Making Magic on the Frontline


…feeding hearts and souls.

I would like to bring you our video of magic on the frontline, showing you why we brought magic to the Philippines. The positive impact it had was profound as we aimed to heal hearts, minds and souls. Click the image below to watch it!


Magic has been with me my whole life. I come from a family of amateur magicians; my grandfather was, my father is a magician and I am a magician. So when I leapt into the frontline as a humanitarian worker 15 years ago I automatically slipped a few magic tricks into a corner of my suitcase…just in case!

But it wasn’t until I was in Thailand in 2004 post the Asian tsunami that I started to really understand the transformation that magic delivers.

When a disaster happens the great and the good arrive with speed The Red Cross, the UN, Save the Children, but as fast as they reach so do the ‘nasties’ the sex traffickers and child kidnappers. The adults who have survived the disaster are distracted, searching for loved ones and any remaining remnants of their lives and homes. The children are often left alone or with an older brother or sister in charge. In the Thai survivors camp the volunteers had set up an enclosed area for the children, caring for them, consoling them and giving them activities to do.

Here is an excerpt from my book “Marmalade and Machine Guns” about magic on the frontline from my…

‘As the children tsunami survivors poured their pain out through art, black horrifying images, I realized in a flash that what we needed was magicians. My first request for such volunteers brought stunned silence or an outpouring of ‘ are you crazy!’

Within a few weeks, my first volunteer magician had left London for Phuket. Attired in the uniform of his profession – brightly-coloured waistcoat and dickie bow – Michael the Magician took the camps by storm. Dripping with sweat, melting daily in the unforgiving swelter, he performed at least three shows a day for three weeks. He performed to crowds of children and adults – on the beach, in schools or in the survivor’s camps.

In no time, Michael was being followed about everywhere he went, greeted with shouts of ‘Abracadabra’, like a pied piper weaving his spell. The show needed no words, he made his own magical stories with his actions: producing rabbits, making silk scarves disappear, twisting balloons into animals. He was like a bright butterfly flying around the blackened stumps of a devastated forest.

When he performed his magic show to the children of Ban Nam Khem School, the parents came early and squeezed in the back of the room .The magic seemed to take the tension out of their shoulders, smoothing away the lines of worry…for a while at least. The school had taken a particularly severe blow: out of a total of 450 students, 150 had been washed away by the wave. Michael’s audience was blindsided with grief, having lost so many friends and siblings.

‘Michael, please come back soon,’ I heard the head teacher say .‘Your magic is helping the children to find joy in life again. It is the first time I have seen them smile in months. Your magic wand is really working.’ News of the magician’s success must have travelled.

One morning, I found an email in my inbox:

Dear Linda,

Would a circus be of any use to you and your recovery work? We have a small children’s travelling circus, based in UK, and would love to help?

Love Arabella

In no time at all we had jugglers, stilt walkers, fire-eaters and Giggles the Clown roaming up and down the survivor camps, spreading a bit of happiness as they went. The circus stayed for six weeks and in that time they brought a ray of magical sunshine everywhere they set up. They also gave circus skills workshops and trained camp volunteers to perform tricks so that their legacy could be continued after they had left’.

…excerpt from my book Marmalade and Machine Guns


The great thing with magic it has its own universal language, there is no need for translation. Magic unites people in fascination and wonder and brings joy, laughter and entertainment. I have used my little bag of magic tricks in so many ways; to build bridges, dissolve conflict and bring psychological recovery to devastated communities worldwide and …. I continue to do so.

In May 2015 I took a local Nepali magician to a village high in the Himalayas that has been completely flattened by the earthquake. As he performed his routine standing on top of a pile of rubble, his makeshift stage, he fed the hearts and souls of the children, of the people and for a moment they could forget their pain, relax and smile. I even spotted some passing American volunteers pause and smile and enjoy a rare moment of calm.


What do you currently do to lift your heart and soul in moments of stress?

What tools do you have in your emotional first aid kit for those times of need?

For me laughter is the best medicine, and it’s scientifically proven to help. So if you are feeling a bit blue instead of switching on a soap opera, intentionally seek out laughter, put on your favourite comedy show, reminisce over a silly moment with a friend, visit a relative with a toddler…or…

…you can start smiling right now by reading the below:

“Dear Mum and Dad,

Apologies for taking so long to write, but my writing utensils were destroyed in the fire at my apartment. I am out of hospital and my doctor says that I should be able to lead a normal healthy life. A handsome young man named Pete saved me from the fire and kindly offered to share his apartment with me. He is very kind and polite and from a good family so I think you will approve when I tell you that we got married last week. I know that you will be even more excited when I tell you that you are going to be grandparents very soon. Actually there wasn’t a fire, I haven’t been in hospital, I’m not married and I’m not pregnant but I did fail my biology exam and I just wanted to make sure that when I told you, you put it in a proper perspective.

Love your daughter xxx”


As the daughter of a magician I feel certain that a grand magic master not a midwife was waiting to greet me, a magic wand was part of my birthright.

I was raised from day one to believe in the magic of life, to expect the unexpected, to embrace the mystery and believe the impossible. And this has stayed with me all my life. I urge you to follow your bliss.

Life is not a business to be managed but a mystery to be lived!

NB: Magic is everywhere….

HRH The Prince of Wales, who I first met when he visited an aid project of mine in Delhi, is a great humanitarian and also a magician and member of The Magic Circle after passing his audition in 1975 by performing the “cups and balls” effect. The set of cups and balls he used is in The Magic Circle club in London.

Together we create a ‘magic circle’ of change.

I also have some other really exciting news to bring you today!

I’ve been working on something for weeks now that I personally wanted to bring to you…and finally it’s here!!!!

My passion is all about helping people on the frontline with a “Hand Up not Hand Out” approach and in my 15 years as a front line humanitarian worker I have learned so much from the people I have met, the places I’ve been to and the situations I have faced.

I owe those people, those places and those experiences a debt of gratitude!

…today is the day I bring the lessons I’ve learned to you!


Linda’s FREE Challenge



5 Days, 5 Emails, 5 Challenges
September 7th – 11th 2015


Intrigued? Want to know more?


It’s a powerful combination of insights gleaned from my international corporate, humanitarian and humanistic adventures – from life threatening to life changing experiences that in the most extreme will either change your world forever, or encourage you to think, feel and act very differently to get different, better and more profound results.
It’s only for those who have a sense of curiosity, daring and adventure in their souls and an irritating niggle that there is something missing.

I feel passionate about sharing what I have learnt – I want to help.


Thank you so much!

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