Review: ‘Mr. Messado’s School of Magic for the Young and Young at Heart’ at Liberty Magic

By Jessica Neu

Every Sunday through mid-December, Liberty Magic features magician Joshua Messado. He brings to life Mr. Messado’s School of Magic for the Young and Young at Heart. This show is intended for magic enthusiasts of all ages without the same intensity, drama, or vulgarity found in some of Liberty Magic’s resident magician’s performances. However, that does not mean that Mr. Messado’s show is short on inspiring magic tricks, delightful humor, or empowering themes.

On a personal note, Mr. Messado’s show captivated my easily distracted, high-energy 5-year-old, which is a magic trick all on its own. His delivery keeps children engaged and makes magic accessible and interactive while remaining mesmerizingly illusive. Children can participate in the show, even in Mr. Messado’s most famous trick involving his work with linking steel rings that are now known as Messado’s rings. 

Accompanying the participatory nature of the show is an impromptu element that Mr. Messado uses to keep the audience laughing and his story moving. He often asks young audience members to answer questions and even tackle some trivia. Still, as he charismatically reminds the crowd, “you can’t make this stuff (kids’ responses) up. You never know what you’ll get in a family show.” He uses the audience’s energy to his advantage, conveying that no two trips to the School of Magic will be the same. His calm, captivating demeanor makes him easy for young audience members to follow. His natural approach to teaching young magicians prompts their imaginations to soar with creativity and inspiration.

However, Mr. Messado is as much a motivational speaker as a magician. Even more impressive than his tricks are his messages, which resonate with audience members of all ages. Upon arrival, guests are gifted a notebook that serves as a journal from Mr. Messado. Inside are thought-provoking questions that can stimulate an insightful journal entry or a meaningful discussion amongst family members. In addition to the unique keepsake, throughout the 60-minute show, Mr. Messado continuously returns to his core theme of “anything is possible.” He instills in his audience the notion that each of us can accomplish anything we set our minds to, even magic. Still, to reach that end goal, we must practice. “Practice makes improvement, not perfect, because you can always better your best,” Mr. Messado tells us while simultaneously showing us the benefits of practice. He poignantly reminds us that we have four, maybe five, significant events or moments in our lives. Those moments will determine who we will be or the trajectory of our lives. 

Every individual in the audience is of different age, from a diverse background, and at a different point in life. Maybe some people have already experienced those moments, while some may have yet to have those precipice moments. 

Regardless of your story, Mr. Messado’s message makes you stop and think for a second. You are provided with the opportunity to consider those moments, possibly good or bad, and frame them with the notion that anything is possible. What do we want to achieve in our lives, and ultimately how, with enough practice, can we create our own magic?  

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