Keith Leff, a magician from Kansas City, will give performances over three days at the Chase County Fair this year. He is holding the Close-Up Magician of the Year Award he won in 2000. (Courtesy photo)
Magician to entertain at fair; six performances scheduled
Chase County Fair board members were impressed with the talents of magician Keith Leff when they sat in on his act at the fair managers convention in Kearney.
So much so, they booked him for this year’s Chase County Fair, where he’ll perform six shows over three days in the open air pavilion on the fairgrounds.
Leff is especially adept with card tricks, according to Fair Board President Chad Oxford, who said he still can’t figure out how he performed some of the tricks he did.
Leff will perform two afternoon shows each day on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Aug. 17-19. Admission will be free.
Leff, born in April 1969, is a native of the Kansas City area and grew up with a magician living next door. He knew a magician who lived next door to his grandmother’s house, as well.
Leff’s journey continued at age seven when he received a “Hat Full of Magic” kit for Christmas. After he opened the gift, the rest of the unwrapped presents remained untouched for quite awhile. As Leff says, “Sometimes we pick our careers, sometimes our careers pick us.”
He gave his first paid performance for his junior high school science teacher at a birthday party for his teacher’s son. That has been followed by many other shows.
In June 2000, Leff was honored by winning the Close-Up Magician of the Year contest, a competition and banquet held annually by an organization of which he is also an elite member, the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Leff is a member of the Kansas City chapter, Ring 129, and was inducted in an Honorary Society within the local Ring, the Sorcerer’s Circle, for his contributions to magic and the community in which he lives.
He earned his way through college with his magic, performing behind the bar while bartending, and performing at numerous private parties.
Leff earned a double major, a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications and Public Relations, with a minor in Human Ecology from Kansas State University. He then went on to work in the Marketing Department at Sprint for five years before starting his own business, Magicreations.
They say behind every successful man is a successful woman. His wife Diane graduated from the University of Kansas, and maintains a career in real estate for a large transportation company. She also is Keith’s assistant, and supports him behind the scenes of Magicreations.