AM)
Cool :)
Message: Posted by: mndude (Dec 3, 2013 11:26AM)

How did it go? I'm sure it could be an intense experience volunteering at a children's hospital.
Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (Dec 3, 2013 08:08PM)
Well, I've gotten approved finally and have received the contact of the person to coordinate my times with, but between getting sick and having an add-on done to our house I haven't gone yet. I plan on setting up a time to start as soon as I get a free Monday where I don't have to be around for construction guys. I'm still going to the VA in the interim as I'm already established there.

I can't wait to start and have felt stuck waiting!

I'll let you know when I start.
Message: Posted by: BigDC (Dec 3, 2013 10:37PM)
As a person who works with children all the time, this just completely makes me EXTREMELY ANGRY. That magician, NO I WON'T EVEN CALL HIM THAT, that person was very disgraceful and a poor excuse for a human being as well! To just walk out of that room and not perform for whatever reason was UNCALLED FOR and UNACCEPTABLE. NO CHILD, and I repeat, NO CHILD should evev be over looked for ANY reason.

Theodore glad to hear you are being MORE professional. But even more important then that, I am glad to hear you are being more of a CARING HUMAN BEING then that other person was. Take your magic to the children. It may very well be your magic that helps even oone child survive, or helps one family member cope. You are more than a Magician, YOU ARE an AMBASSADOR of HOPE and GOOD WILL. Let your light shine to the children and it will be rewarded back to you in life.
Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (Dec 4, 2013 10:01AM)
Thanks for the kind words BigDC. That guy hacked me off too. When she told me what he did I felt ashamed and that I needed to apologize on behalf of other, upstanding magicians.

I can't wait to get back to you guys on how it's going! I'll be limited in what I can say; of course, but I'll share what I can. :)
Message: Posted by: thementalcoach (Dec 5, 2013 02:02PM)
I use magic tricks as part of my rapport-building process (coins, bending pencils, silks, etc.) when using hypnosis therapeutically with children. I also tell stories [i.e. the magic story] as part of the therapeutic process (with my own sound effects). Is that something that could be done with children in the hospital who might not be able to connect visually? I wonder if, with a child, you can actually talk them through imagining tricks and it will be real for them?

And that's a really good point about doing tricks for stressed parents, that's a wonderful gift to give them - just a bit of time where they can be totally distracted and free of the fear and worry.
Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (Dec 5, 2013 05:51PM)
Sounds possible and like a good idea.
Message: Posted by: GriffithsMagic (Dec 13, 2013 03:37AM)
Hope it goes well for you and even though I am of a young age, that is the last thing I want to hear!

Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (Jan 16, 2014 10:22AM)
Thanks Jack! :)

After waiting for almost 5 months- I start Monday. Can't wait to see smiling children and parents!
Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (Jan 20, 2014 09:50PM)
It went great :)

The kids are going to be hand picked by the nurses and placed on a list for me before I arrive. They will select kids that they either think will enjoy the magic or possibly benefit from it as well.

They were happy that I was able to make a very sick boy in Oncology smile today. So was I.

I visited 4 children and had a great time with them all.

This is going to be awesome. I recommend it to anyone.

Tricks I took today:

TT silk
Ambitious card to wallet- kiddos keep a card :)
Bunny Hop by Bob Solari- modified using different balls and bunnies I purchased from Hobby Lobby to give away.
"Vanishing" Pencil with giveaway pencils
Message: Posted by: Mark Boody Illusionist (Jan 21, 2014 04:22PM)
Awesome! I may try this myself.

Message: Posted by: RajeshLGov (Jan 30, 2014 07:34AM)
Very happy at the good work you r doing. I love your collection of effects too. Please do CnR Rope, PN...the children will love it. God Bless, Raj.
Message: Posted by: mkarav (Apr 2, 2014 12:35PM)
On Jan 20, 2014, Theodore Lawton wrote:
It went great :)

The kids are going to be hand picked by the nurses and placed on a list for me before I arrive. They will select kids that they either think will enjoy the magic or possibly benefit from it as well.

They were happy that I was able to make a very sick boy in Oncology smile today. So was I.

I visited 4 children and had a great time with them all.

This is going to be awesome. I recommend it to anyone.

Tricks I took today:

TT silk
Ambitious card to wallet- kiddos keep a card :)
Bunny Hop by Bob Solari- modified using different balls and bunnies I purchased from Hobby Lobby to give away.
"Vanishing" Pencil with giveaway pencils

Very inspiring and I plan to do volunteer work also. Keep us posted on your experiences so we can benefit and learn.
Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (Apr 2, 2014 05:26PM)
Well, I've basically settled in to doing a three hour session each time I go. It's always a blessing. I like to switch out some effects per visit just to make it fun for me, but I stick with ACR and Bunny Hop because those involve giveaways. Oh, and Raj- I do CnR Rope. :) It's always a hit and it's easy to carry with me.

I've learned to be flexible and on the look out for anyone that might enjoy some magic to help pass the time at the hospital. Last visit I performed for a large family that was sitting at tables by the elevator as I was passing between floors. A young boy took notice of me in my silly hat and costume so I just started doing a Chameleon Silk routine for him without saying a word. Then one of their young girls said it was cool so I went over and introduced myself and did ACR to wallet for her and the family. Just a couple of minutes really brightened their time- even if only for a moment.

I get a Caféteria allowance per visit and was starving after performing last time, so I went to get something to eat. There are two girls who work in the Caféteria who love magic and basically ambushed me in the office telling me I HAD to show them something. lol I was tired, but their enthusiasm won me over and of course I showed them a couple tricks. I'll be visiting them regularly just to say hi and show them some stuff. This will actually be good for me because sometimes it is hard to see the condition of the children I perform for. After doing my walkaround, seeing these happy, cheerful girls might really help me out emotionally. A great way to end the day, so to speak, on an up note.

But it's a great experience and I highly recommend it if you're considering it.