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Conversations with Atlanta's Movers and Shakers, Clarence H. Pearsall, III/ C. Magic Happen

Updated: Feb 8

Clarence H. Pearsall, III/C. Magic Happen

A few weeks ago, we were fortunate to connect, and have a conversation with Clarence H. Pearsall, III,  better known as C. Magic. Born in Philadelphia, P.A. and raised in Chester, Clarence's fascination for magic began as a child, after receiving Marshall Brodien’s TV’s Magic Cards.  While serving in the US Navy, Clarence was once again bitten by the magic bug after seeing his shipmate perform a trick that astonished him. He was able to persuade his shipmate to teach him the card routine. One can say that was C. Magic’s first experience with sleight of hand.

Atlanta Film and TV: We gave you a brief introduction, but could you tell us about who you are and what it is that you do.

Clarence H. Pearsall, III: "I am an award-winning magician and a retired firefighter from the City of Chester, PA. I started doing magic after I moved to Chicago to be with my now wife, Vernita better known as lady V. I got bored sitting around, and I decided that I needed to find something fun. So, I went to  a magic store and decided to learn the Chop Cup. While at the magic store, I met a gentleman who gave me his card and told me he could teach me magic for free! I thought to myself, “What is this guy gonna teach me?” Because he was dressed as if he were a pimp, and we were in Chicago. A few weeks later, we made contact with each other, and the rest is history! In 2015, this gentleman who’s name is Samuel Pope, took me under his wing and was able to guide me. In 2016, I entered my first contest and won the People’s Choice Award. During that same year, I won three awards, and today I am moving up the ladder of success. In 2023, I won the Best Magician of the Year Award. People have been getting to know me, and I am loving it!"

Atlanta Film and TV: Take us on your journey from how you started to where you are today.

Clarence H. Pearsall, III: "I started doing magic as a child, with Marshall Brodien’s cards. In the navy, a shipmate of mine tore my mind apart and left me dumbfounded with a magic trick he did.  Eventually he taught me the trick which to this day, is still in my repertoire. During my time at the fire department, I used to go onto South Street in Chicago, where there was a magic store and I would go there to get a few sleight of hand card tricks, and  gags. I started my first business, Heart Start ER, for  Emergency Response Training, where I would do CPR and First Aid Training. People were skeptical, and apprehensive when they had to go through the training. However, a way I broke the ice was to do a few gags and card tricks, in order to put people at ease. Doing all of this helped to carry me through the fire service. There were many days where I got tongue lashed by a few of my fellow firefighters with the gags, because I love things that shock people! When I got to Chicago, I found the magic store and began doing magic under my mentor. It’s always been a learning process. There’s a saying that 'you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.'That saying can be thrown out the window, because I’m always learning new magic tricks, thinking outside of the box, and being innovative. Once I retired, people have stated that I should incorporate the fire safety training with magic. Once that idea sunk in, Lady V and I went and had my magic suit and a helmet made both with my magician name 'C Magic.'  Now, under the family of Magic with a Message. The Fire Safety Awareness Magic Show has blended with what I have done, to where I am  now. When I teach fire safety awareness, I do it with magic which is something  different. I don’t think anyone other than myself is doing what I am doing. I’ve received great responses from the Cub Scouts. I’ve even  had a grandmother tell me that “no one has ever told me to check the door with the back of my hand! I explained to her that if the door knob is hot when you check it with the back of your hand, then your hand will repel, versus touching the door then your hand will constrict.

The first part of Magic with a Message is geared toward middle schoolers, who are transitioning into high school. This program was called  'Magic with a Message,' but since has been changed to 'Growing Pains,' because these kids are reaching puberty, and beginning to experience things like peer pressure. With all of this in mind, I came up with the concept of  taking magic into schools (or into the community)  and teaching about how kids are a diamond in the rough. I have a storyline to go along with that which includes a piece of coal and I talk about being pressured into doing things. Also I talk about the class bully, and we dive into the workforce where I bring in something funny to break the monotony, which are uncommon, but real jobs. Such as professional pet food tasters, professional pooper scoopers. Whichever job the kids choose, I bring out a prop and have them use it.  When we do share these jobs, we may get some laughs, but the whole point is the kids get a message. We also talk about anti-bullying and how everyone is different. With that, I use a paper bag and show that it’s empty. I’ll then reach into the bag, and start pulling from the bag, different characters who are different in both shape and size, talking about how we’re all different."

Atlanta Film and TV: Did your parents recognize your gift and if so, how did they facilitate it to nourish growth?

Clarence H. Pearsall, III: "My parents did not recognize my gift for magic.  Actually, my parents did not know that I would be headed in the direction of a professional magician, until about seven years ago. Growing up, pursuing a career as  a professional magician was not 'in the cards.'

Clarence H. Pearsall, III.: "The moment I realized I wanted to become a magician was after watching The Chicago Magic Competition. At this particular competition, I was engaged and the magicians who performed their tricks were excellent! It was also when I attended the Chicago Magic Lounge on a weekly basis with my mentor. It was awesome to see the performers. The first trick that I learned, was the Chop Cup, and I also bought a saw to cut Lady V in half, which by the way she doesn't care for! The latest magic trick that I have is making children float, which is called the Chair Suspension. This trick involves two  chairs and a board. The children love this trick, however, they don’t love the music played while doing this trick because it’s scary! I have, however, changed the music in order to fit the moment."

Click here for our full conversation

Atlanta Film and TV: What is your favorite trick to perform?

Clarence H. Pearsall, III: "There’s one trick in particular that everyone loves, which is my thumb cuff.  This is where I’ll ask a person if they’ve ever seen it. I’ll then have the person put the cuffs on me, cinch it down and take a black silk handkerchief and put it over my hand. While the handkerchief is on my hand, I’ll take my hand out to adjust the silk, and by the time they look underneath, they’re trying to figure out how I got my thumb out!  

My second favorite is a coin trick, where I’ll take three coins and put it in a person’s hand. I’ll go over your hand, and there’s nothing in mine, and nothing happens. Then I’ll say, 'I am going to make one coin, go invisible!' I’ll use two half dollars, and a Mexican Centavo. I’ll bring the coin out that’s invisible and put it back into my bag, and then I’ll give it to someone to hold. Then they’ll say the magic word which is 'C Magic!' and then I open the bag, the person will open their hand and I then dump out the coin! Then, the other person opens their hand and guess what? That coin is now gone and is now in the bag! I’ll also draw with a Sharpie, and make a hole in my hand. I’ll get the matches, light it, and blow it out and go over my hand. Then I’ll make the smoke go up my arm, through my chest, up my throat, and out my mouth comes the smoke!"

Atlanta Film and TV: There’s a lot of children and teens who may be interested in becoming a magician, most who may already try to perform tricks for their family. What would be some tips and tricks you have for them?

Clarence H. Pearsall, III: "The first main tip is, do not divulge your secrets! Magicians have a code of honor, where what we learn we do not divulge, unless it’s with another magician who wants to learn. 90 percent of  what I do is the performance.  Whereas, 10 percent of what I do is learning. You have to know your crowd, and your audience. You have to learn how to move across the stage, how to bring your audience in and keep them engaged. The performance is everything. Learn how to move your hands, how to enunciate, and how to speak. Learn the craft of magic, and showmanship. Being sure to have the right music to go along with your performance is important as well. And, once you have what I mentioned, you’ll have everything! 

I am considering hosting a week-long magic camp, where I’ll have between two to three sets that will be an hour long. At the end of the week we’ll put everything together and have the students' parents and families to see a performance utilizing everything we’ve learned."

Atlanta Film and TV: Do you have any upcoming shows, and if so could you share about those?

Clarence H. Pearsall, III: "A lot of my shows are private. However my next upcoming show is in March, at the Dunwoody Nature Center, where I will perform at their Fairytale Festival. I plan to have more public shows throughout the year, which will be posted on my website."

 Atlanta Film and TV: We like to ask our Movers and Shakers for G.E.M.S. which stands for Great Educational Moments with Movers and Shakers. Do you have any G.E.M.S. you would like to share? 

Clarence H. Pearsall, III: "Go beyond the stars, the universe, and get all the education that you can get. When someone tells me that I can’t do something, there’s a reason, and I look at that as them telling me'stop where you are! Don’t go any further.' Because of that, I have to pursue and go further. Either I’m going to surpass, or be at the same level as you, and not beneath anyone! 

Get everything that you can, because it’s yours for the taking! Your G.E.M. is that you are a genius! You’re a diamond in the rough - which I am taking from my Growing Pains segment. All the young people currently are a piece of coal, which has to be molded and pressured. It takes a few years as it’s being pressed and molded, and once the process is complete, what once was a piece of coal is now a diamond which is what all of our children are."

Atlanta Film and TV: How can people connect with you? 

Clarence H. Pearsall, III: "I can be found on my website at I am Google, and C. Magic Happen on YouTube and Instagram, and lastly C. Magic Happen 123 on Facebook."

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