Living a Magical Life

By Judie Holcomb-Pack

Some people can be easily defined: He’s an accountant; she’s an educator; he’s a mechanic; she’s a doctor.

And then there’s David Calhoun. Describing him in one word is impossible.

From the age of five when a friend of his father taught him his first trick, David Calhoun has been fascinated with magic. An uncle showed him other tricks and soon he was devouring magic books and frequenting magic shops. He parlayed his love of magic into entertaining groups in junior and senior high school and working in a magic shop during his college years, earning extra money by performing magic tricks.

A native of Alabama, David earned a degree in education from the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!) and then received his masters degree in theology from Emory University. Yes, he went from magician to minister! Being a Methodist minister was his vocation, working with youth in church camps and later serving area Methodist churches. But magic continued to be his passion.

Now retired from the ministry, David travels from coast to coast performing magic at corporate events and trade shows for major companies, as well as at banquets and special events. He has been a “street magician” in Europe, performing at festivals such as Queens Day in Amsterdam and Bastille Day in Paris. His show, “A Pocketful of Miracles,” features “sleight of hand, prestidigitation and legerdemain,” as noted on his business card. Videos on his website show his amazing mind-reading skill and card tricks. Don’t think you can figure out his secrets by watching the videos – his technique is so smooth that nothing is revealed and you’re left believing he is truly doing magic.

David said that what draws him to performing is “the laughter, applause and the ‘aha moment’” when he surprises his audience. Magic, he says, is “presenting deception in an entertaining fashion; otherwise, you’re just presenting puzzles.”

Mixing magic in his ministry, or ministry in his magic, is something David has never done. As David explains, “Faith is what I hold dear and cannot prove. With magic, I ‘prove’ to you that which is not true.”

David is truly living a magical life in retirement. “My first love is entertaining people and performing as a magician for over 50 years has brought me a great deal of joy,” said David. “It’s been a touch of the divine.”

For more information about A Pocketful of Miracles, visit


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