David Harris / #next364 #rednose

David Harris Disney

Disney Photo 1992©

When I was preparing for this series of blog posts about my time at Disney I did a double take at the name David Harris, who I had cast as a street magician. This is not David Harris the magician from my hometown of Minneapolis; this the David Harris I directed in 1992, and is originally from Mechanicsville, Virginia.   I’m sure David Harris the magician from Minneapolis is shaking his head reading this and thinking, not another David Harris in the business. We actually have two performers named David Harris living in Minneapolis, one is a magician, the other is a physical comedian, and they’re both talented and gifted performers. My David Harris from Disney is also a talented and gifted performer. I’m beginning wonder if there isn’t a secret cult where everybody in it is named David Harris, and their plan is to take over the world through laughter and delight.

My first memory of David was talking by phone about the upcoming summer Disney project.   He was a charming ambitious young man who was eager for the opportunity to perform.  He said that he was an actor who could sing, and play guitar, but was willing to do anything. As an afterthought he mentioned that he had recently learned a couple magic tricks. My ears always perk up when I hear the word magic. I learned that his roommate was the real magician, but David thought his friend might be a great resource to help him work up a magic act to show me.

When we finally met David face to face I was amazed at the sophistication of the magic that he had developed so quickly.  He started out demonstrating a simple but effective opening card trick, then followed it with some pretty good coin manipulations that actually fooled me, and ended with a classic cups and balls routine.  Unfortunately, I noticed him flashing quite a bit from the side. When I pointed this out he told me that he had been practicing for hours in front of the mirror. I said, yes your magic was clean from the front, but you’re going to be a street magician, and the audience will be standing in circle around you. I’ve never seen anyone work so hard, and come, so far. so quickly.  By the end he could flawlessly perform his magic while surrounded in the street, appearing a coconut from under his empty hat as his final trick.

Today David lives in Orlando, and still makes his living as a performer.

The world needs more David Harris’.