Magician to perform tonight

By Liz Hitchcock

Common Grounds will host magician Michael Ammar who will be exhibiting his up-close sleight of the hand tricks for a Waco audience.

Ammar has recently been featured on “Late Night with David Letterman” and has performed for a number of celebrities.

Jena Willard, a Common Grounds barista, asked Ammar to perform, not expecting him to agree to come to Waco.

She and the staff are excited about his appearance.

“The art of close up magic is it’s in your face using sleight of hand,” Willard said.

“You get to see it up close, and it’s really not corny, but mind blowing,” she added.

Local mentalist Blake Adams said he was influenced by Ammar from when he was as young as 11 years old and attended one of Ammar’s lectures.

“I was personally influenced by his persona by the way he was able to entertain the audiences,” Adams said. “When you experience Michael Ammar, you are not just amazed by the magic, and it’s not the magic that you leave remembering. It’s him that you remember.”

Adams mentioned that many magicians have paid close attention to Ammar and he has even played the role of mentor to aspiring magicians.

“If you’re going to do any kind of close-up magic, you will most likely learn from this guy,” Adams said.

Ammar is currently on a Texas tour and another magician, Jeff Kaylor, will be opening for him, said Common Grounds general manager Blake Batson.

“I’ve heard tales about how good he is,” Batson said, “and I’m just excited to see it firsthand, close up and personal.”

Batson said he was surprised that Ammar agreed to come to Waco since he is such a big name in the magic industry.

“He’s led the way for this generation of magicians,” Batson said. “It’s a huge honor for Common Grounds that we get to house him and for Waco in general to have this opportunity.”

The show will start at 8 p.m., but Willard suggests anyone who would like to see Kaylor perform table magic should arrive a little early. Tickets are $8 at the door.