Making magic

This excerpt was reprinted from the Children's Hospital publication--
'Children's News' , February, 2008 edition.

Volunteers make a big difference at Children's Hospital Boston.

Volunteer magician John Bonaparté states "I'm not a doctor, I'm not a surgeon, I can't fix anyone," he says. "But I can get patients to forget what's going on with them when I bring my magic to the hospital." Bonaparté regularly perform on many patient floors, but thinks he has the biggest impact when he brings his tricks to the Emergency Department.

Bonaparté gets the biggest reaction when he pulls his live bunny, Frisky, out of his hat. Whiskers can't leave the Patient Entertainment Center, so when patients on patient floors ask about him, Bonaparté explains, "Whiskers is afraid of heights."

Hugely positive audience reactions are what got Harvard graduate Bonaparté to leave his government job in Washington, D.C., and turn his long-time hobby into a career. His company, Bonaparte Magic and More Productions, includes jugglers, stilt walkers, and even a court jester who performs at parties and corporate events. He also teaches magic at the hospital. "I like to teach the kids something easy first so they can get hooked on the reaction they get," he says. "It boosts their confidence when they show their mom or doctor." Recently, he taught a patient to flick his wrist to make a coin disappear. "His parents were dumbfounded and he was happy as a clam!" he says. Bonaparté is confident his career change was the best move for him. "I think I have the best job in the world now, period — but especially when I'm here," he says.

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