By: Stevie White
“I can remember telling my mom, when I was about five, that I was going to be a magician when I grew up,” said Kevin Spencer. “Today I’m living every little boys dream – I got to grow up to be a magician!”
Like most kids, Kevin Spencer had a seemingly unattainable career choice, but with hard work and dedication, he and his wife, Cindy, make their living performing their version of a magic show.
The “Spencer’s: Theatre of Illusion” show will be performed in Lecanto at the Curtis Peterson Auditorium Sunday, Sept. 29 at 3 pm, and in Ocala at the Dassance Fine Arts Center on Monday, Sept. 30 at 7:30 pm.
Performing shows for over 20 years, Kevin and Cindy Spencer have developed a style far from the ordinary magic show. They mix the illusion of magic with the drama of theatre to create an experience the audience is not soon to forget.
“We call the show “Theatre of Illusion” because it is a combination of our love for theatre and our passion for the art of magic,” said Kevin Spencer, husband to Cindy Spencer, and main magician in the Theatre of Illusion.
The duo creates their illusions and tricks by using a number of different elements to make their show unique, such as a more modernized version one of Houdini’s most famous illusions, “Walking Through a Wall.”
“We work with some of the leading creators and designers in the magic community to give our audiences things they might have never seen before,” said Cindy Spencer.
This is not the first time the Spencer’s have performed at CF as part of the performing arts series. They last visited CF about five years ago.
“Since our last performance in Ocala, we have added several new, original illusions to the show,” said Kevin Spencer. “Our show is perfectly suited for audiences of all ages and I remember the Ocala audience being very diverse.”
The Spencer’s have won many awards for their performances, such as being named Performing Arts Entertainers of the year, for six consecutive years. David Copperfield is the only one other magician that has ever been awarded this recognition.
Along with performing on stages across America, the Spencer’s began a program called The Healing of Magic. In 1988, Kevin Spencer was involved in a near fatal car accident that caused a head and lower spinal cord injury. While in therapy, he collaborated with his wife, Cindy, and other therapists, to use simple magic tricks to help people with a variety of disabilities to develop skills that could have been lost previously.
“It is being used in over 2,000 facilities in more than 30 countries around the world. We’ve conducted some very extensive research projects in Hong Kong, Canada, Rome, and throughout the U.S. on the therapeutic benefits of using magic, and we have new projects starting all the time,” Cindy said.
Kevin Spencer is also an assistant professor of occupational therapy at the University of Alabama/Birmingham and had been awarded the Harry Chaplin Award for Contributions to Humanity, for work in the field of rehabilitation medicine.
On Oct. 1 and 2, Spencer will be conducting his Hocus Focus workshop at HillcrestSchool for Exceptional Children. On Sept. 28 he will also be leading a workshop for physical, occupational and speech therapists at the KeyTrainingCenter in Citrus.
“This is just another event in a long line of events in which we have connected to the arts and medicine,” said Laura Wright, coordinator of special events in the Visual and Performing Arts Department. “We are very excited to welcome Kevin and Cindy to our Performing Arts Series; [they] are two of the most dedicated, vivacious and energized people I have had the pleasure to meet. They truly wish to make a difference in the lives of their audience and those they work with in hospitals and rehabilitation centers around the world.”
For more information about tickets for the show at CF, call 352-873-5810. If you are interested about the Hocus Focus workshop, contact Laura Wright at 352-854-2322, ext. 1416.