Little man wows crowds with big magic
July 7, 2009
By Angelo Grosso
10-year-old has sights on being the next David Copperfield
While most 10-year-olds spend their time playing video games and watching television, Matt Wells instead devotes his time to something else entirely. He is a licensed and practicing magician.
“I guess he started taking to magic around 5 or 6,” his mother Sharon Wells said. “His grandfather gave him a magic kit and Matt quickly learned everything that was in that kit. But he wanted to learn more.”
As Matt’s love of magic grew, so did his yearning for more knowledge about the subject. In first grade, Matt read a biography about famed magician Chung Ling Soo that numbered well over 400 pages.
“His father and grandfather started taking Matt to magic shows and meetings,” said Sharon. “He then started doing tricks in the garage and he really kept up with it.”But Matt did not see magic as just a hobby, but rather something worth pursuing as a career. This spring, he went to Las Vegas to attend the Masters Class at Jeff McBride’s Magic and Mystery School. The class had members from all around the world, and most have been practicing magic for years. Suffice to say, Matt was the youngest in the class by far.
Hearing him talk about his heroes of magic is a lot like listening to an actor describe their idols. His eyes grow huge and he never stops smiling.
“I really love Jeff McBride (the head teacher in Las Vegas), Lance Burton, Mac King and Eugene Berger (another teacher in Las Vegas).” Matt said. “But I enjoy watching others, like David Copperfield, although I’ve never met him.”
Matt’s bedroom is full of everything magic. There are concert posters of Houdini and Berger, along with numerous signed photographs by renowned magicians, many with Matt in them beaming with excitement. There are dozens of magic books and DVDs sitting on a bookshelf. But his crown jewels are his certificates and diplomas.
Along with his certificate from Las Vegas, Matt has the 2008 Stand-Up Magician of the Year award, as well as the 2009 Stage Magician of the Year award. Most of his awards come from a youth magician organization called the North West Ring of Smoke. It’s dedicated to the journey of learning and encouraging children in their development in magic.
“I’m having a hard time recalling, in my 45 years as a magician, a performer who is as advanced and promising at the age of 10 as Matthew is,” said Bruce Meyers, a mentor and family friend to the Wells family. “Matthew really does have it all. He has talent, vision, solid work ethic, confidence and, of course, that charisma of his.”
But it seems that lately Matt is doing more teaching than learning.
“I love teaching magic to the kids, because it’s something that I love.” Matt said. “But I love learning new tricks. Right now, my favorite is a manipulation card routine. I make them disappear and reappear in funny ways.”
Matt knows exactly what he wants for his future in magic.
“I want to learn more illusions.” he said. “And I want to be like David Copperfield and I know that I have to work my way up. My dream job would be me as a Vegas magician or something with magic in it.”
And he knows his love for magic will not magically disappear anytime soon.
On the Web
Check out Matt Wells’ magic at www.mattdini.com.
Reach intern Angelo Grosso at firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.