Magically entertaining: Louie Foxx wows crowds at the Grant County Fair

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Richard Byrd/Columbia Basin Herald Louie Foxx, left, performs a trick involving a whip with a brave volunteer from the crowd.

MOSES LAKE — What is magic? Is magic a simple trick or illusion? Or is it something more? During magician/entertainer Louie Foxx’s Thursday afternoon show at the Grant County Fair it became clear that yes there was magic being performed, but the amazement and awe that filled the crowd was just as magical as the illusions on the stage.

Foxx, who grew up in Minnesota and now lives in Seattle, became interested in magic at a young age after seeing a magic show at school.

“My mom brought me to the library and we got a book, she helped me read and that is kind of how I got started,” he recalls. “I started out being kind of a card trick guy. So all my influences are all probably weird, obscure magicians that people have never heard of.”

Foxx’s first shows came in high school and were performed on the streets with complete strangers.

“I am still convinced that most of the money I got was because I was a 15-year-old kid, rather than being good,” he joked.

Foxx recalls his first paid gig also being one of his worst. The gig was in a bowling alley and entailed the young magician going from bowling lane to bowling lane performing magic to a bunch of people, “who really only wanted to bowl and drink beer.”

After he moved to Seattle in 1996 the gigs started to stack up and recognition of his talent started to build. So far Foxx has been named the Best Stage Magician and Best Close-up Magician in Minnesota by the Society of American Magicians in 1996, been featured twice in the Linking Ring magazine, which goes out to the 13,000 members of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, written several books about magic tricks, become a two-time Guinness World Record holder, appeared in a nationally syndicated television show and appeared on NBC’s America’s Got Talent (AGT).

Although he didn’t take home the grand prize, Foxx’s AGT experience was a positive one and exposed his talent to a nationwide audience on one of the biggest shows on television.

“It was a lot of fun. I went in to have a good time and did. I’m not an act that would win though, just because I’m a longer format,” he explained.

Foxx likens his stage persona and overall act to a singer-songwriter. Every trick in his show Foxx has invented and made completely his own, which is a true rarity in the world of professional magicians. Another rarity that makes Foxx’s shows unique? During a lot of his performances he takes the stage with his daughter, who, more often than not, tends to steal the show.

“She’s in the show and usually at the end of the show kids don’t care about me, because my daughter is just so funny in the show.”

Richard Byrd can be reached via email at city@columbiabasinherald.com.

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