Magic of the stage: Circus stars put their best feats forward
Master illusionist David DaVinci, a young virtuoso, is the Illuscinator in The Greatest Show on Earth's newest edition, Illuscination. (Special to The Clarion-Ledger)
Prime the imagination and rev up the wonder: The circus is in town.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's Illuscination camps out at the Mississippi Coliseum for five shows Friday through Sunday.
Guiding the audience through an awe-inspiring evening is "The Illuscinator," young magician David DaVinci, a Spokane, Wash., native now touring the country with his wife, Jamieleigh, his lead assistant.
In addition to illusion and transformations, DaVinci is a thread through a show that also includes: Viktoriya and Widny, the Empresses of the Air, the KungFu Kings who mix martial arts, strength and blind-folded courage; Anton and Alex, the Barons of Balance; the Salsations; the Clowning Caveagna Family; and animal acts Brian McMillan with his pack of lionesses and rare white lion and Ramon Esqueda and his Asian elephants.
DaVinci, 27, has been doing magic shows since grade school.
He spoke with The Clarion-Ledger about his background, magic, straitjackets and more.
Q: What set you on this magic path?
A: My brother got a magic kit for Christmas one year and ... when I was about 6 years old, I took that magic kit out of the closet, started playing with some of the tricks, realized it was kind of a cool way to show off unique talents without having to compete with my brother in sports.A friend of the family booked me for a grade school show. ... and that set me on the track to realize I could make money doing something I loved.By middle school, I realized it would become a full-time career. I started to enter contests and started creating my own magic routine, started networking with as many magicians as I could and tried to find a niche within the industry, which eventually turned out to be working with exotic birds.I went from school shows to theme parks to cruise ships to overseas and now, The Greatest Show on Earth.
Q: What appealed to you about magic?
A: There's something with magic that you don't get from any other art form. Maybe a Broadway show has a similar feel.But the idea of a magician being able to take somebody out of their everyday life and suspend their disbelief and create things that science proves is impossible, that everybody knows at their core is impossible, but show them that you can do it - it sounds cliche, but there's something very magical about that ability.
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