It's no illusion - Warren's Casshan Wallace will be on television today.
The 2013 Warren G. Harding High School graduate will appear on the Syfy channel's "Wizard Wars," which airs at 10 p.m.
On the series, which premiered Aug. 17, four young magicians are divided into two teams and must create a magic trick with assigned random objects. The two teams are judged by magic comedy duo Penn & Teller, Jason Latimer (winner of the BBC's "The Magicians" in 2012) and Web host Christen Gerhart.
Special to the Tribune Chronicle / Syfy
Casshan Wallace, left, a 2013 Warren G. Harding High School graduate, competes on “Wizard Wars,” a Syfy channel series that airs at 10 p.m. Tuesdays. Wallace will appear on today’s show.
The winning team then has to complete a second challenge competing against the show's "home team" - two-time World Championship of Magic winner Gregory Wilson, Wynn Resort resident magician Shimshi, street illusionist Justin Flom and mentalist Angela Funovits. Winners get bragging rights and $10,000.
Wallace said he has been fascinated by magic since he was 5 years old and his grandfather showed him a card trick.
"That kept me going, that little spark of creation," Wallace said. "He showed me a card effect and already I was trying to recreate the trick. I made up my own method for how the trick worked."
Wallace continued to hone his skills and develop his own magic tricks, like his rubber band illusion "Melting Point." The instructional video he created for the trick has been sold worldwide.
His reputation in the magic community is large enough that he was contacted by the staff of "Wizard Wars" to audition for the show.
At his interview in May, Wallace said, "They wanted to get a feel for your presence ... They asked to see a few magic tricks and had me repeat things. They wanted to know about my process of creating."
In the first round of his episode, Wallace and his partner had to create trick that incorporated Tarot cards, sparklers and a remote-controlled helicopter. The second round involved a pirate costume, rocking chair, salt and pepper shakers and large chess pieces.
"They make it look like you have 24 hours (to create a trick)," Wallace said. "In reality we had two weeks, which still is not a lot of time. We had to create two routines whether we were going to do the second routine or not ... Two weeks for two routines, that was difficult but we made it work."
Wallace isn't allowed to say what happens on the episode, but getting to perform for Penn & Teller was nerve-wracking, but not because of their fame.
"Performing for the judges didn't feel any different, because I perform a lot," he said. "There was nervousness about performing on live TV with a routine that I've been doing or a week. I'd never create a routine and perform it for an audience in six months. It would be more like a year (of practice)."
Wallace currently is studying mechanical engineering at Youngstown State University, but a career in magic is his primary goal. He said he's been working toward some big projects that he isn't ready to talk about publicly yet, and he hopes the exposure on "Wizard Wars" helps him achieve those goals.
"What I can say is I hope it takes me in a direction that opens up doors that I couldn't expect."