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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

Poof! Magician plans for area appearances

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Justin Chandler, an illusionist, performs a trick at a recent birthday party in Sikeston. Chandler, of Martin, Tenn., is expanding his public, private and fundraising performances to include the area.
(Submitted Photo)
SIKESTON -- When it came to planning a birthday party for her 4-year-old daughter Macy earlier this year, Amanda Ulmer of Sikeston knew that she wanted something different.

She had always been fascinated by magicians. And in an online search, she found Justin Chandler, based out of Martin, Tenn. -- which she thought would be perfect.

"It took me awhile to find it -- he is one of very few in the area," said Ulmer. "And it was amazing."

The party went over so well, one of her friends also booked Chandler for a birthday party. And in the process, Ulmer got to be good friends with Chandler and his girlfriend. In addition to encouraging other parents to hire Chandler for private parties, she is now working to get out the word about the illusionist in the Sikeston area.

"The big part of what I do is the big illusion shows, which includes assistants and animals -- something similar to what you would see David Copperfield or someone like that do," he said.

He also does fundraiser shows, where organizations make up to half of the proceeds, minus some costs for advertising and other promotional materials.

"If I'm going to do a show, I can just do it, or I can do it and help out another organization that needs some help," said Chandler. "I've been a part of some of those organizations and I know that sometimes they get neglected, because the money just isn't in the budget."

Aside from the illusion shows, Chandler also pairs magic with motivation, in programs he offers for schools. "I had a rough way of growing up and a challenging childhood," said Chandler. But, he pointed out, despite those hardships, he's achieved everything he has set his mind to, and stayed away from drugs and other harmful influences.

"I feel a need to share my positive outlook on life with others," he said. "A lot of days, kids just hear the negative and what they can't do."

Although nothing is set in stone yet, Chandler said plans are in the works for a Sikeston show open to the public. And Ulmer said she plans to make a presentation next month for the Kindergarten Center PTO to have Chandler come in and do a magic show as a fundraiser -- an idea that has already received positive comments from some other parents.

Chandler said that, from the private shows he has done in Sikeston, he has gotten quite a bit of praise." And they really appreciate the entertainment aspect of what I do," he said.

That reaction, in addition to a parent considering a move to Sikeston, is why he wants to perform and develop a fan base in the area..

Ulmer compared Chandler to the likes of David Copperfield. "(Chandler) has done some illusions that David Copperfield had done -- things I've only seen on TV before," said Ulmer. In the shows she has seen, Houdini illusions also performed by Chandler.

To be like Copperfield is one of the reasons Chandler got involved in magic.

"Like every little kid, when I was 5, I saw a magic show on TV and said 'I want to do that,'" he said. "Most little kids forget about that, but I didn't."

Chander admitted that he knows there are skeptics, who view magicians as people trying to fool or trick others.

"But not me -- I don't claim to have magical powers," said Chandler. Instead, he wants the shows to be an escape from the ordinary.

"I want people to forget about the stuff that everyone worries about every day," he said. "Just come out, have fun and enjoy yourself."

Ulmer agreed.

"It won't hurt to try it, and once you do, you'll be amazed," she said. "You'll be in line for the next show."

For more on Chandler and the programs he offers, go to www.chandlermagic.com and www.themagictomotivate.com. Anyone interested in shows or bookings in the Sikeston area can also contact Ulmer at 620-0787.