Living with illusions, cast members of Champions of Magic love wowing audiences

TOWSON, Md. - Taking someone back to innocence and wonder itself, is magic. Performing tricks is what they're paid to do.

"I think we're the only illusionists in the world who actually don't take ourselves seriously, most illusionists try and look cool," Sam Strange said.

"We are not cool," Richard Young continued, "we are definitely not cool, I can safely say that."

Young and Strange have practiced almost their entire lives to become expert magicians. They met growing up at the age of eight, living up the street from one another in England.

They started trying out tricks on each other, then family and friends and whoever would provide good feedback.

"We started with cardboard boxes, rather than swords, we had sticks," Strange said. That trick was their oldest and is in Baltimore's new show Champions of Magic.

"In the first airing of a trick, you get excited, you go, 'Mom! Dad! Come in, let me show you this trick,' and it goes wrong, but you learn from the mistakes, don't you?" Strange said.

They continue learning everyday, improving and twisting tricks, all for the pleasure of thrilling others.

"I think we're really lucky that we often see three generations of the same family sat enjoying the show," Young said.

"Just see the reactions and range of emotion you give people, I love it when you meet the kids because the kids don't lie, they come up to you and what you're seeing there is an absolutely organic, natural reaction to what they've seen and they love it, they're wired, that's my favorite bit there," Strange said.

That feeling they hope brings everyone back to when they were a kid, and something I experienced first hand, right inside the ABC2 studios.

Strange gave me a lime. Young asked for a dollar, and had me write my name on it in Sharpie. He then asked me where I'd like to go on vacation, and I said I'd like to go to Spain (and practice my Spanish).

Right in front of my eyes, he folded the dollar several times, and as he unfolded it, there was a 5 Euro note.

Strange then asked for the lime and produced a knife, in between jokes he asked me how many seeds I thought there were inside the lime, I guessed 3.

He proceeded to slice the lime open and inside was the dollar bill I signed. I was shocked.

They'll be wowing audiences with the rest of the Champions of Magic crew February 15-18th at the Hippodrome.

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