Tonawanda News

Features

March 18, 2014

CRITTER COMPANIONS: The magic of animals

(Continued)

Tonawanda News —

Allen became interested in being a magician after seeing a magician at his elementary school when he was 8 years old.

“I took out a number of magic books from our school library and for years enjoyed performing the tricks for family and friends,” he said. “I started making money as a magician when I was 14, doing kids’ birthday parties and Scout functions — it beat delivering newspapers!”

Around the same time he first saw the magician performing at his school, he received a pair of turtle doves as critter companions. He raised them for several years as pets, until almost 10 years later, when he added them into his act at around age 17 or 18. It was then he started seeing magicians on TV working with doves.

In addition to performing magic, Rob is also a collector. Some of this collection includes posters, signed photos and statues of magicians working with animals. He has many photos of Siegfried and Roy, who performed in Las Vegas for years with their white tigers, lions and an elephant.

“I also have a beautiful poster from Germany that was printed in the 1940s of a magician named Kassner that had a huge show traveling throughout Europe,” Allen said. “He made an elephant disappear!”

Next week, we will find out the unique pet Rob has, how he cares for his professional pets and why it is so important for critter companion caregivers, including magicians, to give the best care possible to their animals.

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