ST. CHARLES – Kids watching a magic show at the Steel Beam Theatre on Sunday thought they had the trick figured out.
Two prop rabbit cutouts – one black, one white – had traded places after magician Scott Piner covered each of them with a case.
The children urged Piner to flip the rabbits over, sure that the white rabbit's other side was black and the black rabbit's other side was white.
But Piner had a surprise for them: the rabbits' backsides were yellow and red.
For Piner, such surprises aren't a matter of "one-upping" the audience. Rather, he said, they're a matter of keeping the audience guessing.
Piner and fellow magician Arman Sangalang kept audiences guessing over the weekend during three performances, which benefitted the Rotary Club of St. Charles.
Proceeds will go toward scholarships and other charitable contributions in the community, club president Bob Brown said, noting the club's mottos is "service above self."
He thanked Donna Steele for use of the downtown St. Charles theater as well as Piner, a Rotarian, and Sangalang, a St. Charles East sophomore, for their time.
The magicians performed separately during the Sunday afternoon show and wove humor and audience participation into their acts.
Sangalang, for example, brought children up on stage, and Piner crawled over chairs to let audience members draw cards for his first trick.
"If I find your cards," Piner said, "are you going to be amazed?"
He found all five.
Piner's interest in magic stemmed from a magic kit he got for Christmas as a child, and Sangalang's interest was piqued after his father show him some card tricks several years ago, they said.
While Piner attended a national magic camp in New York as a teen, Sangalang taught himself tricks through books, they said.
They met through a community event last year, they said, but this was the first time they worked with each other.
"It's cool to learn from each other," Piner said.