Principles of Magic

-Author Visit/Magic Workshop

Author TJ Shimeld writes under the pseudonym Wendal Wandell as part of his Wonder Workshop series The Principles of Magic to teach young people how to perform magic. This workshop, based on Shimeld’s book, is a hands-on, interactive workshop learning the skills and presentation of magic tricks within the category of the seven basic principles of magic: the art of materialization, dematerialization, transportation/transformation, penetration, restoration, extra sensory perception, and levitation/animation.

Young adults will leave the workshop with all materials to perform the tricks learned as well as an instruction sheet on each trick, and the knowledge of presentational skills in performing for an audience.

Juggling Gestures

-Author Visit/Magic Workshop

In a continuation of Wendal Wandell’s Wonder Workshop series, author TJ Shimeld uses his book, Juggling Gestures, as a reference to teach young adults the basics of juggling. The workshop gives hands-on experience with juggling balls and scarves. Students will gain skills in eye-hand coordination as they learn to defy gravity, as well as partnership skills as they learn to juggle with other people.

Juggling props will be provided for use during the program with which to practice, thus space is limited for this workshop, and advanced sign-up is recommended.

Walter B. Gibson’s Magic Words

–Author Visit, Biography

Author and theatrical performer, Thomas J. Shimeld, entertainingly reveals Walter B. Gibson’s life in a performance/lecture from his biography, Walter B. Gibson and The Shadow.

Cast yourself back into the golden era of magic as Shimeld shares with you Walter B. Gibson’s life and times as they emerge from the shadows. In addition to creating The Shadow (under the pseudonym Maxwell Grant) which was the first multi-media, double identity super hero that inspired the creation of Batman and all the other comic book heroes we love today, Walter Gibson wrote 187 books, contributed 668 articles to periodicals, created 283 stories for The Shadow Magazine, wrote 48 separate syndicated feature columns, reported the adventures of The Shadow and Blackstone the magician in 394 comic books and newspaper strips, and helped develop 147 radio scripts and many other works under numerous pseudonyms.

Gibson invented many widely used magic tricks and befriended Harry Houdini, Howard Thurston, Harry Blackstone, Sr., and Joseph Dunninger. He ghost wrote books for them all, and their magic, and his, are all revealed in Walter B. Gibson’s Magic Words!

Become a Four-foot Giant – Living Your Dream

-Author Visit, Biography and Self-esteem Motivational Program

The Frankenstein boots shuffle to turn the wheelchair to face the audience. Elfin fingers splay forward, thumbs locked together with silver cuffs. Regulation handcuffs gnaw on boney wrists. Shackles squeeze slender arms. A breath escapes the lung and a half of the skeleton that looks as if it were bear-hugged too tightly. One eye looks out at the spectators; the other eye keenly focused within. Ricky D. Boone’s voice rings strong:

“Ladies and gentlemen the reason I love doing this escape is because it helps me to show you. Talk about bondage. I don’t care if you’re in a wheelchair. I don’t care if you’re on crutches. I don’t care if you think your hair is the wrong color. I don’t care if you think your eyes are the wrong color. If you can have a dream, you can make your dream come true. Ladies and gentlemen, I am the most blessed person on this earth. I am getting to live my dreams…”

Ricky effortlessly escapes from his bonds, just as he has escaped from the restraint of his condition. People feel if Ricky can do this, they can do anything.

TJ Shimeld is the author of Ricky’s biography, The Four-foot Giant and the Vanishing Wheelchair. Through the founding of their non-profit organization, The Vanishing Wheelchair, Inc., Ricky and TJ give tailored motivational speeches from thirty to ninety minutes to inspire people to:

*Find passion in life.

*Learn to make dreams a reality.

*Accept oneself and gain true success.

People who hear of Ricky’s struggles with a rare bone disorder can’t help but be inspired. Through the years he has escaped a rare pneumonia, survived brain surgery, and lived through a heart attack from a rare virus. Yet Ricky runs a successful magic shop and performs throughout the Southeast as Magic Times Two, appearing on all three major television networks. A documentary news broadcast of his life won two Emmy awards.

After a severe car accident, remembering all of Ricky’s struggles helped TJ overcome depression and rehabilitate a broken had by practicing magic, writing, and painting. TJ has gone on to write six books and opened his own company, Fli-Rite Solutions, LLC, through which he inspires others to find their true self and live their dreams.

Ricky and TJ’s story shows how anything is possible if one is willing to strive. Everyone has the power to be a giant, just as Ricky has become “The Four-foot Giant.”

“I will recommend this program to all schools and libraries in our community. You have a great talent for creating an interest in books and reading.”

– Peggy Taylor, Colonial Heights Public Library, Colonial Heights, Virginia