A Harlem man is making a name for himself as an illusionist with an act he's perfecting on the streets of the city.
Long before performing magic under his stage name Kid Ace, the 29-year-old illusionist was just another student at I.S. 90 in Washington Heights.
"I was 12 years old. My junior high school theater teacher showed me a magic trick, and I bugged him for like 2 weeks to teach it to me. He finally cracked and gave me the address to Tannen's Magic Shop," said Kid Ace.
After just one visit to the store, Kid Ace was hooked.
He then practiced his craft at his Harlem home and, at first, performed just for family.
"They'll tell me whether I need to work on something," said Ace.
He eventually took his illusions to city streets performing in places like Harlem, Washington Square Park and Union Square.
His illusions run the gamut and include card tricks up to illusions with props.
On Tuesday, while with NY1’s cameras, he asked two young men to help him with a trick.
In it, he had one man shine his smart phone flashlight toward a glass pitcher.
"If we get enough energy from that light, we can get something cool to happen," Ace said.
Next, the glass pitcher breaks and the pieces fall to the floor.
Both men expressed shock at what happened before their eyes.
Ace said it’s the reactions of his fans that keep him going.
"I just could not believe my eyes when I saw my first real magic trick. So when I see that happen to someone else it reminds me why I do it," said Ace.
In front of one woman at Union Square, Ace demonstrated another trick where he took an empty soda can, refilled it in front of her and then cracked it open as if it was new.
Ace is in demand enough that magic is his full time job, the only job he's had since college.
He's been on television booked at venues around the world and for most of March and April will serve as entertainment on Holland America Line Cruises.
"I do magic on stage with birds from fire bandana's different objects, really crazy things," Ace said.
Kid Ace said he is inspired by magic greats like David Copperfield, Criss Angel, and David Blaine.
He hopes to one day follow in their footsteps.
"It’s my dream to have my own TV show one day," said Ace.
If that’s just not in the cards, Ace said he is happy with what he's achieved so far while entertaining some of the world's toughest critics.
"New Yorkers are going to tell you whether it’s good or it’s bad. So, just when you think you're good, if you don’t get that great reaction you know you gotta get back to work."