This week, Full Frame’s host, Mike Walters, visited the home of world-famous illusionist, David Copperfield, to talk about his career as a performer and the success of Project Magic.Copperfield has made his name performing some of the most daring illusions—making the Statue of Liberty disappear, walking through the Great Wall of China, and even flying in a packed theatre. He has been named the most commercially successful magician in history. His elaborate stage shows and dazzling television specials have grossed over four $4 billion—more than any solo entertainer in history.
While challenging our understanding of the impossible, Copperfield has also challenged the status quo through the work of his foundation, Project Magic. Over 30 years ago, Copperfield recognized a similarity between his magic tricks and the exercises used in physical therapy. His magic tricks had helped him develop his coordination, communication, concentration, and dexterity—all similar goals of physical therapy. He went on to develop Project Magic, an innovative therapeutic technique through which volunteer magicians teach both therapists and patients magic tricks as a form of physical therapy.
“We’re not trying to make magicians out of patients,” Copperfield said. “We’re trying to help them transition and learn to get dressed again by learning a rope trick—or showing them that they can take that leap into relearning those skills.”
While improving the patient’s physical health, the program also helps patient re-develop their self-confidence.
“It’s an enormous[ly] big gift to give anybody who’s been through any kind of trauma,” Copperfield said.
In addition to talking about his work, Copperfield took some time to teach Mike a trick used in the Project magic curriculum.
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David Copperfield uses magic to healWhile challenging our understanding of the impossible, David Copperfield has also challenged the status quo through the work of his foundation, Project Magic.