Abracadabra! Local magician entertains at BV library
By Billy Stidham
Magician Wyatt Beck of Eureka Springs put on a spectacular show that wowed everyone in attendance Monday at the Berryville Public Library. He may have even inspired the next generation of illusionists.
Beck recounted his own experience discovering magic at his local library when he was younger.
“A magician came to our library when I was 6 years old,” he said. “None of the other kids seemed interested but I was just enthralled. … I had never seen anything like it before.”
Beck said his goal this year was to pay tribute to that magician who first inspired him.
“I thought it was real,” he said “but he [told us] that there were books at the library that had magic tricks in them. I checked out every book I could on magic and here I am 17 years later.”
In addition to Beck there was another magician at the library on Monday, but this one wasn’t performing; he was in the audience watching Beck closely.
“Being a magician myself I knew almost all the tricks he did. I didn’t quite figure out the rings,” said 12-year old Asher. “I think the comedy routine was impressive. You can learn a trick but you have to make it funny and entertaining or [the crowd is] going to be so focused on just [figuring out the trick]. Humor is an important form of diversion.”
Asher learned most of what he knows by watching YouTube, but Beck still inspired the audience to clean the library out of its magic books.
“It’s ideal when the performers encourage kids to check out books,” said library director Julie Hall. After the show Hall said, “every magic book is gone.”
The act that Beck performs is classic magic with a twist.
“I get a lot of my inspiration from magicians from the early 1900s,” he said. “A lot of my stuff is paying homage to the older, more classic magicians [but] I like to make sure most of my routines have a twist. I take a trick you’ve probably seen before and do something different with it.”
Beck said he isn’t here to trick anybody.
“One of my favorite magicians, Howard Thurston, used to say ‘I wouldn’t fool you for the world,’ ” Beck said. “It wasn’t his goal to fool anybody. He was there to entertain and that’s what I want to do.
“Magic is a dying art in my opinion,” Beck said. “There are shows like Fool Us with Penn and Teller, so it’s gaining back momentum. It’s slowly starting to make a comeback so while it’s gaining momentum I should try to get other kids interested, too.”
Beck said magic is all-inclusive.
“Anybody can do magic,” he said. “I’m all for girls doing magic, too, because there aren’t many female magicians out there and I think there needs to be more.”
Beck has no problem performing for kids.
“I’ve been doing it so long now that it just comes naturally,” he said. “It’s like being a teacher in a way, trying to control the room.
“I just view kids as little adults and I try to treat them the same way. I don’t talk down to them and I don’t dumb anything down for them,” Beck said. “I just try to make them feel included.”
If you want to make your next event a magical one you can contact Beck at WyattBeck1996@yahoo.com. If you want to learn more about magic or any other subject, check out a book at your local library.