PET PROJECT: Magician and musician Dane Certificate with veteran performer Mandrake, alias Col Newman, and Dane's stage friends Fi the rabbit and Snow White the dove.
PET PROJECT: Magician and musician Dane Certificate with veteran performer Mandrake, alias Col Newman, and Dane's stage friends Fi the rabbit and Snow White the dove. BELINDA SCOTT

Stage pro teaches his friend some new tricks

MAGICIAN Dane Certificate's shows for aged care residents really do contain magic.

He said staff had told him that 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 longstanding 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."

 

Mandrake performing at 21.
Mandrake performing at 21.

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 student.

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.


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