Magician David Caserta spooks up the Superstar Theater
David Caserta is the kind of guy who can walk through solid sheets of steel, make people vanish into thin air and even conjure up some spooky spirits for his Halloween magic show Haunted Illusions.
But there is one trick he’s never been able to pull of — bring his show to Atlantic City. That is until now, as Caserta, 34, will present his Haunted Illusions at Resorts Saturday, Oct. 24.
“It’s really a dream come true for me,” he says in a telephone interview with Atlantic City Weekly. “When I was growing up [in Allentown, Pa.] and in school, I would always make it a point to see the magic shows in A.C. If David Copperfield or someone was playing, I’d get my friends together and we’d get a bus, or maybe just hop into a buddy’s car and we’d make a trip of it.
“I’ve been to the city so many times and seen so many great illusionists,” he says. “To be up there now doing a show in Atlantic City — like I said, it’s been my dream.”
Caserta’s magic show (reasonably priced at $20) touches on some of the classic staple of magicians. He levitates people, makes volunteers from the audience disappear into thin air and even does the old spike through the head in a cabinet trick. But for Haunted Illusions, Caserta is bringing a specially-themed bag of tricks.
“Some of what I do is classic, but I always try to do something a little different, something you haven’t seen before on stage,” he says. “People may see things on TV, but on stage you can do it a different way and make them look at it like they’ve never looked at it before.”
“I always try to come up with new illusions in that way,” he says. “There are several new illusions in this show. In fact we’re using a brand new illusion in Atlantic City. Basically it’s a sheet of steel, and we bang on it and show its solid. Then I basically pass through it. It’s something people don’t see very often.”
And, unlike most magic shows, this one is timed for the Halloween season. There will be ghosts flying around and a cemetery stage and even a little spirit channeling.
“Basically we’re going to try to contact a spirit — Walter is his name — who inhabits the theater,” Caserta says. “We’re going to try and talk to him.”
Still, Caserta promises that nothing he does will be too intense for young audiences.
“That’s very important to me,” he says. “My shows are family friendly. There is a lot of comedy in the show and nothing too scary for kids. Kids always love magic, but the show is also designed for couples and adults. I’m really trying to put on a night’s entertainment for all ages.”
It’s not much of a stretch for Caserta, who himself traces his love of magic and illusion to when he was six years old. “I think I saw a magician at a birthday party and it just had an amazing affect on me,” he says. “From that day on every Christmas and birthday I’d ask for a magic kit. My parents would be like, ‘But is there anything else you want?’ But I just wanted the magic kit.”
By 11, he was doing shows in front of audiences. By 20 he was cutting his magic teeth by touring amusement and theme parks around the country.
Even while attending Allentown’s Muhlenberg College, Caserta was preparing for a career in theater arts, studying acting, production, lighting, sound design and even taking a few business classes to help him market and represent himself. In many ways, Caserta presents a true one-man operation, as he does his own sound and lighting work.
“In one way by doing all my own sound and lighting and so on, I know that what I’m doing is really mine,” he says. “They’re my illusions. By the same token, I kind of wish I could take some of the pressure off myself by trusting some of this to someone else. But for now it’s all me.”
And that magic touch finally gets to be seen in Atlantic City.
“I’ve really come full circle,” Caserta says.
Where: Resorts Superstar Theater
When: Saturday, Oct. 24, 8pm
How Much: $20
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