WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Richie Magic's love of magic and performing for audiences is not an illusion but the result of a lifelong devotion to the art of slight of hand he began to develop at the age of 7.
Magic, who legally changed his last name to remove all doubt of his persona, opened his Hocus Pocus Magic Shop in Dobbs Ferry a year ago and is marking repeating that trick by opening another shop in Scarsdale this week.
"Magic and performing for people is who I am," Magic said as he sat in his shop performing for customers and friends last week. "I fell in love with it when I was just a little kid, my mother encouraged me and I was off."
A master magician, sideshow performer and multiple world record holder (Ripley's Believe It Or Not), Magic is a member of the Society of American Magicians and past President of the International Brotherhood of Magicians Ring of Illusion. He has appeared on dozens of television shows, including most recently on Jerry Seinfeld's "Marriage Ref" with his wife of 29 years, Barbara.
Magic said his mother took him to a magic show featuring Doug Henning in 1974 and he got to spend some time with the legendary magician. The meeting sealed the 19-year-old's devotion to the craft.
"Meeting a great magician and having him sit with me and do some slight of hand while we talked did the trick, literally." Magic said.
Although his father and others advised the young magician to get a "real job", which he did, Magic never wavered from his "calling."
"I had a long career in law enforcement and worked hard at it, but I never stopped doing magic in my other life," he said. "I started performing on sidewalks as a kid and loved it from the start. For me, it's all about making people smile and inviting them into my world of magic few minutes of fun."
Magic says he enjoys introducing people of all ages to the art of magic and offering help to aspiring magicians.
"Magic is a challenge, an art, a way of meeting people and honing people skills," Magic said. "I learned a long time ago to use my personality and not to try to be the top hat, tuxedo magician. People really respond to the fact that I love what I do. What could be better than that?"
Hocus Pocus is located at 35 Cedar Street in Dobbs Ferry and the new Hocus Pocus shop is located at 7 Dunwoodie Street in Scarsdale.
For more information about Richie Magic and his shops or to arrange for a performance, call 914-755-1450, 914-646-6461 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.