Sights & Sounds: Locally Grown, Globally Known Magician to Perform at Homecoming
For magical entertainer Aaron Radatz, Dearborn Homecoming has a double meaning.
After practicing magic for audiences in 45 states, 37 countries and six continents, the Dearborn Heights native’s magnum opus is of a different variety.
“Homecoming is the perfect word,” Radatz said.
The 34-year-old magical entertainer will perform at his third Dearborn Homecoming this year, bringing his One Man Show of Magic back to the area it all began.
Radatz’s grandmother gave him a magic set for Christmas when he was six, providing him “a great way to entertain myself as a kid,” Radatz said. But magic became more than just a hobby as he grew older, with Radatz working birthday parties and private events during his high school days at Detroit Catholic Central.
By the time he was 18-years-old, Radatz had made it all the way to San Francisco to perform for Chrysler at a new car announcement. Despite the early success, however, he was urged by both his parents and the late magic great Harry Blackstone to go to college, he said.
Radatz eventually enrolled in and graduated from Central Michigan University with a business degree, heeding advice from Blackstone that has stayed with him to this day.
“It’s show business,” Radatz said, recalling Blackstone’s guidance. “You’ve been working at the ‘show’ part since you were a kid. Go to college, learn the business aspect so you’re able to negotiate contracts and take care of your accounting.”
It was during his time at CMU, however, that Radatz’s career really began taking off. At the age of 21, he became the youngest magician to headline a casino production at Casino Magic Biloxi in Mississippi. And it didn’t end there.
“Once (Aaron) started traveling around the world during college, we knew that (magic) was more than a hobby,” father Jim Radatz said.
Since then, all Aaron has done is perform countless times anywhere from Las Vegas to Bosnia. He even became the first magician ever commissioned by the Pentagon for performance at United States military bases. As Aaron said, the show never stops.
“It’s a lifestyle,” he said. “It’s definitely not a job. It’s something that you’re completely committed to. And you’re always working and you never know where you’re going to be-when or for how long. But that comes with the territory as an entertainer.”
“I couldn’t imagine doing anything else,” he added. “I still feel that I’m just scratching the surface.”
Jim, the father that has seen his son’s passion morph from a hobby to a part-time job to a career, said the Hollywood-esque lifestyle hasn’t touched Aaron. And when the local boy turned global magician takes the stage 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Dearborn Homecoming, he’ll be showing the audience his best performance of all.
“(Aaron) has got a level head,” Jim said. “He has always known where home is, where Dearborn is, where Miller’s Bar is. He has always known where his roots are.”