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World Travelers Bring Their Magic Home to Vermont

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In 2002, married couple Tom Verner and Janet Fredericks started Magicians Without Borders. They have traveled to 45 countries, performing magic tricks for children at refugee camps and orphanages. Janet entertains as “LaFleur,” a mime who gets the kids laughing before Tom arrives to dazzle the audience with his sorcery.

The Lincoln couple has been stuck in Vermont since the pandemic halted world travel. But they have found ways to keep the magic alive locally. Tom has been teaching his conjuring skills to 8-year-old Ezra Roesch from Addison. Ezra got bit by the magic bug two years ago when he was called up onstage to be Tom’s assistant. The magician-in-training has performed at his school, local libraries and for his great-grandfather.

Eva met up with Ezra and his family at Tom and Janet’s home in Lincoln for an afternoon of magic. Tom, Janet and Ezra put on a show for Ezra’s brother Isaac, his sister Violet and his parents, Caetlin and Carl. Caetlin talked about the positive changes she has seen in Ezra’s self-confidence and social skills as he's learned this art form.

Janet and Tom have witnessed the transformative effects of magic on young people abroad, and they are working to share it with more families in Vermont. They've filmed a magic course called “Become a Magician” and are selling it to local libraries just in time for the holidays. They are hoping that, even though many families are apart, kids can perform magic for their extended families over Zoom and make unique memories.

Filming date: 10/31/20

Episode Number: 
Original Airdate: 
Monday, November 23, 2020

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