Childhood illness led to Webster man’s career as magician
77彩票网appFor professional magician Robby Bennett, who will perform Jan. 11-12 at Bay Area Harbour Playhouse in Dickinson, the two years that an illness kept him home from Ed H. White Elementary School turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
“I dusted off an old magic kit and learned some tricks,” said the Webster resident, 31. “The first trick I learned was how to cut a piece of string and restore it. After that, I never had any trouble with shoelaces, either.”
Bennett scoured magic books for more tricks until he became quite accomplished at magic even though he often was being bedridden during his illness. “It was all trouble stemming from undiscovered food allergies,” he said.
For many of his fellow students, those two years were a case of now you see him, now you don’t until Bennett reappeared to enroll at Seabrook Intermediate School.
77彩票网app“In football, I was only good for modeling the uniform and welcoming the other team into the end zone,” he said. “I wasn’t into other sports; so I got out the phone directory and started calling places to see if they would hire me to do a magic show. I was ‘cold-calling’ before I even knew what cold-calling was.”
First magic gig at age 12
Want to go?
What: “Anomaly,” a magic show with Robby Bennett
Where: Bay Area Harbour Playhouse, 3803 Highway 3, in Dickinson
When: 8 p.m. Jan. 11, 2:30 p.m. Jan. 12
Information: 281-337-7469; . Tickets may be secured through TicketLeap.com.
77彩票网appThe first to bite with a paying gig was a Montessori school in Clear Lake.
“I got paid $75, which was great for a 12-year-old,” said Bennett. “By the time I got home, there was a voicemail asking me to come back.”
At 13, Bennett performed at an event at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.
He also entertained at parties for General Electric and the Texas Home Builders Association.
In a junior high talent show, said Bennett, “I put 23 swords through one of my science teachers, and I pulled out a girl’s middle section. I cut her into thirds because halves were too easy.”
Another Seabrook Intermediate teacher, Chris Lowe, arranged for Bennett to perform this month’s shows at BAHP, where Lowe often acts and directs.
“Proceeds will go to the theater,” said Bennett, who is married to the former Ellen Jannick. They are graduates of Clear Lake High School.
Bennett calls the show “Anomaly,” and it’s a reimagining of a program he toured nationally with, including a performance at Houston’s Wortham Theater Center in December 2018.
“It is an accumulation of everything I’ve been wanting to do since I was young,” he said. “I’m putting all of it in one show.”
The magician’s assistant in “Anomaly” is Kayla Ashton of League City, who has performed and danced in shows with Bennett for two years.
77彩票网appThe tale of how Bennett learned magic while sick at home as a youngster “is wrapped into one of the closing pieces of ‘Anomaly,’” he said.
77彩票网app“Robby uses magic mingled with storytelling to entertain,” BAHP spokesperson Ann Leeman said.
77彩票网appThe theater’s owner, Bennie Nipper, “wanted to use regular prices so more people could come,” added Leeman. “We are hoping for a full house.”
Don Maines is a freelance writer who can be contacted at email@example.com