Monday, July 1, 2013

Arts are not an illusion: Wayne Hoffman

Name: Wayne Hoffman

What is your job?
I'm a professional mentalist & illusionist. That basically means I read people's minds and make things disappear for a living.

What social causes are most important to you?  I'm a huge advocate for the arts. I believe that we need to give kids a chance to get away from their computer screens and experience live theater. There is something magical about sitting in a theater and watching a live performance. It's an experience I believe everyone should have at a young age.

What charity do you support – and how?
I recently launched The Hoffman Foundation. Our goal is to link up with artists and theaters to help fill the empty, unsold seats with families who would not normally be able to afford tickets to a show. The artists get a full house and the families get to experience something spectacular. It's a simple concept with far-reaching effects.

Why do you have a passion for this one in particular, is there a personal tie?

I grew up being raised by a single mother who worked several jobs to keep a roof over our head. We barely had enough money to survive let alone buy tickets to the theater. I spent my days in front of the TV and other unfulfilling activities. I remember seeing my first show in a theater, and it inspired me to become a performer. I feel like everyone deserves a chance to be inspired the way I was.

Is there a particular way you would want to encourage readers to be involved?
We are currently looking to find supporters who believe in our cause and who will help is spread the word any way they can. More than just raising funds, we are looking to raise awareness and let people know we exist. If you know of an artist or theater who might be interested in helping us, we would love to hear from you. Sending a simple email or making a post on social media is enough to move one step closer to changing lives.

How would you define social responsibility?
There is an unspoken rule that humans help someone who needs it. Every major belief system has one common thread: to help one another. It is our universal responsibility to provide small building blocks to social justice and equality. You just have to find your own unique way of helping. That is social responsibility.

Do you have any tattoos that relate to your charitable belief?  

Yes. The first tattoo I ever got is of a yin and yang. It symbolizes the give and take that I believe will help balance the earth. Those who have plenty should give to those who do not. It's the balance of the earth.

Quick list of tattoos/mention artists if you’d like:

Samoan star on my left bicep
Artist: "Bass"
Location: Apia, Western Samoa

The Black Dot on my right bicep
Shop: True Tattoo
Location: Hollywood, Ca

Yin & Yang on my right bicep
Artist: Mike
Shop: Mike's Tattoos
Location: Reading, Pa

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