David Parker of Ladson, SC and president of The Greater Charleston Magic Club, was honored with the “Magician of the Year for South Carolina 2006” on January 14, 2006 at the International Gala Show hosted by the South Carolina Association of Magicians in Columbia, SC. The South Carolina Association of Magicians awards this honor to those they believe best advance the art of magic in a positive direction.
David Parker, whose full time job has been as a local truck driver within the South Carolina State Ports, says he is honored to receive this award from his peers and is humbled to have his name associated with some of the past winners. Past winners of this honor include: Tim Sonifelt from Greer, SC, Mick Ayres form Hilton Head, SC, John Tudor from Columbia, SC, David Tanner and Ron Conley from Myrtle Beach, SC.
Each of the past winners of the award had made their mark in the field of magic. Tim Sonifelt was the first person to receive the “Magician of the Year” award. He is a full time magician who performs throughout the southeast for churches, libraries and corporations. Mick Ayres is an all around entertainer. A full time magician, storyteller and musician working for the Disney Corporation in Hilton Head, SC. John Tudor the founder of the South Carolina Association of Magicians and the first magician ever to be listed as an approved artist with the SC Arts Commission is a full time magician performing for schools and corporate clients though out of United States. Ron Conley, owner of Conley’s House of Magic, who has been performing his “Drugs, Strangers and Other Dangers Show” in over 300 schools in North Carolina and South Carolina has won over thirty three trophies in both close-up and stage. David Tanner, owner of Broadway Magic, has performed all over the United States and over 20 countries around the world. David is an avid collector of magic memorabilia. His collection includes rare items such as the handcuffs and keys once used by the great Harry Houdini.
David Parker, the newest member to receive this honor is the first magician in the history of the award to receive it as an amateur close-up magician and also the first winner from the Charleston, SC area. David says, “I’m proud I can bring this award to “The Holy City” for the first time and hope Charleston, SC will become a focal point for magic along the east coast. The Spoleto festival is a great annual event for the arts and I hope to inspire magicians around South Carolina to come together to add their performing skills to this event. Currently I’m working with the local society of magicians in Charleston to produce a show for this annual event, and we have directors from all over the state committing their time and resources to help turn this dream into a reality.”
When asked about the art that is his passion David says, “Our art form is a strange blend of entertaining, inspiring wonder and keeping secrets. For me it’s under the watchful eyes of people only a few feet away. Challenging their senses of what is real and what is possible. It’s a great deal of fun as we share a mystery, some laughter, and build a common connection with brief moments where all is possible and all the worries of the day are melted away and forgotten.”
David Parker born in Portsmouth, Va. and now father of three children has been performing magic since the age of ten when his Aunt Sissy gave him a magic kit full of the wonders of the universe, or so it seemed for a boy of ten. “I remember my family and their friends being totally amazed from the tricks I did for them. This gave me a sense of empowerment for the first time in my life, I knew something they didn’t and I held the secrets. Here I was a sickly kid with asthma so bad that I almost died a few times from severe attacks and now adults were flocking around me to see my newest mystery. It was a great feeling. As important as that first magic kit was as a child, it was when I read a book from the school library about Harry Houdini that started my non-stop reading frenzy about the history of magic and the performers, I was hooked. My Grandfather also fueled my passion by teaching me some great close-up magic and later at around fifteen a meeting with my Uncle who was a true phantom of the card table. He made his sole living by traveling across the United Stated playing poker at high stake games. He showed some of the secrets from the underground world of gambling. Today at 83 he still talks about the old days of poker and the methods he used to remove the “fish” from their money. I’m amazed I’m still studying and learning how to perfect my art some thirty-six later, that’s how great and diverse the art of magic is.”
David has been taught by some of the best close-up magicians in the world. “I can not recall how many professional magicians I’ve learned from, it’s been too many to list. This year I received instruction from Tony Griffith from England in an all day master class in Columbia. “Tony is a true professional, a total gentleman and a master of our art. Discussing close-up magic with him was a pleasure and we plan to stay in touch, which is a great honor to me.”
Now that the convention in Columbia is over and the excitement has settled down a bit what’s next for South Carolina’s Magician of the Year? “I plan to continue to perform for local charities as I have done in the past and to promote the society of magicians here in the Charleston area. We have some big goals, which include holding a magic convention here in Charleston, forming a magic club for kids from ten to seventeen and advancing the art with instructional classes. As for myself I’ve started an entertainment agency geared to the hospitably and restaurants businesses here in Charleston to provide quality entertainment with some of the finest magicians within the state. I want to help more people see and experience our art of astonishment and recall how it feels to once again see the world though the eyes of a child there everything is magical.”
For information about The Greater Charleston Magic Club and to contact David Parker, check our web site at http://magic.meetup.com/17/ or call him directly at