Sunday at 6:30 p.m., Wauseon’s Vanishing Magic Museum will be showcased on MeTv’s show, “Collector’s Call.”
For those of you who have not watched the show, here is how it works.
The host, Lisa Whelchel, finds unique collectors of pop culture memorabilia, gives the viewer a little history behind the collection pieces, and then with the help of a professional expert appraises the collectibles while trying to entice the collector to sell one of their items or trade for an item that the appraiser brings along.
Dr. Kenneth Ladd, owner and chief magician at the Vanishing Magic Museum, gives the audience quite a variety of unique, historical, and mysterious items to see from his collection housed at 113 S. Fulton Street in downtown Wauseon. One of Ladd’s favorite items in the museum is his Blackstone collection. These are items from the famous magicians, Harry Blackstone Sr. and Jr. All of these items have quite a story behind them, which Ladd will gladly tell you all about when you come for a tour.
However; the real question here is, did the appraiser convince Ladd to sell something from his collection or not? Don’t forget to tune-in to find out.
Ladd’s love for magic started when he was only 10 or 11 years old, and got a magic kit for Christmas. “I didn’t do much with it until much later when I became a chaplain in a correctional facility for boys at the Maumee Youth Camp,” Ladd recalled. “It was a minimum security prison. I used magic to illustrate my sermons.”
Ladd further told that throughout the years, some of the boys, now adults, from the youth camp had contacted him.
“The boys could remember both the magic and the message that came to them through that magic,” said Ladd. He will tell you that his magic always comes with a message whether it be the Gospel message or a lesson in morality such as the importance of respecting others.
Ladd’s magician’s skills didn’t just come from his childhood Christmas magic kit. Dr. Kenneth Ladd will tell you he has two doctorate degrees – one in Clinical Psychology and one in Magic.
He earned his Doctorate in Magic from the Academy of Magic in New York. The academy is still open today, according to Ladd.
The museum houses a magic shop, museum, and performance theater called the Birch Theater. Ladd and four generations of his family members have at one time or another been sharing magic in the community since opening in 2014.
Aidan, Ladd’s 12 year old great-grandson, enjoys helping in the business, especially performing magic in the Birch Theater. Aidan’s favorite magic trick or large stage illusion, is called the Hindu Basket or Sword Basket.
The illusion starts as Aidan gets into the basket and puts the lid on. The magician (Ladd) then stabs a sword multiple times through the basket. He then takes the lid off, gets into the basket, and stomps around in it to show that Aidan is no longer in the basket.
The magician gets out of the basket, puts the lid back on, and covers the basket with a cloth. Then abracadabra the cloth is removed and Aidan, minus wounds (thankfully), is standing in the basket.
Ladd’s signature trick is called Cup-O-Oodles. It is another illusion trick with a vanishing ring and reappearing of that same ring in a place that seems like it couldn’t possibly be. Both of these magic tricks can be experienced in person at one of the performances at the Birch Theater.
Besides tours, performances, and fundraising opportunities, Ladd will be offering a couple of chances this summer to attend the 18th annual Magic Day Camps. July 14 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., is set aside for beginner magicians. August 11 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., will be for advanced magicians.
Both camps will provide time for the aspiring magicians to have time on the stage at the 7 p.m. performance. For more information call Ladd at (419) 335-3765.
Visitors can also stop in the magic shop while at the museum. The magic shop sells all kinds of gags, jokes, and ventriloquism items.
When Ladd was asked what is the secret, according to the ad, that is to be revealed on National TV? “The secret is that no one knows that we are here,” said Dr. Ladd, as he chuckled. However, Dr. Ladd your secret is out now.