Hocus Focus: More than meets the eye

Kids with boundless energy and emotion who come to see and meet Kevin, a magician who does more than just ‘sleight of hand’. (Photo: WEYI/WSMH)

GENESEE COUNTY, Mich. - Finish the sentence, Bill Harris asks Kevin Spencer: ‘I do what I do because’.

Without missing a beat, Kevin replies with “I love these kids!”

Kids like the ones from the Genesee County Autism Support and Resource Center.

Kids with boundless energy and emotion who come to see and meet Kevin, a magician who does more than just ‘sleight of hand’.

“I was five years old when I told my mom and dad ‘I want to be a magician when I grow up’,” he remembers.

A lifelong passion for magic and illusion that Kevin now uses in a very non-traditional way.

Magic tricks can be used for more than just entertainment. You can teach them as a form of either rehab therapy or as a part of an educational program because it taps curiosity in children,” Kevin explains.

For Kevin, it was a painful lesson learned first-hand. After successfully fulfilling his dream of becoming a professional magician, he was involved in a debilitating, almost fatal car crash, that left him with a brain and spinal cord injury and months of thought provoking and at times, he says, frustrating rehabilitation.

“Everything that they have you do, reminds you that you're broken. And that something's wrong. And that you have a lot of work that needs to be done.”

While in rehab, Kevin turned to his love of magic to challenge his injured mind and broken body and both responded in a positive way. That was the defining moment to help others using ‘Hocus Focus’.

“I could use the obvious answer Hocus Focus would be magic. But I think Hocus Focus would be a way for children and adults to explore their potential,” Kevin explains

“I think as a global society it's really time for us to start focusing on the potential of what people can do and stop focusing on what we think they can't do.”

Using simple sleight of hand to inspire and motivate.

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“Regardless of whether you're a child with special needs or just a typically developing child, magic dives deep into your soul and grabs creativity and just brings it out and make kids eager to learn.”

Learn AND succeed.

“I think my favorite words that I get to hear come of the mouth of a child is when they go ‘Look! I did it’,” he recalls.

“Their whole body lights up. And they just want to show everybody. They're like ‘Look! Look! Look! I did it’ Those words to me are magic.”

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