Senior uses his magic touch to amaze audiences


Zachary Miller

Lauren and Danielle, two guests who attended the Special Needs Prom at JC, watch as senior Steven Kutcher performs a card trick before the dance begins on March 26. Since August, Kutcher has developed a passion for performing magic tricks and has performed on several different stages such as the Variety Show and at birthday parties.

As senior Steven Kutcher walks down the hallway, he repeatedly shuffles a deck of cards in his hands. A group of students call him over and ask him to do a magic trick. He instructs them to watch closely as he shows them a card displaying the two of diamonds. With the snap of his fingers, Kutcher is now holding a queen in his hand. He performs the same motion again and the two of diamonds is back in his hand.

Since August, Kutcher has been actively pursuing his passion of performing magic and decided to incorporate it into his Senior Project. When he first started to learn tricks, he would watch YouTube videos and try to teach himself. Shortly after learning how to perform his first trick, which was pulling cards out of his mouth, he started to develop his skills with the help of a mentor. “There’s a magic shop down in Essex that’s run by a guy named Denny. He’s a professional magician who’s retired, and he kind of mentors youngsters like me,” he said.

Having a mentor and being able to communicate with veteran magicians through the magic shop has helped Kutcher learn new magic tricks. “If you asked one of them about [a trick], they’ll take you to the stage and … they’ll show you how it’s done or tell you what the words mean,” Kutcher said. “They teach you stuff that they know, [and] they give you tips because they’ve all performed their entire lives, so that’s really helpful.”

When beginning his magic career, his mentor suggested to add comedy into his performances to help manage his social skills and help him have a better stage presence. “I couldn’t think of anyone goofier than Arri [Stakias]. He approached me and loved the magic part, so I taught him some tricks,” Kutcher said.

Since then, Kutcher and Stakias have performed on a variety of stages including the Variety Show, offices, birthday parties, a mall in Pottsville, PA, and even planned their own magic show at JC. The Variety Show was a milestone for the duo and was their first big performance.

“Every single trick that we did in the Variety Show, we still use in our shows no matter what. We realized that we can change Arri into a dress, which is hilarious,” Kutcher said. “We actually upgraded – now, we put him from normal clothes to a suit and then a dress, so that’s fun.”

According to Kutcher, magic tricks are much more difficult than they seem and oftentimes take five to six months to learn new tricks. “If you don’t touch a deck of cards every day, you’re going to lose the skill. It goes away very quickly,” he said. “That’s why I always walk around with cards, especially because there are a bunch of tricks that if you don’t do for a while, it’s going to seem as if you’ve never learned it before.”

When Kutcher first began to learn magic tricks, he wanted to see if he could amaze several age groups. However, he realized that his favorite audience to perform for is children because it is more rewarding and they appreciate the magic more. “[The children are] insanely cute…and they sort of believe in the magic [since] they don’t see it as a trick,” he said. “My favorite is doing balloon animals with them at the end because that is their favorite.”

Kutcher plans to continue performing shows with Stakias since the two of them are attending community college next year. “The only problem would be that if Arri wasn’t available, I would have to do a solo show, which I have no idea how I would even begin to prepare for that,” he said.

Although Kutcher loves doing magic, he does not want to pursue a long-term career and rely on performing at birthday parties for the rest of his life. “I definitely hope that it’s a skill that sticks with me forever – you know something that when I get old, I’ll still be really good at. I definitely still want to do shows, but not as my main job,” he said.

Caroline Cooney is the Editor in Chief of The Patriot and