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Magical moments with a local celebrity

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Everyone loves magic! We’ve all been thrilled by the sleight of hand performed by an expert at prestidigitation. When we were kids and we saw someone make a coin disappear from his palm and have it reappear behind our ear, we were thrilled by the amateur magician at work. However, when you’re sitting at a table with a group of adults, and you witness a master of illusion up close, you begin to believe in the supernatural.

I’ve known Dave Magee for more than 10 years, back when he lived in Flower Mound and was a regular speaker at the podium during Town Council meetings. Always active in the community, Dave used to speak out against a former council that had been holding back progress and using character assassination on anyone who dared run against them. He now lives in Copper Canyon with his wife, Barbara, and son, Sean, and has been building upon an entertainment career which, among many other successes, has made him the headliner for “The Ultimate Game Show, starring David Magee,” at Winstar World Casino in Oklahoma.

Drawing crowds of 3000 or more, Dave blends his “mentalist” routine with huge cash and other prizes won by audience members randomly selected to join him on stage. If you’re lucky enough to be one of those chosen, you could go home with a new car, a boat, an all expense paid African safari, or any number of other valuable prizes. During a typical 2-hour performance, Dave may give away a total of $250,000 to several awe-struck people who just came to watch an exciting show. Exciting doesn’t do justice to the fabulous extravaganzas which have graced that enormous stage. Every show has a pulse-pounding theme with electrifying music and colorful sets that rival anything Vegas has to offer.

At a recent show I attended with my wife (front row, VIP section, ahem!), the curtain opened to a woman on the phone, speaking with an English accent. She described a dire situation occurring somewhere in the world. Giant screens on each side of the stage provided the audience with a glimpse of Magee stepping into a shower stall in another country. Suddenly, a large box appears on the stage and it begins to quiver as strobe lights dance along the top. As it melts away, James Bond (Magee) emerges from the smoky debris, wearing a white tuxedo and walking in step with the famous theme music. The visual was right out of a Star Trek movie, giving the impression that he was “beamed” onto the stage. During that magnificent show, Magee was presented with the 2013 Merlin Award for Mentalist of the year.

Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, Dave is the son of Belfast, Ireland immigrants who came to America for “a better life and no social medicine.” A graduate of Centenary College in Shreveport, his first desire was to study acting. However, he switched to studying Petroleum Land Management to his parents delight, so that he would have a “more stable occupation.” During his early years, Dave says people would often tell him he’d be an entertainer someday. He was always cutting up in school, causing his classmates to laugh at his antics. He used his quick wit and personality to become successful at a few sales jobs he held before finding the pathway to the profession he was destined for. He worked as a corporate entertainer, traveling frequently and perfecting his craft.

As busy as he is, Dave has always found time to entertain at fundraisers for a variety of worthwhile causes. With a heart as big as his talent, he continues to give back to the community wherever there’s a need. When Dave and Barbara come over for dinner, people leave at the end of the evening with comments like, “I can’t believe what I just saw,” or “What Dave did is simply not possible!” I’m glad that Dave’s a good friend, because if I had to pay him to be my guest, I’d have to take out a loan.

Dave’s original goal was realized a few months ago when he was offered a role in a movie entitled “Wisdom,” which was produced and directed by Daniel Baldwin of the Baldwin brothers’ fame. Faithful to his Christian values, Dave’s only stipulation was that he refused to use profane language in his role, even though the other thespians would not be held to a similar standard. The movie wrapped up recently, and will be presented at the Sundance Film Festival next month. Inasmuch as Dave and I always make jocular references to the endeavors each of us engages in, I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to criticizing his debut performance as a heavy in a crime drama. I hear that he had to strip down to his underwear for one scene. That should give me enough material to build my own comedy show.

Bob Weir is a long-time Flower Mound resident and former local newspaper editor. In addition, Bob has 7 published books that include “Murder in Black and White,” “City to Die For,” “Powers that Be,” “Ruthie’s Kids,” “Deadly to Love,” “Short Stories of Life and Death” and “Out of Sight,” all of which can be found on Amazon.com and other major online bookstores.

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