As a previous elementary school teacher for 8 years, a day doesn't go by that I don't miss hanging out with the kids. When I decided to retire from teaching I knew it would be a different pace, but going from 30 kids in a classroom everyday to traveling around the world was a dramatic change. I missed the one on one interaction, the questions and answers, and realizing each day I was making a significant impact on my students.
Don't get me wrong, I love being a magician and wouldn't change it for anything. People leave my shows with a sense of bewilderment and awe. It's an amazing feeling and the reason most magicians are magicians. But am I making a difference in peoples lives?
This was the question I kept asking myself. To fill that missing void I was feeling, a big part of my business needed to come from school shows. I wasn't performing children shows anymore and didn't want to put on the normal "school or kid" magic show. I wanted to give them something new, something they have never seen, a new caliber of school magic.
I ripped apart my adult show and started creating a set that worked specifically for schools. Not just one, but two different sets. Most elementary schools are now K-6th and attention spans are completely different at the K level compared to upper elementary. A highly visual K-3rd and a fully interactive 4th-6th show was born. I wanted items to appear in fruit, I wanted lightbulbs to explode, I wanted kids to experience what adults experience after leaving my show.
On top of that I wanted to teach the kids the importance of reading and writing. Interweaving elements of The Amazing Alexander into my show was the perfect fit. I also wanted to give kids that could normally not afford a book the chance to pick one up after the show. The book retails for $20 at B&N so I cut the price in half and gave the school a book signing hour in the library after my performance. Kids would come up telling me they wanted to be an author and would write everyday just like I taught in my presentation.
For those few hours I was making an impact in those students lives. The void was now filled :)