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Mario “the Maker Magician”: “The more I got into it [magic], the more it took a hold of me. Something in my heart of hearts just kept tugging at me to keep going.” He is performing for the first time at The Alden this Saturday.

The Alden in McLean presents Mario “the Maker Magician” Marchese (Yep, Mario is his real name – he is first generation Italian American from New York!!). This New York-based family performer is known for his do-it-yourself (DIY) robotic creations, upcycled props and new school slapstick character. He works closely with his wife who manages the business and marketing side of his shows.

The show times this Saturday, Nov. 2 are 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets are $15 for the general public, $10 for Dranesville Small District-1A residents. The theater is located at 1234 Ingleside Ave.

Fairfax County Times reached out to Mario “the Maker Magician” with the following questions:

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How did you discover your talent and decide to go into magic full time?

MARIO: I've always loved making. Sewing, carving wood, painting… I'm not very good at any of those things -haha- but, I'm never afraid to try and learn new things. Magic was one of those “temporary" interests that just ended up not being temporary at all! The more I got into it, the more it took a hold of me. Something in my heart of hearts just kept tugging at me to keep going.

Can you teach us one magic trick?

MARIO: How about four?!

Check them out here:

“From a robotic monkey sideshow to spinning lapel flowers, Mario builds it all himself…” what is your philosophy?

MARIO: My philosophy is that one of the core truths to our existence is revealed when we learn how to make something. It could be something simple, like a paper airplane. We fold the paper and fly it! If it breaks, what can we do? We can fix it! That’s powerful! From that small experience, we gain confidence on so many levels, confidence to make something that's more difficult, and confidence to take things apart. That's it: take things apart, recreate, and innovate.

How did you find your wife who suggested starting your own business and worked hard with you to make it successful?

MARIO: Katie is the backbone of our whole business. When I was just starting on this magic journey, she believed in me when others didn’t. Over the years, she has mastered how to promote and push our business in ways I could never have imagined. She is also an incredible photographer, and has a very sharp eye for design and detail. These touches have changed our careers. And now, 13 years in this business together full-time, we have two children of our own! We homeschool and spend a good time of the year on the road!

What happened to the full-length documentary about your journey?

MARIO: The documentary was a great success. Katie sat at a computer for three weeks straight during that Kickstarter campaign! I remember bringing her food throughout the day and being blown away by her dedication to getting the project funded. We toured it at film festivals and it even won a few awards!

What are you up to these days?

MARIO: These days I am rebuilding my robotics for bigger theaters and also figuring out how to make my message even clearer for kids and families. This Saturday is our first time performing at The Alden, and we can’t wait! We are touring the show most of the year now, in theaters, science centers, and schools across the country. The privilege to visit new places and meet new audiences fuels us!

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