Temecula resident and longtime magician Rick Simmons has a very special person to thank for inspiring his love of magic.
“When I was a kid I was impressed with a man performing tricks at a magic shop in Disneyland. Since that time, I have been hooked,” said Simmons, adding that he has been performing magic tricks since he was 14 years old.
That man was comedian and magic man Steve Martin.
Since then, Simmons said he has worked hard to keep the art alive by passing down the tricks of the trade to area children.
“Magic is slowly dying.There are not as many of us (magicians) as there used to be. It is an art form that takes a lot of time and practice. If kids can catch the bug, then that’s just great,” Simmons said.
Simmons, who performs at parties and local events throughout the region, also takes time out to work privately with children who, as he did all those years ago, are intrigued by the notion of creating illusions.
“There are a lot of benefits for children (to learn magic tricks). It keeps them mentally active and grows the imagination,” Simmons said, adding that it also diverts kids’ attention from modern games and gadgets that do all the thinking for them.
Simmons plans to bring his illusionist act to a fundraising event on Nov. 30 at Wilson Creek Winery for a Temecula man who fractured his neck and spine in a motorbike accident last summer.
Simmons said that functions like the one on Nov. 30 for Jim Hermann and his family give him a chance to spread some good will, of the magical variety.
“It’s really great to be asked to be a part of a night like this. From the heart, it’s just an awesome feeling to be a part of helping others in this way,” Simmons said.
Simmons will join comedian Wille Barenca, and Hollywood’s The Magic Castle magicians Rob Zabrecky and Handsome Jack for a night of laughs and magic for a good cause.
To learn more, visit temeculacomedy.com.
Kerri S. Mabee can be reached at email@example.com. Follow me on Twitter @kerrimabee.