Wandering magic man

Dean Waters

Photo by vic cantu

Dean Waters eats and breathes magic. The 26-year-old husband, father and entrepreneur has been a professional magician since his teens. You can find him doing tricks for diners between bartending at Applebees, and he'll soon be a bartending magician at Buffalo Wild Wings, which is planning its grand opening for Aug. 9 in the North Valley Plaza. On weekends, he performs for gatherings such as birthdays, graduations or charity events, and even gives magic lessons. Call Dean at 518-0222 or email him at dwatersmagic@gmail.com.

What is your main job?

I bartend two to three days a week, and do magic three to five days a week, depending on my bookings. I bartend at Applebees, and I'm their “strolling magician” during dinner hours, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Chico on Wednesdays, and in Red Bluff on Tuesdays. I wander around doing magic for virtually everyone, using props like cups and balls, cards, coins and rope tricks. I was also the bartending magician at The Pour House until I couldn't fit them into my schedule.

How long have you been a ‘strolling magician’?

I've been doing it in Chico for a couple of years, but I started it seven or eight years ago when I began my professional magic career at a restaurant in Savannah, Ga. Back then I was mostly busking, or doing street magic on River Street, which is a big Savannah tourist spot.

How do customers react to your magic?

A little bit of everything. Some nod, laugh or smile, and some freak out and scream, or even run across the room. That's part of the fun. I get paid for boosting Applebees' business, plus I get tips and hand out business cards for private shows.

At which types of private parties do you perform?

All kinds of parties, and some charities, like the homeless youth program downtown in October. The past year has been a whirlwind of magic bookings!

I heard you tried out for America’s Got Talent TV show.

Yes, earlier this year I made it past the “producer's round” of auditions, but didn't make the show. I'll try again in a few months, and this time I'll have a better, hard-hitting routine.

Do you also teach magic?

Yes, I'm a consultant to other magicians, and give private or group instruction to anyone who's serious. I love doing it because the art can't progress unless other people are learning it.

What are your future plans?

I'm making a two-DVD set called Bread and Butter on how to do magic for money. Someday I'd also like to make the Golden Gate Bridge disappear.

What tips do you have for aspiring magicians?

Avoid YouTube videos, since they're usually bad teachers. It's not about learning the secret, but how you perform it. The best books are The Expert at the Card Table by S.W. Erdnase and The Tarbell Course in Magic by Harlan Tarbell. Find a private instructor, like me, or attend a reputable magic camp, which are like summer camps, but for teaching magic.