Texas magicians bring crafts to the senior community

AUSTIN (KXAN) – For New Austin Residents Scott Hollingworth, he has a few tricks up his sleeve for new neighbors in his senior community.

Hollingsworth and his wife, Judy, are both career magicians. Since childhood, Scott has been fascinated by the wonders of magic and its ability to captivate audiences.

With tens of thousands of shows under his belt, he has performed as locally as Houston’s Magic Island dinner theater to Hollywood’s Magic Castle. Now he’s bringing decades of practice to their new home at Ledgestone Senior Living Community, with a handful of shows planned for residents this holiday season.

“Magic is a performing art. It’s the only entertainment that deals with the mind,” Scott said. “Everything else, like music, dance, ballet, plays, all deal with the emotions of the heart. But magic deals with the mind.

Scott was first introduced to the world of magic when he was seven years old and saw a magician perform at a school event around Christmas. After that introduction and the receipt of his first kit, the rest, as they say, is history.

“Thanks to a teacher who showed me a magic book in the library, it piqued my curiosity,” he said. “And I’ve been on the books ever since.”

Judy and Scott met in 2007 and married in 2011. Their love was, quite literally, a magical affair: She owned a magic shop with her estranged husband before his death in 2004, and she performed as an illusionist in the of his own career.

For decades, the two have been leading figures in Houston’s magic scene. Scott was resident magician and director of entertainment at Magic Island in Houston for 27 years.

Now the two have moved to Ledgestone and are immersing themselves in Austin’s magical community. The magic industry has changed over the decades, Scott said. Gone are the days when built stages and programming dedicated to magicians were commonplace.

Lately, his career has turned more towards private parties and corporate events. In Austin, he said he’s noticed an increase in street performers or individuals performing close-up tricks without the glitz of props or stages.

Scott and Judy Hollingsworth, new residents of the Ledgestone Senior Living Community in Austin, brought their magical flair to fellow residents. (KXAN Photo/Kelsey Thompson)

But what hasn’t changed in her lifelong adventures with magic is how she continues to captivate audiences new and old.

“It’s about playing for other people and making them happier and creating that wonder in their lives,” he said.

Magic, says Scott, is a lot like age: it’s all mental. He said he plans to retire within the next two years, at the age of 85.

But when was your life’s career focused on magic and wonder? You don’t work a day, he said.

“It’s a wonderful life,” Judy said. “You spend your whole life going to parties and making people have fun.”

Brian L. Hartfield