PLEASANTON — After blowing up a red balloon, magician Frank Thurston holds it in front of a crowd that in unison says abracadabra.
The balloon then pops to make way for a dove that appears from nowhere. The audience of more than 30 onlookers is stunned in silence — a moment Thurston, 40, lives for.
Magic is an art form that really captures the sense of wonderment — seeing something that defies logic, he said. It takes you back to when you were a child, and I love it.
Thurston, who has been performing family comedy magic for 22 years, is back at the Alameda County Fair after a three-year break.
He grew up around magic in Bakersfield, where his uncle George owned a magic store next to his grandmothers house.
Every time I visited my grandmother, Id give her a kiss on the cheek and just go straight to the shop, he said. Performing magic has always been a hobby of mine.
Armed with the experience of trial and error and a few tricks he picked up from readingmagic books, Thurston was ready for his first performance at a talent show while in high school.
After that, the bug bit me and it was over. I knew this is what I had to do, Thurston said.
He later would venture off into doing shows at the library and birthday parties — eventually becoming the king of the birthday party circuit in Bakersfield.
Fred Ericksen for MagicZoom