Magician David Casas has been making audiences appear throughout the Quad-Cities and his magic classes book solid faster than you can say “abracadabra!”
Through much sleight-of-hand, the Muscatine born-and-raised magician has become one of the top family performers in the area. He routinely sells out magic classes throughout the area, including classes for ages 10-16 at the Bettendorf Parks and Recreation Department.
“We’ve sold out every time, so I can’t emphasize enough that parents need to register quickly,” said Nathan Pittman, fitness and recreation coordinator for the city of Bettendorf, of the next session, which begins Sept. 26.
Why do Casas’ classes do so well?
“He’s a great magician; he’s really good at what he does; and he’s got a great ability to communicate with kids,” Pittman said. “He loves working with that age range and they really love working with him. He’s just got something that connects with audiences, especially kids.”
The youth who have taken his courses and watched him perform agree.
“I really liked that he seemed nice and he was patient with us when he was showing his tricks and when we were trying them,” said Jackie Shaw, 10, of Bettendorf. “He seems really nice and it’s fun to see him do the tricks and then for us to do them.”
Casas has been charming audiences of all ages, mixing self-deprecating humor and a down-to-earth persona with quicksilver sleights of hand and amusing tricks, since his debut almost two decades ago.
He performs regularly around the area, including steady gigs at the Establishment Theater each month, a weekly gig every 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays at Applebee’s on Elmore Avenue in Davenport and, of course, his parks and rec appearances.
“When I was 17, I was just watching TV and really got into those specials with David Copperfield and Lance Burton, that’s what really got me interested in magic,” Casas said. “I didn’t know if there were any local magicians or magic shops but I started looking around and found a magic shop in Davenport and started taking classes and it just kind of took off from there.”
But the magician, born and raised in Muscatine, didn’t just wave a magic wand and make his inhibitions and inexperience disappear.
“While other people were out partying or doing other things, I was in my basement practicing for years,” Casas said. “As a little kid, I always liked being the center of attention and when I was in high school I was kind of shy and this broke me out of my shell.
“I just love the entertainment value of it, it’s different,” he said. “I like making people smile, making people laugh. I enjoy traveling a lot. I’m very lucky to be able to do this.”
“The toughest thing is always keeping it fresh, learning new stuff —you have to constantly be learning and constantly be practicing to hone your craft,” Casas said. “Some tricks are really hard to master. You have to have a lot of dedication and really love it because you have to put in the time to do it well.”
“You always have to be respectful of your fans and people who come to see you; you always have to remain humble and grateful for the people who take time out to support you,” he said. “My show is a fast-paced show, it’s a perfect blend of comedy and sleight of hand with a lot of audience participation. It’s family-friendly. It’s just a fun show. I’m just myself on stage. I want people to have fun.”