He’s got tricks up his sleeve – Orange County Register

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He's got tricks up his sleeve – Orange County Register
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Anyone who has attended the Aquadettes’ Aqua Follies in the past five years will remember Jerry Langford, the emcee, who also happens to be a radio host, illusionist and mentalist.

“They invited me on their show because of my radio work and my voice,” Langford said in a recent interview, his voice deep and resonant. “It’s natural for me to speak on behalf of the Aquadettes.”

Langford is the morning host at KSDW Radio in San Diego and Riverside County and K-Wave in Orange County. “Radio opened the door for me to do magic because I’m also very creative,” he said.

To promote its radio broadcasts, Langford set up booths at concerts, conferences, beach events, and county fairs.

“I was standing in our booth and people were just walking by,” he said. “Then I thought of a creative way to stop them by doing close-range magic (card tricks, sleight of hand) and continued to expand my repertoire.”

He learned his trade in online magic shops, hanging out with other magicians, learning and exchanging new tricks and approaches on how to perform them.

“It started as a hobby and now it’s a bigger business than my radio job,” he said.

In addition to hosting the Aqua Follies, Langford performed magic shows in the village. His next is for Saddleback Church in Laguna Woods on Monday, November 14. It is for rent for other events in the village. Contact him at 949-292-2624 or [email protected] His website is jerrydoesmagic.com.

Langford, who can be described as an extrovert driven by high-octane creativity, was more than happy to show off some of the tricks up his sleeve at 19 Restaurant recently.

In a trick – more mentalism than sleight of hand – he handed patron Julie Dickman a roughly 600-page book (“The End of the Hunt,” by Thomas Flanagan).

“Flip through the pages at random, see that it’s a real book, no fakery,” he told her. Then he asked her to choose any word in the book, write it on a piece of paper and then crumple it up. Dickman watched Langford do her own writing, come up with the word “leader”—exactly the word she had chosen in the book.

In another tip, Langford asked this reporter a few questions about pets — before correctly guessing the name of the reporter’s Miniature Schnauzer mix.

“It’s actually more magical, more mentalistic,” he said. “It packs a bigger punch than shooting a dove out of thin air and requires no equipment.”

Langford begins his shows with stage magic to amplify the crowd, then circulates through the audience. He’s got enough stuff, he says, to do two or three shows without repeating any of them.

His audience includes people of all backgrounds and ages, from kids to seniors, and he tailors his material to keep them all captivated.

“I’ve played for groups of 50 to 200, 3,000 to 5,000 people altogether…I’ve lost count,” he said.

Venues are also varied – he’s performed at churches, synagogues, corporate events, bank openings, urban events in places like Fullerton and Laguna Niguel, from nightclub events to birthday parties. of children.

“I’m not shy about including corny jokes for families or events like the Aquadettes,” he says. “I like to let people smile and laugh and try to figure out how I did it.”

Early on in his magic, Langford traveled through California, he said, but found carrying gear proved an inconvenience.

“I do a lot of things with fire, and those materials couldn’t be airlifted, and it became too much of a challenge to get the equipment from one place to another intact,” he said. declared.

Nowadays, everything has to fit in your car. This change, he recalls, led him to perform more mentalistic demonstrations such as the book/word trick.

“Mentalism sounds simple and straightforward, but it has power,” he said.

Some of his most memorable shows are those he performed in Tanzania, where one of his daughters was once a social worker.

“When my wife and I visited her, (the girl) put on magic shows at a juvenile prison, a few schools, orphanages and even a village church. I was busy for two weeks,” said Langford said, “She knew I loved meeting and entertaining people, and she reminded everyone that (my) magic wasn’t sorcery but illusion. She told them in Swahili that the he illusion is an optical illusion.

Langford, 63, was not at the mansion but born magic, so to speak.

“I’ve led a pretty weird life. I drove limos and met celebrities and worked as a stand-up comedian,” he said. “I had left home at 16, and when you leave home at an early age, you have to survive.”

He got into the radio, news and talk business inspired by his grandfather, Ernest Bennett, an Associated Press photographer.

“My grandfather took me to the San Francisco Chronicle building where I got my love for the news,” he said, adding that he started his 30-year radio career in Texas and that he had moved back to California in the 1990s.

Langford developed an interest in magic while in his forties. He credits his happy marriage of 44 years to his wife supporting his many stints on the road and on stage, which have counted more than 100 shows this year alone.

“My shows are booked for January next year,” he said.

Father of one son and two daughters and grandfather of four children, he is also an avid poker and blackjack player. Playing poker two or three times a week and trying new magic tricks with his buddies has gotten him through the pandemic, he said.

“Magic is a device, a way to get people entertained, to make them laugh, to connect,” he said.

California Daily Newspapers

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