The Children's Institute Blog

Magician Amazes Kids At The Day School

Posted: Aug 09, 2017 by The Children's Institute

There was the trick with crayons and the levitation act, but magician Vince Charming’s kid’s show for a group of The Children’s Institute Day School students recently was summed up best by someone in the audience – a boy new to the school who was beaming with enthusiasm.

“He was standing the whole time,” speech-language pathologist Carol Robson said. “The teacher was holding onto the back of his shirt. His feet were going. He wanted to be up there with Vince Charming! He really made eye contact, squealed at the right time, stomped his feet – he was so present.”

The event was organized, in part, by Jeanne Hurley in memory of her son, the magician Kevin Hurley, who died on July 30, 2016 at age 34. The younger Hurley, whose magic performances were staged in 42 U.S. states, mentored Vince Charming and both worked at Cuckoo’s Nest, a now-closed, legendary South Side magic shop.

“I didn’t know how the [Day School] kids would react but I thought, ‘If I can bring a smile to the faces of two or three of these kids, it’ll be worth it,’” Jeanne said. “[The show] brought back a lot of memories. It’s good to know that Vince is still doing this. But it’s sad, as well, because my son’s not here.”

Vince Charming, an engineer by training, remembers Kevin as the friend and mentor who “introduced me not just to clients but also introduced me to how to be a full-time magician.”

Kevin was at the magic show in more than spirit. Vince inherited his levitation illusion from him.

“He would’ve loved all of those changes I made to it – I don’t do anything like it comes out of the box,” Vince said.

The kids, though, seem most impressed by another guest who showed up – Harry, the live rabbit Vince pulled from a black hat.

“I always end the show with him,” Vince laughed. “Once the kids see him, they just get overly excited and want to pet him.”

“I was impressed not only with the magician but also with our kids,” Carol said. “They were attentive and enjoyed it. There was eye contact and smiles. It was heart-warming!”

In the end, that’s what mattered most to Jeanne, who attended the show in the TDS gym.

“I’m going to do my best to keep Kevin’s memory alive by helping people enjoy life,” she said. “Kevin always believed in making people laugh and step away from their daily routine.”

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