Entertainer uses magic, laughter to teach good character at Round Lake school

  • Fifth-grader Brianna McDuffie laughs Thursday during Tim Hannig's Pro-Kids Show for students at Village Elementary in Round Lake.

      Fifth-grader Brianna McDuffie laughs Thursday during Tim Hannig's Pro-Kids Show for students at Village Elementary in Round Lake. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Fifth-grader Moses Cuevas reacts to the payoff of a magic trick while volunteering onstage Thursday during Tim Hannig's Pro-Kids Show for students at Village Elementary in Round Lake.

      Fifth-grader Moses Cuevas reacts to the payoff of a magic trick while volunteering onstage Thursday during Tim Hannig's Pro-Kids Show for students at Village Elementary in Round Lake. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Fifth-grader Saifya Moore cracks up Thursday during Tim Hannig's Pro-Kids Show for students at Village Elementary in Round Lake.

      Fifth-grader Saifya Moore cracks up Thursday during Tim Hannig's Pro-Kids Show for students at Village Elementary in Round Lake. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Tim Hannig does a little juggling Thursday during his Pro-Kids Show for students at Village Elementary in Round Lake.

      Tim Hannig does a little juggling Thursday during his Pro-Kids Show for students at Village Elementary in Round Lake. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Teacher Kristi LaSota seems genuinely surprised when Tim Hannig pulls out a balloon animal that looks just like one he popped onstage during his Pro-Kids Show for students at Village Elementary in Round Lake Thursday.

      Teacher Kristi LaSota seems genuinely surprised when Tim Hannig pulls out a balloon animal that looks just like one he popped onstage during his Pro-Kids Show for students at Village Elementary in Round Lake Thursday. Rick West | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 2/6/2020 5:52 PM

Mixing magic, puppetry and comedy, Tim Hannig grabbed the attention of kids at Village Elementary School and for 45 minutes didn't let go.

Hannig brought his Pro-Kids Show to the Round Lake school Thursday, performing a fast-paced, one-man show with custom music, illusions and comedy. And a puppet bird named Vern that brought the biggest laughs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

While he had them rolling from the moment he arrived by running into the crowd and spraying kids with water, Hannig's show isn't just about laughs.

"Using entertainment to communicate character ideas, you know, doing the right thing when no one is watching, even if others aren't doing it, even when it's tough," Hannig said, "That's what it's about."

His show is a two-part performance in which he performs for students during the school day and then puts on an evening show for families.

"Hopefully it gives parents a chance to have a great night with their kids but also a positive message along the way, hopefully a message any parent would want their child to hear," he said.

For many kids in the audience, it was their first time seeing magic up close. Fifth grader Kiarri Wiltberger is now a fan.

"I think it was pretty cool," she said, adding that she'd probably go home and check out some more on YouTube.

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When asked if seeing the tricks up close gave them any idea on how they were done, fifth grader Analaura Chavez said "I have a few ideas, but I don't think they're right."

Classmate Erik Garcia was more blunt. "No. Clueless,"

Hannig, from Coal City, has performed for more than 2½ million people around the country, including at Six Flags, for the Chicago White Sox and twice at the White House.

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