Magician T. A. Hamilton’s show “Magic Ka-Zam!” filled seats at the Granada Theater last weekend. Part of proceeds from ticket sales went to benefit the Emporia East Side Community Group’s East Side Park project and the Emporia High School scholarship program.
“I started doing magic at somewhat of an early age,” Hamilton said. “Not in the womb, but right after that.”
Hamilton has worked with David Copperfield, and as a pyrotechnician for Earth Wind & Fire, Emerson Lake & Palmer and KISS. Hamilton said his magic show office recently got a call from the White House, informing him that Sen. Jerry Moran had suggested him for a list of possible entertainers for the White House Easter celebration.
“Family audiences are my passion,” Hamilton said. “I do corporate and school events, and I have fun doing those, but family audiences are definitely my passion.”
Hamilton recently performed at a Boy Scouts event in Kansas City and said he learned his first magic trick – cutting a piece of rope and putting it back together as if it had never been cut – while he was in Boy Scouts.
“Magic Ka-Zam!” is a comedy magic show geared toward audiences of all ages. The show features magic themed skits, classic magic show tricks involving audience volunteers and humor infused with sleight of hand tricks and illusions.
Hamilton’s assistant, Michael O., performed shows in Puerto Rico and St. Thomas in the 1980s and early ’90s. He is a skilled harp player as well as a magic show producer.
“I am a community producer,” O. said.
O. said he enjoys playing jazz tunes live, especially songs from Duke Ellington. The middle part of the show featured songs played by Hamilton’s assistant on electric harp. One of the songs he performed was bebop classic “Little Suede Shoes” by Charlie Parker.
“Michael is one of the finest concert harpists around,” Hamilton said. “He can play anything.”
O.’s role in the show was not limited to just musical performances. He was featured in several of the more comedic parts of the show. O. said he enjoys the comedic atmosphere of the show.
“Magic is a very large, obtuse instrument,” O. said. “There’s nothing like a live performance.”
Just before the finale, Hamilton performed a trick involving sticking a needle through a balloon and allowing those up close to the stage to come up and see it. He ended the trick by taking the needle out and then popping the balloon with it. The finale of the show included a performance of the classic magic trick “Zig Zag Lady,” featuring Hamilton’s assistant Shadow and a gravity defying levitation trick featuring Hamilton’s assistant Feather.
“What I do is I lead my audience down the garden path,” said Hamilton, “and then, I turn the sprinklers on.”