Copperfield, David,: Project Magic Handbook
©2002, David Copperfield's Project Magic Fund, Inc
Hardback, 292 pages
David Copperfield's Project Magic Handbook magician
This 292-page volume is designed to help you design your very own magic program! It demonstrates how to master tricks and illusions large and small, and how to present and implement them.
Project Magic is an innovative program that uses magic as a form of therapy for people with physical, psychological, and social disabilities.
Project Magic combines the talents of professionals in the entertainment field and those in the medical field to provide a quality of therapeutic training for patients far ahead of traditional rehabilitative programs and techniques. Patients involved with this fun, stimulating activity experience enhanced motivation.
As a person with a disability learns the mechanics of a magical illusion, they are motivated to increase physical dexterity, functional skills, and communication. Additionally, the learning of a magical illusion can aid in the improvement of problem-solving, the ability to work with numbers, and other cognitive skills.
Most people with disabilities have come to believe that they are less capable than a non-disabled person. Therefore, the ability
to perform simple magic allows them to do something that others cannot. Performing magic involves knowing something that the audience does not know - the secret. The performer can work "miracles."
This baffles the spectator and creates within the performer a sense of accomplishment, pride, and self-fulfillment.
Self-esteem and motivation are essential to the achievement of rehabilitation goals.
Project Magic was developed by David Copperfield, the world renowned magician, as a result of repeated letters he received from an aspiring magician. Judging from the handwriting, David believed the magician to be an elementary school student. Soon after, David learned that the "grade schooler" was actually a young man in his twenties who lived life in a wheelchair. The childlike handwriting was a result of his disability.
Using the art of magic, this young man had more abilities - not less abilities - than the average person. With that realization, David thought of a way to inspire, reach, and help other people with disabilities. That way was Project Magic. David, along with Julie DeJean, O.T.R., organized Project Magic in 1981 as an innovative way to help individuals with disabilities during their therapy process. In 1982, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) formally endorsed Project Magic.
"[PROJECT MAGIC] HAS PROVIDED MOTIVATION, ENHANCED SELF-ESTEEM, AND INCREASED HOPE WHILE CONTRIBUTING AN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH FOR THERAPEUTIC GAINS TO THOUSANDS..."
Project Magic has since been developed, implemented, and guided to international status. Project Magic programs have been established in nearly every state in the USA, and 30 foreign countries. It has provided motivation, enhanced self-esteem, and increased hope while contributing an alternative approach for therapeutic gains to thousands of individuals of all ages.
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David Copperfield, Born in Metuchen, New Jersey as David Seth Kotkin to Israeli parents, Hyman and Rivka, Copperfield began practicing magic at the age of 12, and became the youngest person ever admitted to the Society of American Magicians. By age 16, he was teaching a course in magic at New York University. At age 18, he enrolled at Fordham University, and was cast in the lead role of the Chicago-based musical The Magic Man (directed by Holland, MI's John Tammi) three weeks into his freshman year, adopting his new stage name "David Copperfield" from the Charles Dickens book of the same name. At age 19, he was headlining at the Pagoda Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii.
David Copperfield played the character of Ken the magician in the 1980 horror film Terror Train. He also made an uncredited appearance in the 1994 film Prêt-à-Porter. Most of his media appearances have been through television specials and guest spots on television programs. His illusions have included making the Statue of Liberty disappear, flying, levitating over the Grand Canyon, and walking through the Great Wall of China.
In 1982, Copperfield founded Project Magic, a rehabilitation program to help disabled patients regain lost or damaged dexterity skills by using sleight-of-hand magic as a method of physical therapy. The program has been accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association, and is in use in over 1100 hospitals throughout 30 countries worldwide.
Copperfield met supermodel, Claudia Schiffer in 1993 at a Berlin celebrity gala when he brought her on stage to participate in a mind reading act. They were engaged three months later, but the couple parted ways in the fall of 1999 never having set a wedding date. Copperfield has also been romantically linked to models, Ambre Frisque and Terry Holladay.
David Copperfield at one time was ready to open a theme restaurant called "Magic Underground." There were to be two locations, one in New York City and one in Walt Disney World (built in the shape of a Hidden Mickey). These locations would allow "D.A.V.I.D" (Digital Audio-Video Interface Device) to remotely interact with the guests in the restaurant. It was basically a high tech videophone system. Other things such as the very table you were sitting at might "Float" around the room and even the waiters were to be involved performing magic as they brought your order to you. Eventually the New York project ran into trouble and the Walt Disney World location was aborted.
In 1996, Copperfield joined forces with Dean Koontz, Joyce Carol Oates, Ray Bradbury and others for “David Copperfield’s Tales of the Impossible,” an anthology of original fiction set in the world of magic and illusion. A second volume was later published in 1997, called “David Copperfield's Beyond Imagination.”
Copperfield has a collection of magic and conjuring memorabilia and historical artefacts that he stores in a warehouse in Las Vegas. He calls the collection the International Museum and Library of the Conjuring Arts. It is not open to the public.
Every year David gives a message via telephone, in Hebrew, to the Israeli Society of Magicians. Reminding the Israeli magic fraternity that his folks come from the city of Natanya, in Israel
Forbes Magazine reported that Copperfield earned $57 million in 2003, making him the tenth highest paid celebrity in the world. It also estimated that he made $57 million in 2004 (35th) and $57 million in 2005 (41st) in merchandise and tour revenue.Copperfield performs over 500 shows per year throughout the world.