In some ways, Fleshman uses magic less as a means of mystery than as a vehicle of inspiration. After all, one of his biggest inspirations, he says, is seeing children excited about magic.

"I've had kids get into magic after seeing me," he says. "I just like the performing aspect, you know? Getting a smile out of them and having fun."

The spectacle of an Angel or Blaine routine never would have mattered to him as a youngster.

Keith Jozsef, an illusionist, wants to raise the standards of magic as high as some of the tables he floats.
Jennifer Silverberg
Keith Jozsef, an illusionist, wants to raise the standards of magic as high as some of the tables he floats.
Dan Fleshman says his diminutive size helps him relate to the children — and even a few adults — he entertains at local restaurants.
Jennifer Silverberg
Dan Fleshman says his diminutive size helps him relate to the children — and even a few adults — he entertains at local restaurants.

Fleshman's childhood dream, after all, had nothing to do with magic: "I wanted to be a professional basketball player."

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