Star of Brooklyn: Gary Dreifus


Dreifus has been bringing people together through magic throughout his life, because “everyone, from all walks of life, of every age, loves magic.”

Dreifus started out teaching magic at community centers, mostly with children, but found that there was also a value in teaching magic to adults. He started the Magic at Coney Island Project, returning the art of magic back to the boardwalk after it had been absent for over 100 years.

Dreifus has been selected for the second consecutive year by the Brooklyn Arts Council, New York City Department for the Aging and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs to be an artist-in-residence with SPARC: Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide. His newest project is the Magic for Mature Adults. In the program, Dreifus will teach adults with developmental disabilities magic, therefore improving crucial skills such as critical thinking, dexterity, hand-eye-coordination, communication and social skills.


Gary Dreifus, 58, was born in and raised in the Marine Park area of Brooklyn. He graduated from James Madison High School, and earned his undergraduate, as well as Masters in audiology at Brooklyn College.  His wife, mother, brother, and two daughters have all proved to be very supportive of Dreifus pursuing his dreams.

Magician/entertainer Gary Dreifus teaches magic at children's shows and at Kingsborough Community College summer programs.


Dreifus began his career teaching the deaf at Junior High School 47, located in Manhattan. He eventually became director of Creedmoor Psychiatric Center for 15 years, and also served as Director of Audiology for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Dreifus originally got involved with magic because of the dexterity benefits that come along with the practice. “As a kid, I was a klutz,” Dreifus said. “You’d hand me a bottle, and I’d drop it.”


Dreifus’ biggest challenge was getting magic accepted as an art form.

“When people think about magic, they think about a birthday party magician. They don’t think of magic as an art. Art, by definition, is an expression of one’s self. What I teach, be it an eight-year-old, senior citizen, or professional entertainer, is that it has to express yourself,” Dreifus said.

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