By Jesse Bertel

Magician Anthony Hernandez and his assistant, Dawn Morgan, bring the thrill and excitement of large-scale illusions to Prescott at 7 p.m. Friday, July 7, at the Elks Theatre, 117 E. Gurley St.

“Anthony the MAGIC” is a magic and illusion team based in Los Angeles. They were the promotional magicians for the movie, “Oz the Great and Powerful.” This magical duo will take the audience on a fantastic, comedy-filled interactive journey.

Hernandez spoke with Across the Street ahead of their upcoming performance. The following interview was edited for length and clarity.

What can people expect to see at this performance?

The show is very interactive. It’s like David Copperfield. There’s some storytelling and there’s a lot of very funny moments. One thing that people tell me is they didn’t expect it to be so funny. The show is sophisticated, it’s not corny. It’s not like you’re going to go see a birthday party magician, you know, for someone’s kid. It’s a really sophisticated magic show but the kids still love it. The adults love it. It’s just a great show. We produce animals. We produce three dogs, a bunny rabbit and a real Pomeranian dog.

What inspired you to become a magician?

When I was probably about 8 years old, my family took me to the fair and I saw this older magician. I later found out his name was Ralph Adams once I started taking lessons from him. He looked like the wizard from The Wizard of Oz. He was doing a show and he did two effects that really changed me. “That’s what I want to do,” I said. He did the linking rings, of course, and he linked them and unlinked them and I thought that was just spectacular. He was on stage and then he covered himself up and he reappeared in the audience. It was out in the open. It was really just awesome. He was like 75, 80 years old by that time. So, it’s not like he could sprint over there. I later figured it out and found out how exactly how he did it. So that sparked an interest. Then, of course, I was looking through the channels at 12 years old and I found David Copperfield and from that moment on, I knew that magic was going to be my life passion.

How did you first learn magic tricks?

This was pre-YouTube. This was pre-internet. There were only books and other magicians who would teach you. So, once I decided that this is what I was going to do, I had to find someone to teach me. At first, I thought I knew exactly how to do magic, so I did my very first show at like 12 years old at the Strawberry Festival in Santa Maria, California. To say that that was a pure disaster is probably the understatement of my life. That was one of the worst shows I’ve ever done as a magician. My grandparents were embarrassed because my grandparents raised me since I was 6 years old. So they were ultimately like, “Oh my God, you’ve got to find a teacher.”

So, we found a teacher. His name was Ralph Adams, of course, and my life came full circle within like two years.

For tickets and more information, call 928-777-1370, or visit www.prescottelkstheatre.org.

For more information about Anthony the MAGIC, visit www.anthonythemagic.com.

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