Magic show to benefit Jordy

November 12, 1997

Magic show to benefit Jordy


Staff Writer, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Fourteen-year-old Ashley Bruneske isn't revealing the secret of how she conjures up a globe of light out of thin air.

The amateur magician does tricks with the light, skills she's learned over years of practice that began when she was in the first grade and an aunt gave her a magic kit for a Christmas present.

She kept her skills a secret until a couple of years ago, when she won the grand prize at a school talent show.


"They thought it was really great and neat to have a talent. They didn't know I could do something like that," Ashley said.

At 7 p.m. Saturday, she and other magicians with the West Virginia Wizards will put their skills to use to conjure up money for Jordy Carper during the 10th annual Mountaineer Magic show at the Old Opera House in Charles Town.

Jordy, 10, of Hedgesville, W.Va., had a double lung transplant in June. The youngster needed the transplant because he suffered from cystic fibrosis.

"I think it's great that they're doing it," Jordy said Tuesday night.

Jordy will have a part to play in the show.

Magician Michael T. Myers, one of the founders of the West Virginia Wizards, the local chapter of the Society of American Magicians, will make him "disappear" from the stage.

The West Virginia Wizards holds a show annually to give members a chance to perform publicly, Myers said.

The group decided earlier this year to use the show to try to help Jordy, he said.

Myers, who uses the stage name "Michael T," said the group has about 20 members in West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia.

They meet to talk about magic tricks, occasionally sharing their secrets with other magicians.

Myers, who works professionally as a magician and is also an ordained minister, said the group has a diverse membership, including students and hardware salesmen.

"As a kid, I used to always do the magic tricks you'd get in the box with a pair of shoes," Myers said.

He got more serious about it 10 years ago at a church program in which a fellow minister was the after-dinner speaker.

"He said he was not going to bore them with a speech. Instead, he started performing his magic tricks," Myers said.

Myers met with the man afterward and learned more tricks.

Seth Raphael, 14, of Shepherdstown, W.Va., said he's looking forward to Saturday's show, his first stage appearance.

He's done his magic tricks at a Shepherdstown coffeehouse, and at the town park and the library, but he believes this will be his biggest performance yet.

Seth specializes in card and coin tricks, "stuff that looks really cool and is mind-boggling to watch. My favorite trick is one where a card switches places with a card in a spectator's hand."

Seth's interest in magic, like Ashley's, was sparked by a kit he received as a Christmas present.

"I just stuck with it. I'd like to keep it up as a part-time job," he said.

Ashley said she's performed at birthday parties and restaurants.

"It's a great hobby and an easy way to make money. Right now I want to get into a career in psychology and do this on the side," she said.

Raphael said that belonging to the West Virginia Wizards has been helpful because he can talk magic with the other members and they can share tips on doing tricks.

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