Seasoned magician brings dramatic performance to Taylor
Dramatic illusionist Kevin Spencer brings 30 years of performing experience to Taylor Saturday night with a high-tech stage show filled with drama, comedy and tricks.
"We call the show 'theater illusion,' " says Spencer, who has been touring since January. "It really is a combination of my love for theater and my love for magic. We've taken all the great elements you'd find in a Broadway production — the lighting, the movement — and wrapped it around some cool illusions that we've designed or redesigned for our show."
Spencer says he works with Jim Steinmeyer, a Disney creative engineer, to build his illusions. He tries to use updated and new tricks, but he realizes that the audience still wants to see the old "cut a guy in half" trick, so he does that, too.
One of the show's most dramatic moments is Spencer's "windshear" illusion in which he seemingly steps through a moving fan.
"It's very much man versus machine," says Spencer, who lives in Virginia and was named Magician of the Year in 2009 by the International Magic Society. "We kick those blades on and let the audience know the blades are real and then, while the blades are turning, I pull my body through the fan and out the other side. It has some wonderful visuals. I call it my rock star moment in the show."
His favorite part of being on stage is interacting with the audience. There's a moment when he chooses a single member of the audience to help him perform an illusion, and another when he involves the entire audience.
Spencer, who performs on stage with his wife, Cindy Spencer, and two male assistants, aims for the show to be family-friendly, but also sophisticated and engaging for adults.
After the tour, Spencer plans to scale down his operation and work on helping others. He wants to use magic to help people with physical and mental disabilities.
Learning a simple magic trick can help motivate patients and help improve mobility and social skills, Spencer says. He'd also like to produce a sensory-friendly magic show — without loud sounds or strobe lighting — for autistic children and adults.
Spencers Theatre of Illusion
7:30 p.m. Saturday
WCCCD Heinz C. Prechter Educational Performing Arts Center
21000 Northline, Taylor