Monday, February 08, 2016
HOODLINE SAN FRANCISCO -- Cagigal started practicing magic at age 11 — “I was the pipsqueak with glasses”—and was a devotee of Harry Anderson, Penn and Teller, early David Copperfield. “Things came out of their souls,” he says. He’s a trained actor — he has a B.A. in theatre arts from San Francisco State, has performed with the San Francisco Mime Troupe — and brings those dramatic skills with him as a magician; he has a low-key performing persona and establishes a gently teasing, apparently guileless relationship with the audience. In a way, it’s the opposite of acting, which, he points out, is about being open, honest and present in the moment, not hiding. Magic, on the other hand, is “deceit for your entertainment pleasure — the illusion of honesty.” The tricks are easy, he says; it’s establishing the connection with the audience, and especially inviting volunteers onstage, that’s the most challenging, and that leaves him most vulnerable.