Josh Cecil has been a magic fan ever since he can remember.
“My parents got me a magic kit when I was I was 6,” Cecil said. “I did tricks here and there and read books (on magic).”
Cecil, 40, dabbled in magic on and off but said he stopped when he was 30.
The Noblesville High School teacher’s love for performing magic was then reignited by a student.
“Three years ago, I had a student (Matt Lingren) in one of my classes who was doing some card tricks, and I sort of remembered some of the card tricks I do, and we started going back and forth,” Cecil said. “That got me hooked again. I went down the proverbial rabbit hole there into the world of magic.”
Cecil has performed professional, close-up card magic at private parties, corporate events, trade shows, restaurants and bars since September 2018.
Cecil will perform in two shows, “Josh Cecil & his 52 Closest Friends,” at 7 and 8:45 p.m. May 17 at Logan Street Sanctuary, 1274 Logan St., Noblesville.
“This is my first full-blown show,” he said.
Cecil has limited the audience to 52 per show, which is of course the number of cards in a deck.
“It’s close-up card magic. That is one of the reasons we are having such a small audience,” Cecil said.
The shows, designed for all ages, will be approximately 75 minutes.
“It’s not David Copperfield and big illusions,” Cecil said. “It’s right in front of your eyes, sometimes even in the spectator’s hand. There is a lot of audience involvement, intimate and, hopefully, amazing. I’m sort of obsessed with card magic and sleight of hand. I don’t care too much for the big illusions. I like things that are close-up and inexplicable. Card magic fits that.”
Cecil’s magic mentor, Tom Gagnon, lives in Kokomo.
“He’s one of the best sleight-of-hand artists in the world,” Cecil said. “Then, I met some other local magicians. I’ve been to some magic conventions. I went to MagiFest in Columbus (Ohio) back in January and learned tons of new tricks and moves. It was really an opportunity to meet other magicians. I actually met David Blaine while I was there.”
In his fifth year at NHS, Cecil teaches English, film literature and mass media.
Cecil sometimes performs tricks for his students. They can let him know what works with their reactions.
“Either with an audible, ‘ahh,’ or silence,” he said.
Cecil, 40, lives with his wife, Jami, and four young children in Noblesville.
“She tolerates my magic habit,” Cecil jokingly said of his wife.
Performing card tricks has become a nice form of additional income,
“Teachers don’t make a whole lot of money,” said Cecil, who grew up in Washington, Ind. “So, I’ve always had some kind of side gig. I feel fortunate that I can use it to help (supplement) some of that teacher income.”
Tickets are $10. To purchase, email Cecil@cecilmagic.com.