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sugam
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Toronto, Canada
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Hi everyone,

I was thinking of rehabilitation programs that involve magic for disabled people, and am glad to have come across initiatives such as "Project Magic" by David Copperfield and "Healing of Magic" by Cindy/Kevin Spencer.

I'm interested in starting up a program like this, but was wondering if there are people who have done something similar who can share their experiences (e.g. JasonbytheOcean).

I've e-mailed the Spencers so far, and their website has a lot of information http://www.magictherapy.com/

So, this thread is devoted to ideas about how to implement a program to teach magic as rehabilitation therapy for the disabled.

Thanks!
Evan
JasonbytheOcean
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Washington, D.C.
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Hi Evan,

I know I'm not the most experienced out here on this subject (either as a magician or in the hospital/other volunteer setting), but I've really enjoyed both! The Spencers' book is worth getting if you want to pursue this, not so much for the tricks per se (which are good - I perform several in my regular routine) but for the letter of introduction and basic introduction to therapy, and the video that comes with it demonstrates some of the appeal of the program. Copperfield has one that's also available through his website that is similar. My general impression is that the Spencers' book focuses more on the benefits of the program and how to get it started, while Copperfield highlights more tricks and their benefits.

Probably your first best bet if you just want to try and see what happens is to locate a recreational therapy program or association in your area, and tell them about your interest, or contact a hospital local to you. Some parks also have recreational therapy programs. Borrow material liberally from the websites that have been mentioned in other threads in describing what you want to do, or bring in copies of the websites.

At first, folks may not quite know what to make of you if they don't work with entertainers. The first hospital I contacted wasn't interested. The second one was, partly I think because they have a more active program where they bring in people with dogs, artists, etc. I fit into the "entertainment" category, there to provide a mental break. Which is important, but I felt I could do more. Over the past two years or so, as the therapists have gotten to know me, and I've gotten to understand the nature of their work, I've been able to move in the direction that the Spencers and Copperfield envisioned where the real benefits emerge. The therapists and other staff have begun to see some of the real benefits that can come from magic therapy, and as a result I'm able to focus and build a specific agenda. I still perform for relaxation, just did a one-person show for a patient who came out of surgery, but even there I'm often bringing them into the inner circle by doing my show, then taking time to asking them what they thought, etc.

Hope this helps get you thinking about one or two things, I'm sure others will have much more to say and I'm looking forward to continuing the discussion.

Regards,

Jason
Parson Smith
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I have been a right hand amputee magi for over 25 years. If I can be of assistance, please let me know.
Here kitty, kitty,kitty. Smile
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Dan Ezell
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Cocoa, FL
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I have both programs (David Copperfield’s and Cindy/Kevin Spencer’s) and have found them to be very similar, but both have been helpful. I think more importantly is the concept of using magic as therapy for various needs. Magic is very powerful and can be used to motivate in many areas. I use magic in the classroom for children with special needs. I created M.A.G.I.C. B.U.D.D.I.E.S. (Motiving Activities Geared to Instilling Confidence .... Building Upon the Differences for the Dynamic Inclusion of Exceptional Students) clubs for schools who want to pair children with disabilities with their non-disabled peers. These are before and after school clubs so it does not take away from the school day. I encourage you to use your interest and start a program of your choice. Using magic to make a positive difference is a great goal. Thanks for starting this thread.
Dan Ezell
Dr. Dan The Magic Man
MagicDove.com
As a univesity professor in special education I advocate the use magic to increase self-esteem of children with disabilities. Also, many magic tricks can easily be tied to academic lessons. More importanly, magic can be used to create friendships with children with and without disabilities. Smile
JasonbytheOcean
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Parson,

What kind of magic would you recommend for people with similar conditions? Jumping rubber bands comes to mind, as well as Mathemagic, but so far much of what I teach requires two hands (or so I think, I'm sure you must have invented some novel methods!). Much of what I do is connected to recreational therapy, not physical, and is something I need to learn more about. In your case, I'm certain your actual presence must in itself be inspiring to people who have recently been injured. Do you call attention to it in your act in some way, or let your work speak for itself? I'd welcome any thoughts you might want to share about approaching people in the hospital setting with amputations or other severe injuries, and how we might engage them more successfully through magic therapy.

It raises the general question out there for anyone else to answer of what kind of magic can we teach others who have just gone from full mobility to injuries like yours or much worse. What might we teach a quadriplegic, for example? How do we even begin to approach someone who may still be coping with the psychological trauma of their injury? Any cautionary notes?
Magic Arty
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Jason:
I have been performing at our hospital in Silverton, Oregon for the past seven years as a Magic/Laughter Therapist. Though this is not in the realm of teaching them a trick, it has been very theraputic for the patients. what I do falls more in the role of a counselor, or even cheerleader for the patient to get well.
In thinking about teaching a patient of paralysis, I would suggest some mentalism routines, teaching them the magicians force, or even some two person routines.
It would be possible for a quadriplegic to do the 21 card trick, by giving the instructions to the spectator to follow.
Arhur
atsmagic
Arthur Atsma

Feeling real happy now!
JasonbytheOcean
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Hi Arthur,

Thanks for the tips. Just curious - what's a Laughter Therapist? I'm not always teaching myself, sometimes the patients just need a good show and a friendly voice, so I'm happy to oblige.

Also, I know the 21 card trick you're referring to, hadn't thought of using it. Good idea. I'm not familiar with the "magician's force," at least not by that name. Is there a book you can refer me to that teaches it?

Thanks,

Jason
sugam
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Toronto, Canada
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Hey everyone,

Thanks for the input so far. I guess with lots of things, we don't know until we try it.

I recently received the Healing of Magic book and promotion video, and everything looks great.

I notice that Robert Wong has also started a similar program at http://www.projectmagic.ca/, but I can't seem to remember his nickname on this board.
jlevey
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Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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In addition to performing magic for more than 20 years, I have a Social Work background and have volunteered my magical services to lift the spirits of many patients over many years.

I have heard great things about David Copperfield's Project Magic.

I wonder if magicians/therapists that pursue starting up such a venure do so strictly on a voluntary basis, or could a income stream be generated by offering to help patients overcome their physical/mental challenges using the learning and peforming of therapeutic magic tricks as the tool?

Perhaps making a "business" out of Project Magic is considered unethical since it was created to heal and serve those in need. Still Dr's and other medical therapeutic professionals charge fees for their services.

I seem to recall that David published a book on Project Magic, and if so, I am sure my questions can be answered by reading it.

Does anyone know the link to this book?

In the meantime, I invite comments and insights to my question... Is Project Magic strictly volunteerism to serve the community and its members in need? Or, can it als become a viable income stream for magicians that also have this calling?

Sincerely,

Jonathan
Jonathan
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Dan Ezell
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Jonathan,
I don't have the link to the Project Magic book, but the contact information can be found on David's website. http://www.dcopperfield.com click under Project Magic. I have the book. The exact title is: David Copperfield's Project Magic Handbook. It is written by Richard Kaufman--- copywright 2002 David Copperfield's Project Magic Fund, Inc. I looked for an ISBN number, but I could not find it. I hope this helps.
Dan Ezell
Dr. Dan The Magic Man
MagicDove.com
As a univesity professor in special education I advocate the use magic to increase self-esteem of children with disabilities. Also, many magic tricks can easily be tied to academic lessons. More importanly, magic can be used to create friendships with children with and without disabilities. Smile
jlevey
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Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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Thanks for the link Dan.

I will consider purchasing th ebook.

All the best.

Jonathan
Jonathan
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Magicians with a touch of comedy!
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jlevey
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I was fortunate and recently exchanged some magic items that I was no longer using for David Copperfield's hardcover book, Project Magic.

I look forward to reading it in more detail.

All the best.

Jonathan
Jonathan
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Magicians with a touch of comedy!
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jlevey
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I can see from DC's book that Project Magic is strictly a charitable/volunteer endeavour, and mutually rewarding for all involved (patient/therapist/magician).

I also see tha many of the "tricks" could be integrated into a corporate training program, but that this is not the intention nor the focus of this project.

I am delighted with David Copperfield's approach towards helping patients to challenge themselves to overcome their disability by ehancing thier abilities, using magic as the vehicle for their recuperation.

I only wish that their were some photos doumenting this great project.
Perhaps there will be a follow-up book that will include such documentation.

All the best.

Sinicerely,

Jonathan
Jonathan
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sugam
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Hi Jonathan,

Thanks for your comments. I'm sure if you contact those involved with Project Magic, you'd get lots of responses of how their programs have progressed.

As you mentioned, it started as a volunteer endeavour, and in my thoughts I'd rather it stay that way rather than become a business enterprise. It is difficult to compare to Physicians and Occupational Therapists who undergo thorough training and education (as in any other profession or job for that matter), to deal specifically with patients' medical problems. It's particularly different if they are payed by the government or insurance companies. Also, Project Magic and Healing of Magic seem to be intended as an adjunct to rehabilitation therapy, rather than a sole form of healing.

Your very lucky to have come across that book so fast. I still need to contact them to see if I can get a copy. I am mainly looking at The Spencer's Healing of Magic for now.
jlevey
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Hi Sugam,
Pleasae note that the person who traded his Project Magic book for one of my tricks told me that he bought it directly from David Copperfield following one of his shows at Montreal's Place Des Arts venue. It seems that David had a slew of these books for sales following the show for about $50 per book (Canadian).

Perhaps you might write to David directly via his web site or speak to magicians in your local fraternity to see if they might be willing to part with their copy.

All the best.

Jonathan
Jonathan
Max & Maxine Entertainment
Magicians with a touch of comedy!
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RealDeal JU
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Evan,
I think that it's great you are starting up an organization along with the other great ones currently out there. Good luck with everything!! I hope it all works out the way you want it to. Have fun with your future success!!

Jim
"Challenge yourself to come up with your own

material, rather than buying into the idea that

you have to do the same thing that everyone

else is doing to be a good magician."
magicguy72
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I'd like to address this idea of becoming involved with Project Magic or the Healing of Magic as a business venture rather than as a volunteer. Both of these programs were set up on a volunteer basis because few magicians have the specialized degree, i.e. occupational therapy or physiotherapy, required to practice as a therapist. I have worked closely with dozens of Occupational Therapists in order to make sure that our program meets (or exceeds) the expectations of using magic as a treatment modality. I am currently involved in the daunting task of applying for the American Occupational Therapy Association's "Approved Provider Program" which will allow us to offer Continuing Education Credits for therapists who attend/participate in the extensive, "hands-on" workshop that we have been conducting for the last several years.

We are very fortunate that Healing of Magic has received the acceptance of therapists around the world and we currently have programs operating in more than 30 countries THANKS in large part to the many good-hearted magicians who volunteer their time and talents to make an impact on their communities.

There are many factors that must be considered if a magician intends to "charge for his services" when working in a hopsital/rehab therapy situation. Insurance will only pay for therapy when it is administered by a licensed therapist. The goal of both Project Magic and Healing of Magic is for the magician to work in COOPERATION with the therapist in the teaching of tricks to patients. There are also the liability ramifications that must be considered. Does the magician carry any type of "malpractice" insurance? What is his/her relationship to the facility? employee? supplier? provider? This list goes on and on and I have dealt with many of these issues over the years working with administrators, therapists and magicians.

Bottom line is simple. These programs are designed to give magicians an opportunity to do what they love in such a way as to significantly change the lives of the people with whom they teach these simple little tricks. These programs provide a means by which we can VOLUNTEER our time and talents by giving back to the community, impacting the lives of others.

I'd be happy to discuss this further with anyone who has specific questions about "magic therapy." We are in the process of updating the website this summer and more information will be available there, http://www.MagicTherapy.com.
magicguy72
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Just one more thing: We have a wonderful relationship with the I.B.M. and are thankful for the hundreds of magicians around the world who are coordinating the Healing of Magic program through the efforts of the Brotherhood.

These magicians offer their services to hospitals THROUGH therapists. I stress in every presentation I make to magicians that this is NOT a performance for you. AND you are are not practicing or treating patients. In order to "practice" medicine, you must be adequately trained and educated, licensed and insured.

THANKS!
jlevey
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Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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Thanks, MagicGuy72, for your info and insights.
Well expressed.

Jonathan
Jonathan
Max & Maxine Entertainment
Magicians with a touch of comedy!
___________________________________
www.maxmagician.com
www.mindreadershow.com
www.monsieurmagic.com
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Ring 129 has a very active healing of magic group.

Please go to our website at

http://www.ring129.com

and look for the link or email or web master Ken Reedy.

He is chair of the project.

Be safe,

Harris Deutsch
http://www.nearlynormalmagic.com
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
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