Magician Is Held Accountable for His Tricks

 The Great Bradini Works Numbers by Day, Creates Tailored Magic Shows at Night

Thomas Conner 11/03/1993

OWASSO – A quarter is supposed to disappear into a pay phone or a vending machine, not into thin air. If, however, one does vanish without a trace, chances are the great Bradini is in the room. Don’t panic. It’s liable to turn up on his elbow, or under the table, or – most likely – in your ear. Bradini knows how to make money vanish and appear. When he’s not cruising for illusion, he is crunching numbers as mild-mannered certified public accountant Brad Evans. “I can make those taxes disappear,” Evans said. “I’m still working on the IRS agents.” Even better for the kids, he can make Santa Claus appear. He’ll do just that at a special magic show here, 10 a.m., Dec. 4 in the Owasso Community Center, 301 S. Cedar. Tickets go on sale this week for the show. They are $3.50 in advance and will be $4 at the door. Those who bring a canned food donation save 50 cents. Bradini will perform a 45-minute magic show ending with an abbra-caddabbra and a ho-ho-ho. Santa Claus will appear and be available for kids to take pictures with him and tell him how good they have been. This is typical of the great Bradini. He said he tries to differ his approach by trying theme shows. “I have several acts in the traditional tuxedo for adults, but I go to a lot of kids’ parties with different shows,” Evans said. He’s got an “Alad’n Magic Genie” show, a “Magic Ninja Turtles” show, a purple dinosaur show and a clown magic show. “I spend a lot of money on each act, but I make it up in the number of shows I can do,” he said. “I do more shows because I can tailor them to each audience.” If nothing else, Evans is an entertainer. “You have to be. That’s the whole point,” he said. “Anyone can go buy some tricks and call themselves a magician, but there’s a difference between just doing magic and entertaining a group of people.” It takes a little showmanship, he said. And he always draws a crowd. “I have to be careful not to take over a party or something when my wife and I are out socializing,” he said. Evans takes magic with him everywhere. Last week he was in Florida for a tax conference, and he couldn’t resist. “Well, how exciting do you think a tax conference is going to be? We were milling around one afternoon in the hotel and I had some of my sponge balls and I was making them appear and disappear. Before I knew it, there was a huge crowd of people around me.” Besides being the life of his own parties, Bradini is the life of birthday parties, company picnics, holiday get-togethers and more. Magic is suited naturally for parties, he said, because it involves the audience and entertains. “For those parents that look at each other before the kid’s birthday party and ask, ‘What are we going to do with 23 kids for two hours?’ magic is a great solution,” Evans said. Kids are his toughest audience, too, he said. “Kids love to catch the magician,” he said. So he plays to their investigative skills. For instance, he’s got a bouquet of budding flowers that he shows to the kids. He tells the kids to watch the flowers and tell him if they start blooming. He then turns his back to prepare another trick. The flowers slowly start blooming, and the kids shriek. When Bradini turns around, the blooms close. “They’re not blooming!” he says and goes back to his work. They continue to bloom, and he continues to miss it, and the kids are baffled into hysterics. Evans remembers the childhood charm of magic. He’s been practicing magic tricks since he began school. When he was 6, Evans asked his parents for a magic kit for Christmas. Soon after, he was saving his allowance for each trip to one of Tulsa’s magic shops and dragging his parents into his room to witness his latest feat. He had to make a living, though, so he studied accounting in school and established his career. “I wasn’t interested in touring or trying to do magic full-time,” he said. “I’ve got a wife and a 4-year-old daughter, and another one on the way. I didn’t want to live that life away from them so much.” Bradini is quite happy tooling around town in his Bradini van, entertaining kids and corporations, and hobnobbing with other local magicians. Evans is currently vice president and past president of the Fellowship of Christian Magicians. He’s also a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians. “The clubs are a great way to meet other magicians and exchange ideas and tricks,” he said. But no matter how fascinating the tricks may be, don’t ask him how he does them. “Can you keep a secret?” he’ll ask. When you nod earnestly, he’ll say, “So can I.” The great Bradini can be summoned by calling 272-1651.