Recently after an NYC magic show performance, a mother approached me to tell me how much she enjoyed my show.

“I really felt like this was a birthday party with a purpose. The kids learned something crucial today. Do you know what I mean?” she shared. I thanked her and we began a conversation on how I know exactly what she means.

And, in fact, I design my magic shows to do just that. Because it’s not just about the customized themes, the music from your child’s favorite story – be it Frozen or Snow White – or even the backdrop (which I must say is pretty spectacular). What makes the show “magical” is the confidence and empowerment it instills in the kids.

It’s about using their favorite stories – be it Harry Potter, Star Wars, or Cinderella –  to leave them with life lessons they will remember long after the birthday party has ended.

Now here’s the thing – a magician never reveals his secrets. But you’re in luck because I’m going to give you a sneak peek into how I weave in those life lessons in a compelling and fun way.

NYC magicianThe Kids Have The Answers

This is where it all starts. I don’t make myself the one with all the answers. Many magicians present their shows with them having the special skills to make the magic happen – the special incantation to make the rabbit appear or solve the problem. But I’m not out to “Abra Kadabra” my way through a birthday party. And honestly, this kind of magic isn’t actually all that engaging for kids because children want to help – they want to be part of the story. Children want to feel validated and needed.  

That’s why the kids are always the catalyst for the resolution. For example, in my Peter Pan show, Captain Hook replaces Peter’s medicine with poison. As Peter is about to drink the poison, the kids reveal the danger – they are the ones to tell him not to drink the medicine!

And in Beauty and the Beast, the birthday girl or boy is the one to pull the sword from the Beast’s chest and save him! I establish a conflict for the hero that only they can help solve. I simply can’t do it without their help.

The children have life-saving information – they help defeat the villains and ultimately save the hero and save the day.

Establish Teamwork

When kids work together, it helps strengthen their communication skills. They learn to interact with more confidence and overall establish a special camaraderie. For example, in my Star Wars show, the children are the Jedis. And they must work together in order to save the galaxy.

That’s why during the show I’ve created a special Jedi Meter. At first, I ask just the boys to clap. And it might reach a 6 on the meter. Then I ask the girls and maybe it goes up to a 7. But I’ve established that we need that 10 in order to complete our mission. So when I ask them to do it all together, the meter immediately reaches the 10. This helps clearly demonstrate the importance of working together.

Kids will also learn to celebrate each other’s successes. When a particular child is chosen to help me perform a certain magic trick, I always ask the other kids to clap for them. And I make them do it a few times until the clap is loud and energized – teaching them that supporting your peers is a crucial part of establishing friendships and helping each other feel proud and confident.

The biggest life lesson that I’ve learned is that there is simply no better (or more honest!) audience than kids. And there’s no better way to inspire children, than motivating them to see all they are capable of, not to mention a little birthday levitation – something I guarantee will also stay with your child long after the party ends.

So here’s to empowering your child – one magical moment at a time.