Cedars-Sinai Volunteer, Patricia Magicia, 
Uses Magic to Dazzle, Delight and Bring Joy

Trained at the Magic Castle, Patricia Marquis is
One of Thousands of Cedars-Sinai Volunteers Helping Patients

 Cedars-Sinai volunteer, Patricia Marquis, whose stage name is Patricia Magicia, uses magic for more than just entertainment. She uses her craft as a welcome distraction for patients facing an array of illnesses.

“I bring sunshine to people who may not have visitors or who may be dealing with pain,” said Marquis, a French native and member of the famous Magic Castle, who has been serving as a Cedars-Sinai volunteer for more than two years. “I try to make each patient feel like they are the only person I came to perform for, that I happened to magically appear just for them.”

Marquis enjoyed a successful career bringing high-end European lingerie retailers to the U.S. market, but she was eager to find an additional passion that would also allow her to give back to her community. At the same time, she lost a close family friend to blood cancer when he was just 32 years old. The experience left her knowing she wanted to become a hospital volunteer.

“Magic seemed like a good challenge, because I knew nothing about it,” said Marquis. “But I knew it would bring joy and laughter to both children and adults.”

After studying and training for years at the Magic Castle, Marquis began performing on her own and perfecting her skills. In addition to her weekly visits to Cedars-Sinai, Marquis performs at the Magic Castle, an orphanage in Tijuana and at local veterans’ hospitals.

“Cedars-Sinai volunteers are the heart of our institution,” said Casey McGuire, director of Volunteer Services at Cedars-Sinai. “Patricia – like all of our wonderful volunteers – brings energy, enthusiasm and happiness into the lives of patients who often need a distraction or visitor. She’s so vibrant and she truly improves the experience of our patients.”

Upon entering every patient room, Marquis begins by saying, “Today is your lucky day, you have two choices. Your first choice is, I can do magic for you. Or, I can make you a magician and you make me disappear.”

And while Marquis cannot use magic to cure patients, she’s able to bring joy where there was none before.

“I loved it,” said Amanda Drewery, a Cedars-Sinai patient who recently saw Marquis’ tricks up close. “I think she’s tremendous, talented and incredible. And it cheered me up a lot.”

In 2018, Cedars-Sinai volunteers—who range in age from 14 to over 100—donated 170,000 hours of time, leading to more than 45,000 touchpoints with patients, from delivering flowers and escorting them within the medical center to playing music.

Spectrum News1 Special

Volunteer Prescribes a Dose of Magic to Surprise, Delight Patients
By Zarina Khairzada

 
PUBLISHED 11:34 AM ET Jun. 06, 2019

LOS ANGELES - At Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, dozens of hospital beds are filled with patients recovering from recent surgeries. Each patient’s pain is managed by doctors and nurses, but one volunteer has been offering an additional option, a distraction from their pain.

Patricia Magicia Marquis is one of three volunteers at Cedars-Sinai who perform magic tricks with cards, ropes, and other novelties for patients. For patients, like Loretta Moscozo, it’s a moment to forget about the pain.

“That was awesome. I wonder how you did that?” Moscozo said to Patricia Magicia as she performed a card trick.

Moscozo recently underwent her second surgery that stemmed from a work accident. 

They found other things that were wrong so they did a major surgery on my cervical spine,” Moscozo said.

She has already spent about one week in the hospital, but it will take her longer to recover before she can go home.

It’s tough days like the one Moscozo was having that inspired Patricia Magicia to give back with her magic skills she learned from the Magic Castle. When Magicia’s close friend died from cancer she felt helpless in her friend’s health journey. That’s why she decided to bring joy to patients with a few moments of magic each week.

“My goal is to make them feel wonderful and relaxed and have a good giggle, if I can, because I can’t change their pain but I can change how they will feel,” Magicia said.

That’s why every Tuesday she can be found sharing magic tricks with patients like Moscozo, who for a moment found comfort in a hospital room.

“It made me remember what it was like to be a kid and took my mind off my pain,” Moscozo said.

After Moscozo’s surgery, Patricia Magicia’s magic tricks were just the right dose of distraction to help her get through the next few days.