SCOTTSBLUFF — Children registered for the Lied Scottsbluff Public Library summer reading program experienced a magical morning Friday, when they ventured with their families out to Trails West YMCA Camp to watch a magic show by Omaha-based magician Jeff Quinn.
Trails West YMCA Camp hosted the event, and the magic show was sponsored by Intralinks.
This is the first year the library did an event on a Friday, and it proved to be a hit.
With around 515 people in attendance, the Trails West Pavilion was filled with people of all ages, ready to be awed by some sleight of hand.
Quinn, who was named North American Magician of the Year in 2016, catered Friday’s magic show specifically to the reading program and blended magic in with music. By playing different songs throughout his show and incorporating musical instruments into his tricks, the audience stayed amused with his corny humor and tricks that left some audience members scratching their heads.
When looking for volunteers for his tricks, Quinn said he would be looking for those sitting up straight, paying attention, smiling and raising their hands. He established these rules early on, which helped save him from a rowdy crowd and instead kept the audience attentive and quiet, ready to analyze every trick Quinn would perform.
Quinn kicked off his magic show by using a red handkerchief, which he said was a “broken trick.” Every time he would turn his back, the corner of the handkerchief would rise up, then drop as soon as Quinn tried to sneak a peek. The audience’s laughter at the silly trick helped Quinn “catch on,” and Quinn then moved onto his next trick.
Unlike many other magicians, Quinn found a way to educate the kids in the audience on magic, trying to explain how the tricks are done, without fully giving the magic away. Quinn gave just enough information to give them some insight into how the trick was performed, but always left a little bit of magic for the kids to figure out on their own.
One of the tricks he taught the audience was how to make it appear as if two handkerchiefs are one. By putting one handkerchief in your closed fist and stuffing the other in the top, then pulling the hidden handkerchief out the bottom, it looks like the one handkerchief is changing its appearance. He taught the audience how to do the trick, but kept it a secret where the extra handkerchief kept going, as he would frequently open the fist where the handkerchief was supposed to be hidden, but instead was nowhere to be found.
Quinn used several volunteers throughout his show, including eight children who each held a different wind chime. When he tapped the child on the head, that person would play their wind chime by hitting it once with a wooden spoon. The tune he had them play was “Happy Birthday,” and the audience enjoyed watching Quinn jump from one end of the line to the other when he had to go from a high note to a low note.
Quinn also put on a workshop at the library Friday afternoon for those in the teen summer reading program. There, he taught magic tricks to those in attendance, giving them a peek behind the curtain when it comes to magic.
Source: Omaha magician puts on a rockin’ show for children’s library program Scottsbluff Star Herald