Magician Kevin Spencer is hoping for a warmer welcome when he makes his second visit to Pittsburg in April.

Magician Kevin Spencer is hoping for a warmer welcome when he makes his second visit to Pittsburg in April.

“I think that the last time we got there it was in the middle of an ice storm,” he said during a recent telephone interview. “I hope this time we’re coming in to sunshine.”

He and his wife, Cindy, are scheduled to perform  their “Theatre of Illusion” at 7:30 p.m. April 13 at Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium. Ticket information is available at 620-231-7827.

”We are the largest touring illusion show on the road, and we’ll be bringing 10 tons of equipment  to the stage of Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium,” Spencer said. “It’s a wonderful auditorium, a great space to play.”

He  said that he regards magic as much an art form as music or dance, and works with leading designers in scenery, lighting and special effects to make his shows spectacular.

“We use music, movement, lighting, special effects, scenery and many other elements and wrap them around some pretty amazing illusions,” Spencer said.

Each show is customized to the space and stage size, so it’s difficult to list exactly which illusions the Spencers will perform in Pittsburg, but Spencer did say that he intends to do a contemporary version of of  Harry Houdini’s most  spectacular and difficult feats.

“In 1914, Houdini walked through a solid brick wall,” Spencer said. “He only did it a few times, and there has been a lot of speculation about why he stopped. We will have eight to 10 concrete cinder blocks on the stage, and the audience will be encouraged to explore them. My favorite thing  is having people from the audience on the stage. That’s when we have the most fun. The audience raises the show.”

The Spencers have won some  notable awards for their show, which they say is sophisticated enough for parents and college students, but also very family-friendly.

“We were named International Magician of the Year, which is like the Oscar of our industry,” Spencer said.

They were also named Performing Arts Entertainers of the Year by events programmers for a record-breaking six consecutive years. The only other magician who has ever received this recognition was David Copperfield.

They have also been named America’s Best Entertainers of the Year by the readers of “CA Magazine,” an entertainment industry publication.

Spencer has come a long way from the 5-year-old who saw his first magician on a TV show.

“I vividly remember telling my mother that I wanted to be a magician,” he said. “My parents gave me a magic kit for Christmas when I was 8 and I did magic through grade school and high school. I worked my way through college as a magician, so it was natural for me to transition into a career in magic after I graduated. I had been studying clinicial psychology, but I joke and say that I was going to help people’s minds and now I just mess with them.”

But Spencer has taken his magic above and beyond, and has been developing several special projects using magic to heal and help.

“I had a bad accident and had a year of therapy, so I developed a program using magic as therapy to help people develop skills they may have lost through an injury, stroke or accident,” Spencer said. “Instead of putting pegs in a board, you can learn a magic trick. About 2,500 hospitals around the world use this program, so what I do to entertain people can have such an impact.”

He is also excited about a new project, Hocus Focus, developed for special education teachers and students. It combines education and imagination to help children improve their abilities in planning, sequencing, organizing tasks, fine motor skills, concentration and more.

“This has been used mostly for children on the autism spectrum,” Spencer said. “Two of my papers on this project have recently been accepted for publication.”

He looks forward to working April 12 with Pittsburg USD 250 students.

“I work with these kids every single week somewhere,” Spencer said “They are remarkable kids, and most of them are extremely intelligent. We just have to find a way to get that intelligence out.”