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Discovery Station hosts magical performance

November 27, 2005|By MARIE GILBERT

marieg@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - Alexa Sensenbaugh sat spellbound as the impossible happened right before her eyes.

An orange handkerchief appeared and then disappeared. Two pieces of rope became one, and paper clips mysteriously linked themselves together.

"Wow," the 10-year-old declared. "How did he do that?"

Sensenbaugh was among a group of spectators who attended a magic show Saturday afternoon at Discovery Station in downtown Hagerstown.

The show was presented by Dean Burkett, an area magician who performed magic tricks with audience participation and offered tips on how to become a magician.

For Alexa, it was the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

"We all like magic," said her mother, Trisha Weatherholtz of Hagerstown. "But Alexa really likes it. When we found out there was a magic show today, this is where she wanted to be."

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The show was part of Discovery Station's Saturday Plus program, said B. Marie Byers, interim director and president of Discovery Station's board of directors

"We're all about curiosity and learning," she said. "So programs like this foster that growth and attract people of all ages."

Saturday's magic show, while geared to children, offered something for everyone - even the adults were invited to participate in several of the magic tricks.

"Almost everyone is fascinated with magic," Burkett said after the show. "And I get different reactions from different age groups."

But it's the children who he especially enjoys entertaining.

"It keeps me young," he said.

Burkett said he performs about 250 magic shows each year but never tires of his routines.

"I don't do the big illusions, like you see on TV," he said. "I don't make airplanes disappear. But the shows I present are entertaining. And that's what magic should be - entertaining."

Melissa Blank of Frostburg, Md., said said she and her children Jessica, 5, and John, 2, were looking for something to do on the holiday weekend.

"We were visiting here over Thanksgiving and wanted to find something fun for the kids to do," she said. "I think this was a good choice."

"I've always liked magic," said Roger Jones of Hagerstown. "Now my son, who is in second grade, is showing an interest. So this was something we both enjoyed. Now we'll have to go home and see if we can do some of these tricks."

According to Burkett, you're never too young or too old to learn magic.

"As a kid, I went to magic shows," he said. "But I never dreamed I'd be a magician. Now look at me."

Burkett encouraged children in the audience who were interested in magic to visit their local library.

"If you think you might want to become a magician," he said, "find some books on magic and start reading."

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