MUSCATINE, Iowa—22 years ago as a high school junior, Muscatine native David Casas had no idea a trip to the mall would change his life. While shopping with his mother, Casas saw several magicians performing tricks at a kiosk. He stopped for a closer look and got a flyer advertising new magic classes at Robert’s Magic Shop on Harrison Street in Davenport. Casas signed up to take lessons, quickly discovering performing magic could offer him much more than just a hobby. Now a professional magician, Casas will return to Muscatine to lead a series of youth magic classes at the Muscatine Community Y from January 16th through February 20th.
After Casas began learning magic from Robert Whitaker, the owner of Robert’s Magic Shop, he found he had a real talent for performing. “Magic chose me,” he recalls. After training for only a short time, Casas found that he could quickly learn tricks that many experienced magicians struggled with. He recalls Whitaker telling him, “you’re mastering tricks that people who have been doing it for 20 years can’t master (and) you’re learning in days or weeks. You’ve found your niche.”
Once Casas graduated from Muscatine High School and could do all the tricks Whitaker could teach him, he moved out to Las Vegas, Nevada. There, he trained with a mentor who not only helped him add more advanced tricks to his repertoire but gave him a solid foundation in showmanship and the business and marketing end of working as a magician. Then, for the next 18 years, Casas worked full time as a professional magician, traveling around the world and getting to perform on many shows and in many competitions. In particular, Casas enjoyed performing with ComedySportz.
Throughout his years of experience, Casas has developed a love for sharing his knowledge of magic with kids. To get back to his roots and bring magic to the next generation of Muscatine residents, Casas will teach a youth magic course at the Muscatine Community Y for six weeks this winter. Each Thursday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Casas will teach students basic sleight of hand magic. Kids will learn how to use common household items, such as playing cards, cotton balls, and rubber bands, to put on fantastic shows for their friends and families. “They don’t need special things,” emphasized Casas. “They can find these things around their house and do incredible magic.”
At their final session, participants will put on a mini magic show for their friends and families. Casas enjoys this part of the course the most, as it allows previously shy kids to feel confident in their new skills. “It builds their confidence and creativity and builds their public speaking skills,” he said.
Any boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 15 may enroll in Casas’ class for a cost of $60. To pre-register, Casas encourages you to visit the Muscatine Community Y website or to stop out and sign up in person.