My career in magic literally started from a book of magic that I found at my grandparent’s house in Spokane. To this day I buy several magic books each year and use them to add material to my shows. I’m proof that anything you want to learn can be learned from books.
Some of my earliest shows ever were for the Timberland libraries in my hometown area of Lacey, Olympia, and Tumwater in 1991. (These three libraries have had me perform annually each year since then!) I remember my mom driving me to my first performances.
After honing my magic for several years I got my first “big break” when the Timberland Regional Library system invited me to perform for all 27 of their branches through southwest Washington. Since then I’ve performed multiple times for nearly all of the libraries in the King County Library System, Pierce County Library System, Tacoma Public Libraries, Sno-Isle Library System, and multiple other public libraries from Portland, Oregon to Moscow, Idaho. Learn more about my magic shows for libraries.
Over the years I’ve created many routines to both tie into the library’s theme as well as promote reading and literature. (Check out my “bookcase” table that I built and an artistic friend painted, above.) It was a natural to modify these routines and offer reading-motivational assemblies for elementary schools.
Throughout the year I perform for Accelerated Reader celebrations, read-a-thons, Dr. Seuss’ birthday (March 2), National Children’s Book Week, tie-ins with book fairs, and just as a way to share the magic and wonder of reading books.
Here are some of my favorite reviews for my Reading Magic school assembly that I’ve collected from public and school librarians, parents, PTA and booster club leaders, teachers, and kids.
‘I’ve taught at this level for 23 years and sat through many assemblies. Jeff Evans, by far, gets a ‘10’ for his performance and engagement with the children.”
-Carolyn Candy, Chautauqua Elementary teacher (Vashon, WA)
“Jeff Evans’ ability to combine information, fun and the encouragement to read makes him a favorite for library staff, parents and children.”
-Judy Nelson, Lead Children’s Librarian, Bellevue Regional Library
Dear Mr. Jeff, Thank you for the wonderful assembly! It was so funny I almost cried! Please come back next year.
-Christina, Lake Grove Elementary student (Lakewood, WA)
“Another great show! You really have a way of drawing them in and winning them over!”
-Eilene Glasgow, Seabury School teacher (Tacoma, WA)
“Thank you so very much for another wonderful performance! Adults and the students just love your show(s)!”
-Wendy Logan, Browns Point PTA President (Tacoma, WA)
“I had one student come back to me the next day and say that he went straight to the public library, activated his card, and checked out a book on magic. He was inspired!”
-Urdene Rickard, St. Vincent de Paul School Librarian (Federal Way,WA)
“I have heard some GREAT comments about the show. I saw one mom tonight who said her first grade son just had to go to the library and he was so excited he found a book on magic!”
-Konnie Wager, Chinook Elementary P. T. A. (Vancouver, WA)
“Jeff was fun, kid-friendly, and he gave a super assembly that really pumped the students up regarding reading!”
-Shelly Flaig, Jefferson Elementary administrator (Mount Vernon, WA)
“I really enjoyed your show. I was surprised because your tricks were stunning. I think you’re the best magician I have ever seen in my life. I liked all your tricks.”
-Araceli C., 5th Grade, Jefferson Elementary (Mount Vernon, WA)
“Your lively assembly with the potent reading message was the best assembly I’ve seen in 27 years of teaching. As a result 21 of my 22 children got their library cards. Number 22 is working on his mom!”
-Pat Dahl, Chinook Elementary teacher (Auburn, WA)
“Both staff and students were raving about his performance! They said it was the BEST Read Across America Assembly they had seen!”
-Kimberly Rose, Star Lake Elementary Librarian (Federal Way, WA)
“My office mate and her children were in your audience last night and she said they are still talking about how you do those things. Her kindergarten son wants to go right to the library tonight to get magic books and they want to write you a letter. So don’t be surprised if you hear from a little girl and boy who are absolutely entranced with you:). That’s what I call a success!!”
-Kay Peters, Title 1 Parent Involvement, Shoreline Schools
“Everyone enjoyed your shows so much this morning. Thanks so much for a very entertaining program. The kids were all so engaged!”
-Ellen Royal-Ward, Daniel Elementary (Kent, WA)
“I wish I could be just like you!”
-Grace King, White Center Heights Elementary student (Seattle, WA)
“My staff is a particularly picky one about assemblies. They really gripe if they feel an assembly was a waste of time. Well, they all really liked your assembly and we got nothing but positive comments. My entire 793.8 section has been decimated by enthusiastic students.”
-Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary librarian (Federal Way, WA)
“I was really impressed that Jeff didn’t just stand back and wait for the students to arrive, he moved among the kids and did little tricks for them as they were coming in to the gym. It was very personable interaction. I loved how he emphasized that real magic is in books.”
-Irma Gross, Chester Elementary librarian (Spokane, WA)
“Ah, the enjoyment of happily laughing as an adult… and the amazing children’s faces as they interact with you… what an incredible gift you have and share! I assure you the kids will be reading.”
-Deborah Edwards, Eagle Rock School (Duvall, WA)
“Our principal was impressed that even the sixth grade students were captivated for the entire assembly. Jeff had kids talking about the assembly days after the event.”
-T. J. Navilio, Carson Elementary P.T.A. (Puyallup, WA)
“Thank you so much for the always fantastic performances in Pacific County. We so appreciate your willingness to do three shows in one day! You absolutely made our Read Aloud this year.”
-Michelle Zilli, Naselle Timberland Library
“Very fun, kept students’ interest. Very tied in to reading and books. I would like to use this assembly as a kick-off to get our students excited about the reading program, rather than as a reward assembly.”
-JoEllen Tapper, Renton Park Elementary (Renton, WA)
“It was a wonderful assembly and we received nothing but positive comments. Thank for joining us for our Read Across America Week!”
-Vanessa Cervantes, Artz-Fox Elementary (Mabton, WA)
“We love having Jeff perform for our students. He is fun and energetic and is successful at motivating kids to read. He keeps the adults entertained as well as the kids! Thanks Jeff!”
-Toni Palsson, teacher & librarian, Lake Youngs Elementary (Kent, WA)
“Thank you, Jeff. You were perhaps the easiest assembly to ever have! We thank you & King County Library System for bringing you to us. I loved the way you integrated reading & library usage into your performance. I may have been the only one to get your “autobiography” joke though:) Thanks for a great & energizing performance.”
-Sharon Turpin, Parkwood Elementary Librarian (Shoreline, WA)
“The students really enjoyed having you here, as they always do! Thank you for making it so much fun. You are a true talent!”
-Connie Schuur, Carriage Crest Librarian (Kent, WA)
“Mr. Evans does a fabulous job captivating and entertaining elementary level audience members. Sunrise Elem. students, grades K-6, have had the opportunity to experience several of Mr. Evans assemblies and enjoyed them all. He is able to monitor students’ patience and interest during his performance and engages students into his acts. I love the way Mr. Evans integrates his reading experiences and the important of reading into his performance. What a great way to end the school year!”
-Charisse Tsukamoto, Sunrise Elementary Librarian (Kent, WA)
“Thank you for coming to Glenridge yesterday morning to kick-off the summer reading program. Everywhere I went throughout the day, a student or a teacher, told me how much they enjoyed the assembly. You connected with everyone in the audience. What a great presentation to start the week!
-Mimi Vosper, Glenridge Elementary Librarian (Kent, WA)
Several people have posted comments at the online Yelp and Yahoo review sites. Check ’em out online. (To view the Yelp reviews scroll to the bottom and click, “Read filtered reviews.”)
What’s missing? I’d love to hear your comments. If you’ve seen one of my shows feel free to post a comment here on my blog or on Yelp and Yahoo. Thanks!