“Extraordinary” Magic at Purchase

Alejandro Torres playing with fire. Photo by Elliot Torres.

By William Garrity

Alejandro Torres’ love of magic was born in the holiday season. “I would go to this annual holiday party and every year they would have a different kids show magician,” Torres said. “It was the first time that I had seen magic live and it was so different than anything else I’d seen before—I was hooked.”

The senior arts management major has devoted his life to becoming a successful magician. For Torres, this looks like being able to share the ‘magical feeling’ he tries to capture in his shows with the audience.

This was a major element of his recent show, “Extraordinary.” The show, which Torres put on as his senior project, was the culmination of his time at Purchase. Torres collaborated with a team of other Purchase students in order to make his dream become a reality.

His desire to perfect both his craft, and the show experience, was infectious to the rest of the team. Tina Curcio, the director of “Extraordinary,” said that this passion was what made the work worth it for her. “Directing a magic show was like nothing I had ever imagined it would be,” she said. “There wasn’t a character to work with, it was Alejandro being Alejandro—that’s what made the experience so special.”

“Extraordinary” relied on a blend of theatrical and magical elements to create an enchanting experience for its audience. “Rehearsing for a magic show is a lot different than rehearsing for a play, which is what I am used to,” said Christina Quoka, “Extraordinary’s” Lady in Red and Torres’ assistant. “He’s not your typical magician, “ she continued. “He has a certain drama, a story he wants to tell.”

This blend comes from Torres’ high school theater experience. “Magic is kind of this cousin of theater,” he said.

“In theater, when the audience watches something on stage, they can suspend their disbelief,” he continued. “In a magic show, people are much more skeptical because you’re playing with the element of their reality.”

Now that Torres has completed “Extraordinary,” he is looking towards the future. “In 2016, there are so many magicians—it’s like, what are you doing to set yourself apart,” he said. “Figuring out what it is that makes people want me, why they want Alejandro specifically, is what’s next for me—it’s a long road ahead.”

His immediate goal is to get his website up and running, which will be his professional resume. But as for what comes after that, mum’s the word. “I’ve got a couple tricks up my sleeve,” he said with a wry smile. “People will have to wait and see what happens.”

 

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