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A magical night
Fair - illusionist.jpg
A young fan is about to be amazed by a banana-related trick performed by illusionist Bryan Drake at the Warren County A&L Fair on Wednesday night. - photo by Lisa Hobbs

It was no illusion Wednesday night at the Warren County A&L Fair.

Bryan Drake was trying to bring people to Christ during a show that mixed magic tricks with a religious undertone.

“Illusions and truth are two opposite things,” said Drake. “In fact, they are diametrically opposed.”

Drake was straightforward in his presentation and said, “Everything you see tonight is fake. It’s an illusion. It’s not real.”

Even with that disclaimer, his tricks were captivating. One of his more elaborate skits involved a lady coming on stage with a $20 bill. Drake had the woman sign the bill, then joked that she had just committed a felony by defacing U.S. currency.

After a series of maneuvers, Drake appeared to burn the woman’s $20 bill and even placed the ashes in her hands. But harmony was restored when he sliced open an orange and pulled the bill with her signature from inside the fruit.

The woman was overcome with amazement at seeing the bill with her signature come from inside the orange. Drake then asked her to read the serial number on the bill. It turned out to be the exact same number as one Drake had written on the board as the show began.

“You see all this crazy stuff and the reason you’re impressed is because there’s only one right answer,” said Drake, who admitted he struggled for some time to find the answer in his own life. “Something was missing. There was a gap in my life and it’s in all our lives. It’s called sin.”

Drake pointed out Jesus Christ died a cruel death by crucifixion to atone for our sins. He made reference to a trick he performed earlier in the show where he was going to smash a cellphone hidden in a paper bag.

“Would you guard your cellphone with your hand if I was going to hit it with a hammer?” asked Drake. But he said this is similar to the sacrifice Christ made for us with his death.

“Christ died for us because he loves you and he loves me,” said Drake. “He came and covered us with his body.”