AJ Longhurst is passionate about magic. When he was only eight years old, his sister’s new husband made a handkerchief disappear right in front of his eyes and sparked an interest that grew into a calling over the years. Now, “The Amazing AJ” has founded AJ’s Magic Academy to help local kids find the wonder and confidence that the discipline of magic has brought into his life.
AJ loves doing magic for kids because they are so much better at using their imagination and suspending their disbelief than adults. “If you’ve ever observed a kid watching cartoons, you know that they are in the cartoon. An adult is more likely to say, Hey, that’s a trick! Of course it’s a trick,” AJ explains. “The magic is what happens to the audience when they see something that defies what they know to be true.”
AJ’s Magic Academy uses the Discover Magic curriculum, a national educational program. The course is best described as a life skills course camouflaged to look like a magic lesson. Studies have shown that practicing the art of magic helps students to build key qualities like self-discipline, self-confidence and interpersonal abilities.
AJ uses an example featuring his own daughter. While performing a trick at a recent end-of-the-year talent show, her handkerchief prop ripped, ruining any chance of completing the trick. Instead of quitting in embarrassment, she dropped one half, humorously presented the other, and then moved on to the next trick without missing a beat. Needless to say, he was very proud!
AJ’s Magic Academy conducts magic classes for children 8 to 12 years old. Students will learn dozens of amazing tricks, get top secret file folders and other special props including a special graduation wand and certificate.
Classes will be held June 13th - 24th, Monday - Friday 1 PM - 3:30 PM in the classroom above the new Mars Theater at the WYO Theater. Scholarships are available.