PALISADES PARK, N.J. -- Mark Calabrese of Palisades Park has the pleasure of calling magic his day job -- even if it's sometimes at night.
A Texas native who has spent most of his life in Bergen County, Calabrese has performed on national television and even devised tricks for other magicians.
While his childhood peers played video games, Calabrese worked on his sleight of hand.
"I was around 7 years old, when I saw a magician on TV," he told Daily Voice. "And I was hooked."
Calabrese now performs his "comedy magic" in his own New Jersey, Rockland County and New York City shows.
A lot of the allure of magic, for Calabrese, is the contrast it offers.
We live in a world where everything is instant gratification. We know how everything works, we can immediately go to Google and get our questions answered. But with magic, it kind of takes things back to a more primitive level. There's a vulnerability, when we don't know how it's done.
And it makes it worthwhile if he can make folks' days a bit better. "I've made the toughest guys laugh like little kids," he added.