He can swallow a bead and slowly push it out of his eyeball.
He can turn a plain looking handkerchief into a living animal within a split second and he can make things disappear and reappear in the oddest places.
His name is Ray Chance, an illusionist from Malvern who performs in various events and locations, doing what he does best. Chance spent four years running a brokerage before he finally decided to return to his true passion: magic.
Having chosen this unconventional career, he is 27 years old, now finding his way around the industry and is off to a successful start. This talent in the community has been in the business for almost seven years, and has been building his reputation one step at a time.
“In my household, Copperfield night was a magic night,” said Chance, with a chuckle. “When David Copperfield was on TV, we’ll get home early, eat popcorn and watch it on TV.”
With an infectious smile and great rapport with people, crowds gather around Chance wherever he goes; He is a born performer.
“You’re a natural kid’s entertainer,” said Brian Anderson, a passerby mesmerized with Chance’s performance.
Besides performing onstage, Chance is also involved in various behind the scenes work. He has produced several shows, worked with the magic consultant team for Criss Angel, and has been involved in creating new magic tricks.
“I like to take older concepts and twist them up into something new,” Chance said. “You’ll have magicians who’ll come up with brand new effects.
“I find my strength is taking their effect and helping them perform it. So you give me a raw idea and I’ll polish it up.”
Chance said he first began his career by doing gigs at restaurants like East Side Mario’s and Boston Pizza. He also did many shows at nightclubs, which is the reason he says his shows are flashier, because he had to perform in loud music where dialog must be kept to a minimum. His big break came when he met an editor from Breakfast Television and was invited to perform for them.
Business has since expanded, Chance said.
“Ray is one of our most bookable performers,” said Debby McDowall, Chance’s agent from Arato Entertainment & Events Inc. “I can’t even count how many times I’ve booked him.
“His shows are great, very professional.”
According to McDowall, this unconventional career is not so unusual after all.
“Magicians are very common. I would have to say, musicians and magicians are probably two of the most popular requests we have,” McDowall said.
Magicians usually require some background knowledge in psychology, according to Chance. “Being able to be a step ahead and anticipating what’s coming next,” is an important skill that magicians need to have, he said.
After his last performance at the Scarboro Golf & Country Club, Chance is currently looking into renting out the theatre at the Chinese Community Centre in Scarborough to build his illusions and rehearse for his next big show.
“Within the next year, I’ll have a show that you guys will hear about,” he said.