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Magician thrills rec center audience

Many Oneida-area residents are now believers in magic, thanks to the talents of Wade Whitcomb and his "Wade Live" show. Billed as "not your typical magician," the Syracuse-based Wade brought his magical prowess to the city of Oneida's Recreation Department's Rec Center Dec. 22 in a show that featured everything from card tricks and voodoo magic to extra-sensory perception and a daring escape from a straight jacket.

Wade, 23, a professional magician since he was 19, said he travels around the country and beyond, recently heading to Japan and Asia to share his magic, and he regularly performs at fairs, festivals and on cruise ships.

His act has even included live animals like tigers and large birds.

He warned the audience at the beginning of the show of a particular power that probably some of them wouldn't mind having themselves, warning if anyone had a cell phone that rang during the performance it would likely burst into flames and go up in a cloud of foul-smelling smoke.

Wade explained he enjoys injecting comedy like that into his magic shows, giving the crowd a little something extra in his part-magician and part-stand-up-comedian performance. He also likes bringing up audience members to join in the show -- and several Oneida area fans got to take part in the Rec Center performance that evening.

Joe Ambs and Jasmine Smith were called up to help with a dazzling paintball routine, where Ambs signed a small, round paintball with marker, then aimed the paintball gun to fire the ball -- at a blinding speed of 300 feet per second -- through a circular paper target held by Smith and directly at Wade's face. Ambs admitted he was nervous by the danger of the stunt, but he was true to his target, blowing a hole through the target about six inches from the nozzle of the gun and striking Wade as he stood about 10 feet away.

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