CARTHAGE — Daniel A. Tobin can still remember seeing Michael W. Beyette making balloon animals and performing magic around town. It was in part what inspired him to become Dan the Magic Man.
“A few years ago my grandma got me a magic kit with little balloons to make balloon animals. ... I lost interest in it until I saw him, and then I randomly started doing it,” the 19-year-old said.
Over the past few years, Mr. Tobin has become a staple at community events. With his flash of orange hair, bright red nose, clown face paint and loose-fitting purple pants, he’s hard not to notice. Children are drawn to his colorful balloon figures — including swords, dogs, giraffes, elephants, mice, poodles, ray guns, bumblebees and hearts. He has often been spotted at Carthage Winterfest, Fort Drum Mountainfest, Black River Elementary carnival and the Carthage Fireworks Festival.
“The first time I did an event was at the Carthage Fireworks. I was the only guy there doing” balloon animals, Mr. Tobin said.
New this year was a stint at the St. James Fair in June.
The recent Carthage High School graduate first became interested in magic tricks around seventh grade. It wasn’t until he started attending high school that he opted to learn more so he could go commercial. He ordered magic kits off the Web and assembled a costume.
“The wig — I used to help out in the clothing box at the Church of the Nazarene and someone put this in there and they let me take it, because it’s not really clothes to donate,” Mr. Tobin said. “The pants are my oldest brother, Matt’s. He went to Carthage and at one point for something he had to do an M.C. Hammer dance and these were the pants he had to wear. ... I thought they were perfect for a clown outfit.”
With his look coming together and his skills developing, it was not long before Mr. Tobin was on the scene in the Carthage area. He did public events or private parties. At school he took part in talent shows, taking first in 2013 with assistance from best friend John Moore; anything that would get his name out there. Mr. Beyette eventually left the scene, continuing to work in southern Jefferson County, and Carthage became Mr. Tobin’s show. It is something he said will not change now that he is a high school graduate.
“I’ll always do this kind of thing on the side. I’ll always find time to do this,” said Mr. Tobin, who will not be leaving for college in the fall. “I couldn’t imagine living in a better community ... I’d like to thank the community for all the support for giving me opportunities.”
While he does not believe he can make a living doing these gigs, he does have a few aspirations he’d like to reach before life takes him outside the area.
“My dream would be to be at the New York State Fair ... If I could just set up there, that’s huge,” Mr. Tobin said.
He also would like to get into the Lewis or Jefferson County fairs next year. There are a few legal things, including a certificate of insurance, that he would need to square away. He is also always on the lookout for new magic tricks.
Mr. Tobin is available for private functions, charging $50 to $75. Anyone interested in booking can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 493-4782.