Magic entertains young folks during Fourth celebration
There wasn’t a dull moment near the judge’s stand on the Third of July—activities from hula hooping to stick horse racing kept the kids busy. To polish off the evening, Mike Prestby put on a breathtaking magic show that astonished young and old alike.
Prestby was asked by Blooming Prairie Chief of Police Greg Skillestad, who is also a skilled magician, to come up from Mason City, Iowa to do a show this past week. It was pretty much a no-brainer for him, as he is constantly traveling around Iowa, Minnesota, the Dakotas and even Jamaica to impress multitudes with his magic illusions.
Jaws dropped, and gasps could be heard in the crowd as Prestby pulled off tricks left and right. One act involved turning two doves into a rabbit, and another consisted of him pulling a $20 bill out of an un-cut lemon. Throughout the course of the show, he asked for several different volunteers to come up and be his assistant. Prestby commented that he is very passionate about what he does, and added, “If I make a kid—or anyone for that matter—smile, then I’ve done my job.”
At just 8 years old, Prestby’s love for magic ignited after receiving a kit for Christmas. He began practicing and taking weekly magic classes for 10 weeks. Despite the help he received along the way, most of everything he knows today was self-taught through reading books and watching videos. He has been doing magic on and off for almost 40 years now, and has made appearances at community festivals, fairs, libraries, birthday parties, schools, and company picnics. He has tricks up his sleeve geared towards all age groups from children to seniors.
Perhaps a highlight of Prestby’s magic career happened while he was taking a college algebra class. “My professor told us that we would be needing this math later in life,” Prestby recalls. “I didn’t like math, but I needed to pass the class, so I proposed an idea to the professor.”
He asked the professor whether he would let him pass if he was able to stump him with a magic trick. “He agreed to it, not expecting to be fooled,” Prestby said. He pulled off his trick, and the professor could not explain how he had done it.
“I ended up passing the class, and to this day I find magic to be more useful than the algebra I still haven’t used,” he chuckled.
In a few weeks, Prestby will be heading out to Las Vegas for the Big Magic Convention. He appoints Harry Blackstone Jr and Doug Henning as inspiration for what he’s enjoyed doing for the majority of his life, and for what brings smiles to those he performs for.