That’s still the bulk of Russo’s business, but he also does a lot of private house parties, telling jokes and performing tricks.
Russo belongs to the local chapter of the Society of Professional Magicians and used his contacts there to help find other magicians for the Delmar show. The afternoon will include Jim Snack, Clem Kinnicutt and Joe Goode, the club’s president, whose audience is primarily kids and families.
“Most of my magic is silly and fun,” he said.
Goode, whose stage name is Melvin the Magnificent, emphasizes interaction with the crowd. When he does a trick, for example, he’ll encourage the audience to “put their arms up, wiggle their fingers and say the magic word.”
“It makes them feel like they really had a hand in it,” he said.
Goode put on his first paid show when he was just 12 and has never known another line of work. He’s a full-time magician, but that doesn’t mean he performs every day. Weekends are usually reserved for shows, and he spends the rest of the week doing research, trying new tricks and performing.
He takes pride in constantly honing a craft that he was turned on to when his dad bought him some tricks at an after-Christmas sale. Goode took lessons from a local magician as a kid and today delights in sharing his love of magic with kids who were the same age when he was turned on to performing tricks. When Russo talked about putting together the fundraiser, Goode was definitely on board.
Russo had an idea but not a venue until Delmar Reformed Church “was kind enough to offer its fellowship hall,” he said. Given the church’s ties to the orphanage in Nicaragua, Russo liked the idea of splitting the proceeds between both causes.
He encouraged people to come out to enjoy both the magic and the ice cream and said anyone who can’t come but would like to donate can send checks directly to the church. The address is 386 Delaware Ave., Delmar.
Tickets for the Extraordinary Magic Show and Ice Cream Social are $10 for adults and $5 for children. For more information, call 439-9929.