Something had to give.
Michael “Ace” Russo’s son was afraid of the shadows on his wall. He hadn’t slept for three days. And that meant Russo hadn’t slept for three days.
Russo was driving by The Costumer in Colonie when he saw a sign advertising a one-day magic course. And suddenly, he had a plan.
He took the class and learned a bunch of tricks. He showed them to his son, then presented him with a magic wand.
“We’ll use this to turn all the shadows into your friends,” Russo said.
And so the sleepless nights ended, and a new career began. Once an accountant who ran the financial part of the state’s food stamp program, Russo today is a popular Capital District magician. In a nod to both his past and present lines of work, he has organized a magic show and ice cream social at Delmar Reformed Church on Saturday, Oct. 15, that will benefit The Food Pantries of the Capital District as well as an orphanage in Nicaragua that is sponsored by the church.
The show will offer something for all ages. Considering how he got his start, it might come as a surprise that of the four magicians who will perform, Russo’s act will be the one most tailored to grown-ups.
“We didn’t want it to just be a kiddy show, so we threw me into the middle,” he said.
Don’t take that to mean he’ll be telling off-color jokes and using bad language. He keeps it clean; he just has an easier time doing tricks for the older set. After he calmed his son’s nerves about the shadows on the wall, word spread at day care, and parents were interested in learning more.
“Next thing I know, I’m doing the restaurant table-to-table thing,” Russo said.