Library show for kids combines magic, fitness

Library show for kids combines magic, fitness

ENCINITAS — Illusionist Dana Law has performed before live adult audiences at venues such as Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.Still, he says that he’s found that some of his most enthusiastic crowds have been kids, especially when the theme is health and fitness.

At 4 p.m. July 17 the “Amazing Dana” will present “Eating Right and Getting Exercise — If You Do, Then You Will Have a Magical Life” in the Community Room at the Encinitas Library.

The magic show is part of “Reading Is So Delicious!,” the 2013 theme of the California Summer Reading Program sponsored by California libraries with the California Library Association.

During the show, the Amazing Dana will recruit young volunteers from the audience to assist with card tricks, and animal tricks involving Fred the Fabulous Flying Fish, that demonstrate the importance in eating five fruits and vegetables each day — along with fish.

“These are brain foods and can help you read minds and have a strong body that can make you as powerful as the escape artist Houdini,” he tells them.

Law says it’s never been easier to get fat, referring to today’s sedentary lifestyle along with larger portions and high-calorie processed food.

Like everyone else, it’s been a struggle for him which he addresses with a variety of activities that include calisthenics, lifting, squats, pull ups, pushups, the kettle bell, jump roping, swimming and sprinting in the park.

Currently, Law is preparing for his yearly hike along the Pacific Crest Trail which runs from the Mexican to Canadian border.

On Aug. 17, he’ll begin hiking across the state of Oregon and part of Washington for two weeks. He and his longtime hiking companion, who is in his 70s, have hiked more than 1,000 miles together.

Law grew up in Los Angeles and said he became a magician at the age of 8 after watching his father perform a magic trick.

“I learned my first magic tricks from library books,” he said, adding that he took up magic as a hobby that he also used to build self-esteem. He got his first paying gig at 14.

“My father was a Rotarian and his club paid me $25 to do a magic show for disadvantaged children,” he recalled.

“From then I continued to do magic and get shows.”

After high school, Law joined the U.S. army and was part of a special group — the Seventh Corps Road Show — in Stuttgart, Germany that performed magic to carry the message to soldiers to “stay off drugs and alcohol and make something of yourself.”

When he was discharged from the military, he worked in sales for the family business in El Cajon while continuing to hone his skills and build his business.

Today, he works for himself full-time.

In addition to doing children’s events, Law performs under the name David Winston as a mind reader at awards dinners and corporate events for clients that include Time-Warner, Johnson & Johnson, Bank of America, Upjohn Pharmaceuticals, San Diego Padres Baseball Club, Marriott Hotels and the Ritz-Carlton.

Law is married with two adult children. His daughter, Dr. Janessa Law, M.D. is a pediatrician finishing up her residency at Loma Linda Hospital.

“My father has been a health and fitness advocate for as long as I can remember,” she said. “I remember getting up early on Saturday mornings to do Mousercise with him at 5 years old!

With the growing childhood obesity epidemic it is becoming increasingly important to establish healthy eating and exercise habits early in life, Law explained.

“By serving as a healthy choices role model, my father has not only influenced my decision to continue educating today’s youth regarding the importance of health and fitness, but his daily dedication to teaching health in his magic shows provides children with building blocks for a healthy future,” she said.

The “Amazing Dana” promises a “big surprise” for kids at the end of his show July 17.

The Encinitas Library is located at 540 Cornish Drive, Encinitas.

For more information, visit SDCL.org or call (760) 753-7376.

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