In high school, David Larz Anderson participated in school plays, performed children’s theater productions, learned juggling and even danced ballet. After graduating from Napa High School in 1971, he originally studied theater arts at Napa Valley College but switched to studying science, thinking it would be a “more practical” choice for a career. 

He married his high school sweetheart, had two children, and began what became a 30-year career with Bayer HealthCare Berkeley.

But Anderson, now 57, recently returned to his dream of performing in front of audiences, this time as a magician. 

In 2009, after learning about a chapter of the Society of American Magicians (SAM) located in Pleasant Hill, Anderson began attending meetings. It wasn’t long before he jumped in with both feet.

“I figured I’d have to learn fast, it wasn’t like I was kid anymore,” Anderson said. 

It looks like the hard work paid off. In tandem with former Napan and fellow magician Rick Allen, Anderson recently received the Magician of the Year award from SAM.

Anderson said he continues to hone the skills for his own magic show, and has performed at children’s parties with his faithful dog puppet Wooferd. He is developing juggling and balloon-twisting skills, which he said he plans to incorporate into future shows.

“The award was just the icing on the cake,” Anderson said. “The real reward is returning to the fun of sharing wonderment and surprise with audiences.”

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