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Get Out Your Wands

Tricky Business won’t be

disappearing anytime soon

John Reid, owner of Tricky Business, is holding five folded dollar bills in his hand.

“Watch the bills closely,” he says.

He suddenly flips the bills over, and they’re all hundreds. He counts them, folds them, flips them over again and they’re singles again.

“Don’t worry, you’re not going crazy,” he says with a smile.

For the past 30 years, Reid been doing magic tricks, captivating crowds of all ages with card tricks, disappearing acts, illusions and more. His East Meadow store, Tricky Business, is a magic emporium, where magic lovers can come buy tricks as well as learn new skills.

Though nowadays, he performs around the world, Reid’s beginning years in magic were spent doing tricks in his room by himself. Reid was seven years old when he got a Fischer Price magic set from his grandmother for Christmas. He loved doing magic tricks, but as an introvert, was self-conscious about performing.

“I would do tricks, but never show anyone what I was doing,” he said.

Through his teen years, he continued to foster his love of magic, but never did tricks for an audience. After graduating from Holy Trinity High School, he went to the New York Institute of Technology to study architecture, and one day was in the cafeteria doing a card trick for a friend, who asked Reid to perform at his nephew’s birthday party. At the party, someone else asked Reid if he would do another event. Suddenly, Reid found himself making his hobby a side job and realized he could make it a living.

Making a full time career out of doing magic tricks seemed impossible but Reid said he didn’t allow himself another option.

“Everyone says you should have a backup plan, but if you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else?” Reid said.  

He opened his first shop in East Northport in 2003, before moving to a location in Hicksville, and then to East Meadow, which is where he’s been for the past three years. His store, located at 2590 Hempstead Turnpike, looks unassuming from the outside, but inside, is a magician’s paradise. Perfect for magicians of all skill levels, Tricky Business sells kits, tricks, props, and of course, plenty of playing card decks. The space also has a classroom in the back, where the shop regularly hosts magic classes and lectures.

Reid says that most magicians are introverts and that he enjoys helping kids get out of their homes and into a more social environment where he can teach them new skills and tricks.  

“The store is a place where I can get younger kids who are interested in magic into a real social environment and help them through their tricks and posture,” Reid said. “It’s a way for me to give back. The more I help a kid, the more it helps me in the end.

For many, the appeal of magic is the power it can have, letting people into an exclusive club of knowing the secrets behind a trick. For Reid, it was the psychology of the art that fascinated him.

“I thought it was interesting how a magician could make a person think one thing, while the reality was something else,” Reid says.

Reid is also a skilled “balloon twister.” But Reid’s creations aren’t just your regular dogs, swords and crowns. His life size balloon creations include recreations of the DeLorean from Back to the Future, a 22 foot ship for Disney Cruises, and dresses. Him and the other six balloon twisters at Tricky Business, can also be seen making balloon creations in restaurants in Hicksville, Carle Place and East Meadow.  

Reid has traveled all over the world, entertaining international audiences with his magic. He’s performed at the White House’s July Fourth celebrations the past five years, has been on Martha Stewart’s show and done birthday parties for the children of celebrities. But at the end of the day, the thing he loves most about magic is how happy it makes people.

“I get to make people smile for a living. I wake up in the morning and my goal is to make the world a happier place,” Reid said. “When I do a trick or make a balloon animal for a kid and see that look in their eyes, it’s the greatest feeling in the world.”

For more information, or to book Tricky Business to perform at your next event, visit www.trickybiz.com.

News

Due to what appears to be a colossal error on the part of the Nassau County Assessor’s office, or perhaps an errant interpretation of state law, more than 600 military veterans and Gold Star families in Hicksville will have to wait for their tax break until next year.

Hicksville is one of several local school districts that recently approved resolutions extending the exemption to local veterans, even though budgets and Albany’s tax cap make it a tough choice. On Feb. 26, with a contingency of veterans in the audience, the board voted to provide a school tax exemption for veterans living in the district, starting with the 2014-15 school year.

You’d expect volleyball, football and running the mile in gym class, but what about juggling, plate spinning, or riding a unicycle? For the past 30 years, The National Circus Project has been challenging typical notions of gym class by bringing skilled, trained circus artists into schools for performances and week-long workshops.

Every year, the Westbury based nonprofit goes into approximately 350 public and private schools all over the northeast, including a previous visit to Dutch Lane School in Hicksville. Teams of expert circus artists will come into a physical education class for either a day or week-long workshop. Students get a front row seat to a performance by some of the best in the business, as well as hands on experience with traditional circus skills such as juggling, wire walking or acrobatics. Students in the week-long workshop get to perfect a specific skill and show it off during a show at the end of the week for family members.


Sports

Cantiague Park Senior Men’s Golf League had its first tournament on Thursday April 4. Twenty golfers came out on on a crisp but sunny morning. Charlie Hong was the only man to score under a 40, with a 38 and won for low overall score. Jim O’ Brien  scored a 41, and won low overall net in a tie-breaker with Mike Guerriero.

Competition on the nine-hole course is divided into two divisions. Flight A is for players with a handicap of 13 or lower. Flight B is for players with a handicap of 14 or more. The league is a 100 percent handicap league. Any man 55 years or older is eligible for membership. We have many openings for this year, and you can sign up anytime throughout the the season.

This November, Hicksville resident Marlo Signoracci will head to Florida for Ironman, a demanding, long-distance triathlon that includes biking, running and swimming. Here, she shares her story as she prepares for one of the most physically challenging athletic events out there.

Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you. They are supposed to help you discover who you are.


Calendar

American Legion Meeting

April 21

HS Theater in the Round

April 24-26

Science Fair

April 26



Columns

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

Sustainable LI: Getting Good Things Done
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

LI’s ‘Most Prominent Lady In Politics’
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com