By Leila Dall’Olmo ’20
Since he was young, Clay Skaggs ‘20 has been fascinated by the idea of magic and mystery, and he has continued his passion for it over the past years.
“I became interested in magic in fifth grade, when I saw a video of David Blaine doing a trick that involved him sticking an ice pick through his arm,” Skaggs said.
Skaggs cites Blaine as one of his biggest role models when it comes to magic because of his commitment to his craft.
“[Blaine] devotes his life to magic. He put his body and mind at risk for the greater good of magic, and he popularized it using YouTube videos. He gave himself up for magic,” Skaggs said.
After seeing Blaine’s trick on YouTube, Skaggs began practicing and performing tricks for his family and friends in order to improve his skills.
“The first trick I ever performed on someone was when I made a glass disappear in front of my parents. They were really impressed at first, but now they don’t really like my tricks because I practice a lot on them,” Skaggs said.
Skaggs said his talent in magic is not only for fun, but for business as well. He has performed at a few parties so far, and he said he is hoping that soon his business will begin to take off further.
“I have business cards that I hand out to people, to try and get them to hire me. They usually pay around $50-$100 for each party, which I use to buy more tricks. I’ve done two kids parties and three adult parties so far,” Skaggs said.
In addition to his magic business, Skaggs has recently started a club at the Middle School to teach people who are interested how to do magic.
“I wanted to teach people magic, and I thought it would be really fun, so I decided to start the Magic Circle. It meets every Wednesday during break at HC 220, and everyone is welcome to come and learn some skills in magic,” Skaggs said.
According to Skaggs, there has been a turnout of roughly 15 to 20 people each meeting, and the club seems to be growing in popularity.
“I joined [the Magic Club] because I used to be really into magic, and I used to do it a lot as a kid, so I wanted to further pursue. My first impression of the Magic Club was that it seemed like a cool environment to learn and prosper in magic,” Jasper Richards ‘20 said.
Skaggs said he plans to continue magic in the future, and he said he hopes to make his magic club even more popular among students.
“In the future I hope to continue doing magic at events so that I can make money. I also think that being able to do magic as a grandfather or father would be cool, so I can pass it down generations,” Skaggs said.