There's magic in the air and it's not even October. (Unless you're reading this in October, of course.) The local magician and illusionist scene is strong in North Texas, and you’ve got to see it to believe it. We're not talking about cheap tricks either. These magicians have perfected their wizardly craft and amaze audiences on a regular basis, but don’t worry — they use their powers for good — or at least that's what they want you to see.
Edward Ruiz, or Confetti Eddie as most know him, is a leading man in the local magician world. Ruiz is the star of the show, but also the man behind the curtain. Confetti Eddie’s Magic Parlor in Deep Ellum puts on a monthly magical variety show with live music, mind-bending magic from multiple magicians and the kind of visuals that raise goosebumps.
“I’ve professionally been a magician since 2012," Ruiz says. "I recently became a member of the Society of American Magicians, but I have been a magician my entire life.”
Magic isn’t a hobby for Ruiz. It's truly a lifestyle, a passion that first sparked when he was a child.
“When I was a kid, I remember the adults would play poker, and all the kids would play board games," Ruiz says. "When I started learning card tricks it was a fun way for me to show off for the adults. I could do things with the cards you were not allowed to do in real card games. I was the magic entertainment.”
A showman to his core, Ruiz's onstage energy is intoxicating. He's mastered the ability to make a crowd laugh with his over-the-top performance and his strategic dramatic pauses. Ruiz commonly makes things appear seemingly from thin air, and keeps an old-timey aesthetic.
“I think my mischievous vaudeville magic character is becoming what I am best known for," he says with a smirk. "I perform magic and Illusions that suit my style and I do them in a silly, almost silent film way.”
Blake “Vegas” Dvorak is a master of sleight of hand and of making audience's eyes and brains argue about what they just witnessed. With a stage name like Vegas, he has a big stage to live up to, but it's no sweat off his magic wand, as he's been fine-tuning his tricks since he was a boy.
“When I was 10, my grandmother told me to watch a guy named David Blaine on TV," Dvorak recalls. "Once I saw the special, that was it, I knew I had to learn everything I could. Even 17 years later, I still love seeing new magic and trying to create my own. Magic is really my favorite thing in the world.”
A Denton native, Dvorak is a hometown favorite and had his debut performance in 2017 with magician Ritchy Flo.
“It was called ‘A Magical Evening’ and is still my favorite performance ever," he says. "Since it was in my hometown, I had a ton of friends and family that were able to attend, met a lot of cool new people and was the most fun I’ve had onstage. Before that night I was just a dude playing alone with cards in his room, now I get to present that to people and they seem to really enjoy it. It’s been a great ride that only seems to be getting better.”
Dvorak has an eerily calm demeanor during his performances, which causes the audience to pay almost reverent attention to his every move. He uses the participants to their fullest.
“I had an envelope onstage that had a note written that ended up predicting everything I had done previously in the show," Dvorak says of one trick. "It was read by a local comedian who played it up perfectly. It got a better reaction than I could’ve imagined and the DJ, Kind Beats, dropped the perfect track before I took my last bow that night. It was awesome.”
Eric Eaton has wowed people all over the country, including 2017'sBillboard
Music Awards Top Rap Song and Top Streaming Song Artist winner Desiigner. Eaton has been on his magical grind since he was 7 years old, after seeing Criss Angel perform on TV. He's best known for his comical magic and is touring full time throughout the comedy club circuits.
“I'm not really known for certain tricks. What I am known for is my quick wit in comedy with my tricks," Eaton says. "I love being able to come up with jokes and tricks right onstage; it allows me to make every show unique and different.”
Eaton is trying his luck in two highly competitive worlds: comedy and magic, and he isn’t a stranger to the struggles that come with pursuing those particular fields.
“I mean working comedy clubs, it can be a tough market to get in," Eaton says. "Without TV credits or being well-known, it’s hard to get clubs to put their names out on the line for you. I have been fortunate enough that several have given me the chance and that helps build the next gig.”
Just as his résumé expands, so does the growing list of celebrities who have watched him perform.
“I've had the opportunity to perform for many celebrities such as Desiigner, Lou Ferrigno, Carlos Mencia, Steve Byrne and many others, so those have all been cool moments,” Eaton says with pride. “Comedian Steve Byrne also called me up in the middle of his show to come up and show the audience a trick, so that was a special moment.”
Ritchy Flo is truly a jack-of-all-trades, and magic is a part of his skill set. His tricks aren’t limited to card tricks and sleight of hand; he's also a mind reader, or mentalist. Flo's no-care attitude onstage makes the crowd wonder whether he'll even be able to deliver his tricks, and when he pulls them off, he acts just as surprised as his audiences. Flo also started working on his magic as a child, and his bag of tricks has since grown exponentially.
“When I was young my grandpa showed me some simple magic tricks that just had my mind the most boggled,” Flo remembers. "I was freaking out. I saw a magic kit at Sam’s, and I told my mother I wanted that more than anything in the world. My parents and family all loved my magic and encouraged it for the most part. I never really thought it would be what I would be doing for a living though.”
Flo has also made a name for himself as a rapper, and often finds opportunities to blow his fellow musicians' minds. He says he enjoys messing with an audience's perception of reality.
“Magic for me is about the experience,” Flo says. "Taking someone out of reality for even just a moment and showing them something unexplainable is one of the greatest feelings.”
Flo's performances include many jump scares, and he gets particular pleasure from bringing a moment to a quiet, still pause and then yelling something at a participant or audience.
“There was a time where I predicted a word a woman was thinking of and I did not think I was on the right track," Flo recalls of one illusion. "When she told the audience her word and I showed that I had the same word everyone went crazy. Even me, I was like ‘holy damn, crikey.’”