Deep Ellum magician Confetti Eddie is preparing to do a disappearing act, but it's not the kind that his audiences would find entertaining.
Eddie, who's real name is Edward Ruiz, announced last Tuesday on his Facebook page that he's moving out of his magic parlor on Exposition Avenue, a building he's occupied since 1994.
"I think the venue was bogging me down a little bit," Ruiz says. "It's something I had to keep going. After 26 years, it's this thing I have to keep alive, but it's just a building. ... The building isn't really the magic; it doesn't matter where I am, I can create the magic art I need. That made it easier to let go of the space."
Ruiz started in the building with an art gallery, a decision he made while he waslooking for an art studio space.
"I remember when I drove into the neighborhood, I saw these vacancies in the storefront," Ruiz remembers. "When I showed my portfolio to the landlord, I asked if the storefronts were available and he said, 'No, those are for businesses. The studios are upstairs."
Ruiz's venture became one of the first artist-run galleries in the Deep Ellum neighborhood.
Ruiz and his artist friends "looked at each other and went, why don't you just open up an art gallery?" he says. "We want back to the landlord and told him we wanted to open up an art gallery, and he let me open there."
Ruiz's art gallery stayed in continuous operation for 13 more years in two different spaces in the building until he decided to add his magic act to his gallery. The move transformed Ruiz's art gallery into Confetti Eddie's Magic Parlor in 2007.
The venue became a staple of the neighborhood through Ruiz's magic performances, burlesque dancers and the giant green dinosaur out front that greeted visitors who entered the parlor. He also became a familiar face at Viva Dallas Burlesque shows and the Dallas Burlesque Festival.
"Magic is a big part of who I am," Ruiz says. "A lot of creativity in my art can come out of my magic."
The coronavirus pandemic put a crimp in Ruiz's steady stream of shows. The magician says the pause in his production schedule gave him time to think about the space and the safety and show requirements he'd need once the public started venturing downtown again.
"This pandemic helped everybody see that we really need each other," Ruiz says. "I'm a really capable person, but I felt like I needed to team up and just be more than myself."
He's done shows in Lower Greenville at spaces like the Four Day Weekend's newest Dallas comedy theater, a neighborhood that could be the new home for his magic parlor.
"I need a new space and need to find partners who want to open a real magic parlor, a real place where people can go and enjoy their nightlife, have drinks and enjoy the show," Ruiz says. "What I really need is to find a team of people who want to create that. By me losing my place and having to go out there and have these conversations, maybe we'll work towards that."
Ruiz is still in the process of moving out of his Exposition Avenue location, so he says, "It hasn't really hit yet."
"It's all OK, and I've come to terms with it all and made all the decisions, and my brain is telling me I'm doing the right thing, but I know at some point, my heart is going to come into factor," Ruiz says. "There's not much I can do about that. I just have to sort of deal with it."
Ruiz says he realizes the circumstances are extraordinary, but he's confident that this slowdown will lead to something bigger and better. He also promised his dinosaur doorman will go with him wherever he goes.
"We're all gonna lose something, and this was the sacrifice I had to make," Ruiz says. "A lot of my friends have been really positive because I did all the things I felt I needed to do at the time. I feel accomplished with my time on Exposition Avenue, and hopefully, I can move to a new place and help it grow."
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