YONKERS, N.Y. – A retired Yonkers educator traded in his guidance office for a magical wand and disappearing rabbits.
David Crasson, a former guidance counselor at Saunders High School, was one of two magicians to perform Sunday at the Hudson River Museum as part of the museum’s Gilded Age Magic exhibit.
Joined by Steven Burchard, the pair dazzled the small crowd by putting ropes to sleep, magically making quarters disappear and pulling endless handkerchiefs from their pockets.
“People want to believe in magic and I love to show it to them,” Crasson said, standing in front of the museum exhibit displaying the adventures of world-famous magicians like Harry Kellar and Howard Thurston. “It’s exciting to bring them into a magical world.”
For the past 35 years, “David The Magician” has been perfecting the tricks he learned years ago as a way to entertain his young son. While at Saunders, Crasson started a magic club and today teaches his tricks in workshops.
For Burchard, owner of Magical Memories Entertainment, an all-in-one entertainment company with magic, DJs, clowns and comedians, magic is the only thing he has ever known. His first job was at a magic shop. He performed tricks at a school talent show and eventually, started his entertainment company while in college.
Burchard said that for him, magic is all about the reaction from the audience.
“From day one I’ve always wanted to make people smile,” he said. “I’ve loved making people smile and magic is one of the best conduits. When I come out there and people are smiling or laughing it feels so good.”
Crasson agreed and on Sunday he did just that, drawing “ooohs and aaahs” as he turned four separate cushions into one, number four cushion.
“We’re still trying to figure out how he did it,” Julia Ball said as she left the performance with her two children and their aunt. “It was great.”
The six-week series of summer magic shows will wrap up Sunday, Aug. 12, with four 20-minute performances.