Magic Camp in Saipan, a success

Leon Etienne and his assistant Chelsea LaCongo with his students at the JKPL.

JOETEN-KIYU Public Library’s three-day Magic Camp featuring award-winning illusionist Leon Etienne was a success as 100 children on Saipan participated in the event.

According to JKPL technical services librarian Beth Demapan, a total of 200 children and teenagers – 100 on Saipan, 50 on both Tinian and Rota – registered for the magic workshop.

The Magic Camp on Saipan was held at the JKPL on Dec. 27 to 29 while the Tinian Public Library hosted the event last week.

Demapan said the schedule for the event at Antonio C. Atalig Memorial Library on Rota will be announced soon.

In an interview with Etienne, said held several magic workshops in New York, his hometown.

“I have done it all over the world, actually. Being a part of Saipan community now, I’ve got involved in all the community activities. I wanted to give back to the local kids and community, so I approached the librarians who I worked over the summer to do the book mobile and do magic shows all over the island and we decided to come up with this – Magic Camp – for the Christmas break,” he said.

Etienne appeared as finalist on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” “The Tonight show with Jimmy Fallon,” as a winner on the CW’s “Penn & Teller: Fool Us,” “Masters of Illusion,” and SYFY Channel’s “Wizard Wars.”

The magic workshop was attended by children as young as seven years and as old as 18 years old.

“We did a great job,” Etienne said, referring to the children who learned magic tricks during the workshop.

“We just did a public show at the library. I am proud of them, they are so good. I told them to keep practicing and keep having fun.”

Etienne, who has a bachelor’s degree in business, said he started doing magic trick since he was 12.

“I was grounded by my mother and was bored so I started reading a magic book. Just through reading that is how I discovered magic.” He also said he has been doing magic for 21 years now.

“The most rewarding is looking at people’s faces – the look that people give and the applause to,” he added.

Etienne advised the ‘young magicians’ to use the local library as a resource to learn from magic books.

“Practice every day. Practice it in front of your family and friends. Once they say it is good, go out and do it for people in public and you will be awesome and you are off to great start,” he added.

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