Interesting read from gothamist.com (published Feb 19, 2016, by Jordan G. Teicher)
Gives the story of “Doc” Hurwitz, a magician based in New York in the 1930’s.
He was New York City’s unofficial official magician. (for 18 years he was the only magician to be paid by the City and developed the Parks dept, youth magic programme).
A short man , listed as being between 5′ 2 and 5’5. According to the article he was under the impression that magic could transform lives (a lot like the College of Magic does).
He was born in Lithuania and came to the U.S., at the age of 9. Doc Hurwitz, started practising magic after watching a magician when he was a counsellor at Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum. The magician got so much attention from his wards, that Doc Hurwitz was jealous of the attention and decided to embark upon the journey of magical discovery.
Doc Hurwitz started the Peter Pan Magic Club on Saturday mornings, at Sara D. Roosevelt Park on the Lower East Side, this was at the time when the city was creating 100’s of new playgrounds as part of the “New Deal” that Roosevelt had put in place to boost spending and get America out of the Great Depression.
For Hurwitz, magic wasn’t just entertainment — it was education. In his performances as Peter Pan the Magic Man, he’d use it to demonstrate how to cross streets safely and to illustrate stories from the Bible
The most enlightening part of this article is contained in the following quote taken from the article:
In an article he wrote entitled “Entertaining Children With Magic,” he provided a litany of recommendations for those who might try it: Save tricks with animals for the end of the show. Keep chatter to a minimum. Use tricks that bang, burst and pop. Don’t send a child away from the stage for misbehavior. Don’t lower her ego. Don’t belittle her efforts. A good magician, in his eyes, was as much a master of psychology as showmanship.
I really love the part about not belittling their efforts and not lowering their ego’s… real learnings for real life.