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Magician awes kids, adults at KeyLime Cove

It takes a lot to tear kids away from KeyLime Cove’s water park and arcade, but magician Dennis Christie can stop them in their tracks with his illusions.

As he wanders around the Gurnee resort in his trademark velvet suit, Christie easily captures the attention of children and adults alike with his “close-up magic.”

“I use cards, coins, rubber bands, straws, people’s minds,” the 38-year-old Spring Grove resident said. “I call myself a master deceptionist.”

Christie has been working on his craft since he was a kid. Card games were a family favorite, and soon he was learning and trading magic tricks with his friends.

“As I got older, around 13 or 14, I’d be at my friends’ parties entertaining everyone,” he said. “As an amateur, I was pretty good.”

Christie never formally studied magic. He learned through books and videos, and loved watching his favorite magician, David Copperfield, astound television audiences with his illusions and mind-reading tricks.

“Remember those specials where he’d asked you to touch your hand to the TV? Those were great!” Christie said.

Although he was inspired by magicians such as Copperfield and Doug Henning, and uses some of the same concepts in his performances, Christie said his goal is to create original tricks.

“You won’t see the things I do done by another magician,” he said.

Christie performs stage shows with props, but he prefers close-up magic.

“It’s the most intimate form of magic,” he said. “And I get to meet people. It’s honestly the reaction of the people I love best. It’s giving that sense of wonder back to people, being able to make someone laugh and smile. It’s a joy to give somebody that.

“There are some people who never get to see this stuff close-up. A lot of the time, it’s the adults who are like, ‘What’s going on over there?’ I love doing magic for kids, but I especially love doing magic for adults,” he said.

Christie has been performing at KeyLime Cove for more than four years and is one of their most popular entertainers. You can catch him strolling the resort from 1 to 5 p.m. Jan. 7, 14, 15, 21 and 28.

He also has stage shows scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Jan. 15 and 28. You don’t have to be a resort guest to stop by and check him out.

Magic lessons

Have you ever wanted to learn how to perform magic? Christie is working with the Round Lake Beach Civic & Cultural Center to plan a four- to eight-week magic workshop for teens and adults.

“I want to make sure it isn’t just a one-day class because there’s so much to show people. I want students who are invested and really want to learn,” he said. “You’ll practice one thing and when I know you’ve put the time and effort into learning it, I’ll teach you something else. That’s how the secrets of magic are passed on.”

Christie hopes to have enough students to schedule the classes for February or March. Those interested can inquire by calling the civic center at 847-201-9032 or by sending an email to rlbeachcenter@rlbeach.org.

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