ROCKINGHAM — Screams of excitement could be heard all throughout Leath Memorial Library as students filed in to watch the Rockstar Magic Christmas Program.
Students from L.J. Bell, West Rockingham and Washington Street Elementary School packed out the library at 11 a.m. to see the magicians Chris and Neal. The two men run one of Carolina’s leading family magic shows.
Debbie Knight, outreach coordinator for the library, was even more excited than the kids to see them perform their show.
“They are amazing and genuine people,” Knight said. “The kids absolutely love them, and I’m still trying to figure out how they do half the things they do. They normally do a show for us early on in the year, but I asked them if they had a Christmas show. They didn’t have one, so they invented this Christmas program just for us and have even added some new tricks to the act.”
The show was decked out in decorations with Christmas songs playing in the background. The kids began shouting the moment Chris and Neal stepped out and began performing a series of tricks. The energy of the two infectious to everyone in the room.
Peggy Wilkes, who heads up the children’s programs at the library, was amazed at their dedication to keep the show going.
“They’ve already done two shows today for kids from the area,” Wilkes said. “The kids before just loved it. They were giving me high fives and even most of them said they wanted to be magicians.”
The two magicians did disappearing acts with a number of objects along with animals. Neal made a large rabbit magically appear instantly gaining the undivided attention of the children, all of which wanted to pet the fuzzy rabbit.
The entire show was incredibly interactive with the audience bringing up random children to participate in various tricks. One of the more entertaining tricks involved volunteer Jillian Leake, 8, of L.J. Bell.
Leake was brought up front to dance along with Neal before she was forced into a horrendous tuxedo. She seemed a little iffy of the outfit at first before she slipped it on so she could become “The World’s Greatest Magician.”
Her arms were substituted with Chris’ as he performed tricks, making it look as if Jilliam herself were performing things. The kids erupted in applause as Jillian took her bow after she had finished volunteering.
While Chris and Neal entertained the children, they also used it as an opportunity to teach them the real meaning behind Christmas. They talked of their own happy childhood memories while also bringing in the focus on the love that surrounds the holiday.
“Christmas isn’t about the lights, ornaments, gifts or sweets,” Neal said. “It’s about sharing, giving and ultimately it’s all about love.”