Open Heart Magic’s unique Bedside Magic® programs excel because of a remarkable community of dedicated volunteer Hospital Magicians.
After volunteers work with kids, parents often follow them out into the hallway, explaining that this was the first time their child has smiled since arriving at the hospital.
Being a Hospital Magician will change you.
This volunteer role promises to be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Your training begins with learning professional, close-up magic. Then, you’ll learn how to engage kids at crucial moments in their treatment. Being able to bring hope and laughter to a critically ill child puts everything in perspective.
Who makes a great Hospital Magician?
From young professionals to retirees to everyone in-between, what brings our diverse volunteer community together is a desire and passion to help kids. We’d love to have you join this dedicated group.
We look for applicants who are:
Volunteers sign up for one year of service; most then re-apply to continue serving for years to come.
When engaging young patients, it helps to be fun, friendly, and not afraid of being a little silly.
Magic experience is not required, but a dedication to learn is. Like mastering a musical instrument or a foreign language — learning sleight-of-hand magic takes time, patience, and plenty of practice.
Hospital Magicians must be there on time, every time. Sick kids eagerly look forward to magic visits. Hospital staff uses the promise of magic to help patients get through challenging days, knowing volunteers will be there.
Working within the medical environment requires sensitivity, patience, and a unique understanding. Volunteers must know and follow strict protocol — to keep all kids safe.
Some heroes wear capes, ours wear black coats. Identifiable by young patients, family, and staff alike, these coveted jackets provide magic when it’s needed most.
Magic University: Preparing volunteers to make a difference
Magic U is an intense 12-week training program that teaches volunteers everything from professional, close-up magic to the strict hospital protocol needed to keep young patients safe. An important focus is training volunteers to be able to adapt magic for kids in different medical situations (i.e. a girl who can’t speak, or a boy who can’t use his hands). The class also covers important hospital information, everything from how to enter/exit a room to protecting patient privacy. Candidates work hard during the week with a two-hour in-person Magic U class, as well as independent practice between sessions. Each week gives them an opportunity to (perfect/fine-tune) their magic performance and their approach to teaching kids magic live, in front of our experienced trainers. To become certified, candidates must pass protocol quizzes and comprehensive evaluations testing the knowledge they’ve gained throughout Magic U. In addition to in-person training, Magic University has online videos that support what candidates are learning in class.
There is a common understanding among our Hospital Magicians that transforming a critically ill child also transforms the volunteer. This begins with the instant gratification of seeing a scared patient turn back into a smiling kid.
There is a special camaraderie among Hospital Magicians. You see it during trainings and social gatherings, when these volunteers celebrate not only friendship, but a shared dedication to improving the hospital experience for sick kids.
Take it from our volunteers
“I’ve been volunteering for over 13 years … and each visit continues to inspire me.”
Meera Raja, Certified Hospital Magician
“The feeling when you walk out of the room — as the child and family are giggling, laughing, or in a state of astonishment — is something that never leaves you.”
Ed Barry, Certified Hospital Magician
“Working with kids in difficult situations has changed my life. I’m a better husband and father because of it. Although my wife and kids are tired of seeing all my tricks.”
Sean McCarthy, Certified Hospital Magician
Want to know more?
If you have questions or would like to know more about becoming a Hospital Magician, please reach out to Eric Steigerwald.