Mark Doetsch says he used to be shy.
You would never know that watching him work a room like he does every Friday night at Gators Wing Shack in Palatine. Weaving his tabletop magic, with his mechanical monkey by his side applauding each trick, he dazzles and entertains patrons.
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The Island Lake resident claims magic has really brought him out of his shell.
"You know the one thing about it, I'm a real shy person, or I used to be, and the magic changed my life," Doetsch said. "I'm not kidding, because I can really get into it and really have fun with it; it's been a real benefit for me."
Doetsch said the more experience he gains performing for people, the easier it gets and he's able to just roll with it and have fun.
"I like to roll with things, I like to come up with funny lines based on what they say, different things for different crowds."
Doetsch says he always enjoyed magic as a child, and his interest in magic continued to grow over the years.
He started buying more advanced versions of tricks to keep people amazed, but it wasn't until he saw a video on card tricks called "Easy to Master Card Miracles" that he decided to really give it a try regularly for an audience. Now, he performs on a regular basis and runs a magic club every month.
"Cards is what I do, there's a lot of people out there that would say cards are boring, and I would come back and say it's what you do with them," Doetsch said.
Now that he's comfortable in front of a crowd, he can also relax and enjoy the reactions he gets from patrons.
"Half of it is the magic, the other half is the presentation. That's a lot of fun for me, to watch their faces when I do a trick and they're amazed and laughing at the same time, that is very cool, very rewarding," he said.