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Just a Touch of Magic

By Kelly Church

Touch of Magic Productions is more than just your average magic show. This up-close magic show started more than two decades ago at Simi Valley, CA, now they perform around the world. Among their shows they include an Anti- Drug and Bullying show that focuses on teaching children the importance of staying away from drugs. Just a Touch of Magic productions includes private events and a Grand Illusion Show, a cocktail- and dinner-hour show with an "extravagant" arrangement of magic.

"We started Believe in Dreams, our anti-drug/anti-gang community shows about 20 years ago at schools in Simi Valley," says Richard Burr, magician and main performer at Touch of Magic Productions. "We quickly realized that children are very open to say no to drugs when the message is delivered in a fun and exciting way. Over the years, the show and the idea grew."

Touch of Magic Productions moved their shows to a much larger venue: the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, a local performing arts center and city hall. Burr says this move allowed the company to network with more local businesses and community groups, expanding their influence in the area.

"Some people like the bigger illusions; some enjoy the smaller manipulation, hand magic," Burr says. "Magic is portrayed in many forms. After many of our performances, we meet with our audience. It's always fun to hear what part of the show they enjoyed the most."

Burr says that part of what makes live magic so great, is the awe-inspiring tricks that aren't conveyed the same through television. Live magic, he says, is much different and a much better experience for the audience.

"It's different for everyone," Burr says. "A good magic show has something for everyone. As long as the members of the audience feels the magic, feels like they witness pure magic, and leave the show saying, 'Wow, that was amazing,' then we have done our job."

What started as a nine-year old boy practicing magic has turned into a larger mission of keeping childhood innocence alive, no matter what the age of the audience.

"We want our audiences, no matter what age, to feel a bit of childlike wonder," Burr says. "Our job as magicians is to remind our audience of all the 'real magic' that surrounds us every day. We want our audiences to have fun, be excited and enjoy the feeling that anything is possible."

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