Sophomore Davis West has been a magician for eight years. From simple tricks like vanishing a quarter to complex illusions with props, West can do it all in the world of magic.
“I had liked [magic] for a while, but I really got into it when I was seven or eight. I remember seeing a performer at Disney World, and that’s when I really became interested,” said West.
West’s brother Spencer West, a Godwin Alumni, also started magic at a young age.
Together they learned basic tricks, but as they got older, his brother stopped while Davis continued on.
“My brother was more interested at first. Then, I wanted to try it too,” said West.
The first trick West learned was putting a quarter through a can. From there, he started to do card tricks, and eventually, he began using props for more extravagant acts.
When he was younger, most of his tricks were learned through the internet with Youtube videos.
Sometime in elementary school, West’s brother found a magic shop in downtown Richmond called Divine Magic and Novelties.
West goes to the shop to get props for his different acts.
When West started going to the shop, he met the owner, Hun Wu. As West progressed, he showed Wu some of his tricks, and Wu gave him tips to help him out. They continue to collaborate in the same manner, today.
Another way West improves is meeting with a group called IBM, International Brotherhood of Magicians, Ring 180.
At the meetings they show each other tricks and help each other improve. The meetings are once a month.
As West has improved at magic, he has started performing for more than just family and friends.
He performed at the Variety Show earlier in the year, and has featured some of his magic while competing in the Mr. MG pageant.
Occasionally, he performs at parties and gets paid, but not often.
“I primarily tend to adults,” said West, “not as much kids or kid parties.”
But most of the time, he just performs in front of different people at school.
“People know me as the ‘magic guy’, so a lot of the time, people will ask me to do tricks at school,” said West.
When people ask him to do a trick, he does not always have props with him.
One of West’s goals is to be able to do a magic trick at any time, even if he may not have magic related props.
“I want to challenge myself to be able to do any trick without just cards” said West.
Now, he has learned tricks using smartphones and other daily items.
Later in life, West would like to have a future in magic. If possible, West would like to be a professional magician.
“I would love to possibly make a living with it, just as long as I can do it,” said West.