By Elizabeth Riggs
For Dave Jeffers, it began with a magic kit he got as a Christmas present. And the local, award-winning magician never stopped. This year marks 25 years that he has been performing and doing magic shows around the area.
Dave Jeffers Magic includes both Magician Dave and his wife Kathleen Jeffers, who is a clown. She went to Pricilla Mooseburger Clown School – a Ringling Brothers clown, who does clown classes and schools. Together, the Springville-based couple offers the full spectrum of entertainment, ranging from magic acts to full-blown shows and performances that come to the audience.
“We started out just doing magic shows and then we expanded our business to do WOW events. We don’t just come and do a show – we create an event,” said Kathleen Jeffers.
The events are called Creative Learning Shows, which the Jeffers offer year-round with seasonal themes. During the fall, the Pumpkin Patch events are most popular as the Jeffers have at least two or more shows nearly every day in October.
“A lot of daycares can’t afford to rent a bus to take kids to a pumpkin patch. We can come in and transform their setting into a pumpkin patch and have everything they would have for the event. We bring animals, we do scarecrow making, we have pumpkins, backdrops, magi-cians, decorations and we transform their space into the pumpkin patch,” said Jeffers.
Pumpkin patch events include live animals like ducks, rabbits and chickens, which make great photo opportunities for parents, and each child receives a pumpkin. Each class also has the opportunity to make their own scarecrow.
The Jeffers do shows year-round, and during the holiday season they host Santa’s Workshops events, which include a Christmas carol sing-a-long, an incredible floating snow ball, a 7-foot tall Frosty the Snowman, a snowstorm inside the host’s building, and a free gift for every child.
“For Christmas, we are doing Santa’s workshops. They include a professional backdrop, Santa, a face painter, a magician, snow cones, and each child gets a certificate that says they were on the good list. They also get reindeer dust so Santa can find them,” Jeffers said.
The beauty of the events the Jeffers host are that they are true learning experiences for the children. Unlike magic shows that include just tricks, the Jeffers’ Creative Learning Events provide educational information and hands-on experiences.
“All of them are hands on. They aren’t just sitting and watching something – they are doing too,” said Jeffers. “They are learning all about Santa – it’s not just them sitting on lap and taking pictures. They are learning about the North Pole, and what it’s like to take care of reindeer, how many cookies he likes to eat, the history of Christmas, history of Santa.”
Other seasonal shows include beach parties to take the chill off the winter months, Easter WOW, which is a spring magic show featuring a visit from the Easter Bunny and live chicks, rabbits and ducklings; and Christmas in July including the holiday festivities and décor along with a holiday-themed magic show.
“Summertime we do a whole reading program for all of the libraries and daycares. That one is called readers are leaders,” said Jeffers. “We are looking for businesses to sponsor them because a lot of libraries don’t have the budgeting.”
The Jeffers are constantly traveling around the greater Western New York area, Bradford, PA, Rochester and Corning areas for shows. Most recently they have received awards from IT Factor Live!, a group of magicians that travel worldwide.
The couple is still booking Santa’s Workshop shows for the holiday season, and requests audiences in the range of 5 to 9 years old.
According to Kathleen, despite the fatigue from constant shows and traveling, she couldn’t find her job more fulfilling.
“When you see those kids and their eyes just light up when they see the pumpkins, and the animals, and they are playing the games and playing with the hay – it is so much fun. Dave is such a great entertainer. He’s so good with the kids. Every show is different because the kids react to him in a different way – they just laugh, and laugh, and laugh.”
She encourages local daycares and businesses to consider scheduling a show.
“If you are looking for something that is more than just a show or an event, something that the children will love and that will bring the families together in their schools or daycares, that’s what we do,” Jeffers said. “We are designed to bring families together and make kids laugh.”
For more information on booking a Creative Learning Show, visit www.creativelearningshows.com. For more information on Dave Jeffers magic shows, visit his website: www.davejeffersmagic.com.