Miami Magician Dylan Ace Talks About the Devil and Friends with Unreasonably High Expectations
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Born in Miami to Cuban American parents in 1981, illusionist Dylan Ace is a natural performer who became fascinated with magic at the age of six after watching David Copperfield. Two years later he met his mentor, Ricardo Fantasio, and started performing acts of his own.
At 18, he was taken under the wing of Las Vegas magician Lance Burton. He's since performed sleight-of-hand tricks and escape acts for the likes of Celia Cruz, Britney Spears, Paul Simon, and Lenny Kravitz.
On Saturday, he'll entertain the Main Street Playhouse in Miami Lakes, but first we managed to get a hold of the slippery fellow long enough to ask him five telling questions.
Cultist: You're an escape artist. Have your talents ever been useful to you to escape from an unusual situation?
Ace: Not really. In fact, it's kind of the opposite. My friends sometimes think I'm able to do more things than I can. I have friends that will get locked out of their cars, and they'll be like, 'Can you get in there for us?' and I'll be like, 'I can get out of stuff. I can't open up a car.' Sometimes I have friends who really think I'm capable of doing anything, and I'm like, uh, no.
You seem to have in your circle some really classy performers from different eras and your art is a throwback one. Do you ever feel like you were born into the wrong era?
It's funny, because my mom used to worry about me. She'd say, 'He has all older friends, he has no one who's his age as a friend.' Sometimes I do feel that I was born in the wrong era, because years ago, especially in the United States, magicians were known as being real artists. Now you say you're a magician and usually the first response you get from people is, 'Oh, I wish my kids were here.' So it's kind of like they don't see it as an art. People see it as something for birthday party performing. Before there used to be more places magicians would perform, like clubs. I hear the stories from the older magicians I know and it sounds like really cool times.
What is your most crowd pleasing trick?
It's weird because there really isn't one. In real life, each audience reacts differently to different things. Sometimes there will be one trick that usually kills and it won't go over that well. And then there's another one that sometimes gets just a good or just polite response, and that one will be the big hit. I have a new thing where there's a ghost in a handkerchief and it floats up in the air and I get someone from the audience to take the other side of the handkerchief and it floats up. And that's what's been getting the best reaction lately. When they see something happen from somebody from the audience's hands up on stage, people like that stuff.
Why do people need magic?
It brings people back to when they were kids. It's one of the things I try to do with my show: I make it fun. I don't try to make it into a show where, well there's some musicians that when they do their shows they kind of make it into an I'm-better-than-you attitude. Or it's not bad to do the mysterious thing. But today with all the technology, people know that these things are tricks. It's not like back in the day when people used to believe it had something to do with the devil and stuff. If you look at old magic posters, they used to have little devils drawn all over the posters. So I feel like when people see the show, it brings them back to when they were a kid. You know, when you were a kid, everything was magical to you. So it's always fun when adults at the show get back to when they were kids, start laughing, and have fun with it. They stop thinking about stuff. It's ironic, because I feel like I'm an old soul, but at the same time I feel like I haven't grown up because I'm always playing with magic tricks.
What's your dream?
My dream is just to keep making a living doing magic and to have my own television special. Because that's been the thing that all the big guys have done. Lance Burton had his own television special, David Copperfield had his own television special, David Blaine. So one day I'd like to have my own television special.
The Magic of Dylan Ace. Saturday, December 10 at 3 and 7 p.m., Main Street Playhouse (6766 Main St., Miami Lakes). Tickets cost $10 and can be purchased online or at the door (cash only). Go to dylanace.com or call 786-445-0501.
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