by Belinda Scott
MAGICIAN Dane Certificate's shows for aged care residents really do contain magic.
He said staff had told him even residents who generally found it difficult to concentrate for any length of time remained transfixed by his illusions for the whole hour-long show.
After all, he really can pull a rabbit out of his hat.
Dane, who is travelling around Australia with his various shows of magic and music, is currently based in Nambucca Heads, where he is learning more of the tricks of his trade from veteran magician Mandrake (Col Newman).
Now 90, Mandrake still performs a magic show for pensioners most Monday evenings at the Macksville Motor Inn, currently assisted by Dane.
The long standing professional friendship between the legendary veteran of the stage and Dane, 32, may be one of the secrets of Dane's shows for seniors.
"I use the doves, a nostalgic style and old-fashioned music," Dane said
"Some of it is designed specifically for people with dementia."
"It is very visual - I do a silent act so people can sit back, relax to nice music and watch impossible things happen."
The interaction is not all one way either.
Dane learned his first trick from his grandfather at the age of eight and called a recent tour Grandy's String in honour of that puzzle.
"There is something nice about being around old people, they are honest and genuine - but age really does not matter, it's about being young at heart," Dane said.
Senior magician Mandrake certainly exemplifies that saying.
After more than 75 years spent amazing audiences around Australia, he no longer travels, but still enjoys performing and teaching.
His last apprentice recently completed four and a half years of study with him and Mandrake said he would be happy to take on another.
Meanwhile he and his little dog Bella enjoy life on the riverbank at Nambucca - "I used to do a trick where I turned four doves into one dog - but Bella is retired now too", Mandrake said.
For magic lovers of all ages, Dane Certificate's next show will be at 6.30pn on Wednesday August 24 at the Ulmarra Hotel.