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School reward has the magic touch

By: Maria Allard | C&G Newspapers | Published November 5, 2014

 Rainbow Elementary third-grader RaMya Randall participates in a magic trick with Jasen Magic Oct. 13.

Rainbow Elementary third-grader RaMya Randall participates in a magic trick with Jasen Magic Oct. 13.

Photo by Deb Jacques

It didn’t take long for Rainbow Elementary School students to break out in laughter when Jasen Magic visited Oct. 13.

Once he appeared from behind his backdrop, Magic told the kids about his recent trip to the dry cleaner in which a pin was stuck in his suit. But instead of pulling out a clothing pin, he whipped out a bowling pin to the delight of the crowd.

Magic’s show inside the gymnasium was a reward for students who exhibited appropriate behavior under the school’s Positive Behavior Intervention Support program for September.

“It’s for children who have not had discipline issues for the month,” Principal Cara Cottrell said. “We are so excited to have a real magician here with us.”

Rainbow is part of Clintondale Community Schools, of which Magic has ties. He graduated from Clintondale High School in 1991 and joked his time in kindergarten was the best four years of his life. Because of the magician’s relationship with the district, he performed the Rainbow show free of charge. Magic entertained, but also provided some motivational messages to the students.

“One of my hopes is they realize it doesn’t matter where they’re from; they have the ability and power to go anywhere in the world,” he said. “I love giving back to the community. Everything you see in my show has a lesson. Magic isn’t just about making things disappear. It’s about making friends.”

During the show, Magic’s wallet caught on fire, he swallowed an orange balloon, he performed a trick using rope, and made a bottle of ketchup disappear into a paper bag. Several students even got into the act, including second-grader Jennifer Wells, who assisted him during a trick that included water and two plastic cups.

Magic poured a little water in both cups, and then had Wells place one cup on her head as he placed the second cup on his head. As they stood back-to-back, he drank his water while Wells wasn’t looking.

“You’re following the instructions very well,” he said. “That is the only way to learn. See what you can do when you believe in yourself.”

When Wells turned around, she watched as he revealed the water was gone from his cup. He then turned her cup over as everyone embraced for a downpour on her head. But the water had magically disappeared.

“It was great,” Wells said.

The audience almost had a close encounter with Magic’s rabbit when the entertainer tossed it into the crowd. But the rabbit wasn’t real.

“I’m just screwing around,” Magic said. “It’s OK to screw around once in a while, but there’s a time and a place.”

The performer’s love for magic began when he was 8 years old. It all started when he got into trouble one day, and as punishment, he had to read the newspaper. While skimming the publication, he saw an ad about becoming a magician. It sparked his interest, and so he began reading books about the craft.

“The magic books had special instructions and rules I had to follow,” Magic said. “The most important rule was to follow the instructions.”

While telling the Rainbow students the story, Magic ripped up a newspaper into several pieces and magically put it back together again. Magic plans to return to Rainbow at the end of the semester to perform and have a pizza party for the class of students that is reported to be the most respectful to each other.

“It was awesome,” fifth-grader Thomas Aderman said, who liked the trick in which Magic’s head and nose changed sizes.