Avi Frier may not live in the mystical land of Narnia, or the wizardry world of Harry Potter, but he still has some magic up his sleeve.
“I do magic with a memorable message,” Frier said. “I make sure the message is [associated with] fun so that the audience takes it home.”
But Frier’s unique magical skills are not just solely recreational. Rather, his abilities have provided him with a career fit for an Orthodox Jewish father of three. And this career actually began when he first became an advisor for NCSY.
“I’m a little bit of a ham,” he laughed. “I was the ‘shtick’ guy at all the shabbatons. People still find me on facebook now and post things they remember I did.”
Now residing in Hollywood, Florida with with his wife Sharon and their three children, he runs Avi Magic Entertainment, which provides event coordination including magic performances and Jewish music DJing for South Florida.
“When people want to have Jewish music and don’t want to pay for a band, they want to hire a DJ with a good Jewish music playlist. I’m that guy.”
But his focus is still on magic. He found his niche performing in booths at trade shows, since they are on weekdays, and incorporates each company’s message with magic to make it memorable.
“It’s hard to be a frum magician,” Frier explained. “Most magic-based big jobs are during the weekend. So I had to find something that would let me be shomer shabbos and let me also keep my dream career.”
He also makes sure to send that message to Jewish day schools, as many students feel being Torah observant conflicts with their intended dream careers.
“I do magic shows regularly at Jewish day schools with the message of “Pursuing Your Dream Career without Sacrificing Your Yiddishkeit.” Sometimes the students don’t even know they’re watching a Torah observant Jew, because I’m wearing a hat. So they’re usually a little bit surprised when I take the hat off. I close each show with a talk explaining my message.”
Another side job he took on was consulting for various synagogues and schools to help make their programming better, as well as performing as the youth director for some. He also is currently in the process of developing a bullying prevention program for schools, which uses magic to help deliver its message.
Still, he continues to be connected to NCSY.
“I was involved with NCSY as a kid in Richmond, Virginia. My family became religious because of NCSY, which prompted us to move to baltimore for the greater degree of Jewish life. I met my wife through NCSY. My career in entertainment first started in NCSY.”
And he’s now the Torah-observant magician in South Florida, embodying the message that you too can have your dream career and be a religious Jew. He continues to send that message as well as many others, through his unique abilities to the next generation.