In 1996, when Sparkman found himself juggling the responsibilities of going to college for an engineering degree, working doing magic and spending time with his wife Elisa and their one-year-old daughter Abby, he said that he decided that something had to be given up.
"(My wife and I) are Christians and we pray about everything," Sparkman explained. And after much praying and soul-searching, Elisa gave her husband the "go-ahead" to quit school and pursue magic full-time.
"I derived my money from the kid shows as I built up experience and promotional materials geared toward the adult market," the magician stated. "Though I enjoy entertaining children, my primary interest has always been entertaining adults.
"In order to do corporate work, you need promotional items, such as photos, brochures, and letters of recommendation. So, I had to obtain them as I couuld get them. I needed anything that could validate me as a qualified performer, and I needed experience."
And experience is something that Sparkman has gotten. Already this spring he has performed for the FedEx/St. Jude Classic, Ford Motor Credit, Forest City Prison, Keystone Ski Resort in Colorado, Manpower and Ridgeway Country Club.
He has upcoming performances for 92.9 MFS Solid Rock radio station, Baron Hirsch Synagogue and the National Racquetball Association in Houston, Texas.
Sharon Hirsoch The Desoto County Tribune
His career as a full-time magician began more than two years ago after an interest in card tricks
led to five or six years of giving small performances on the side...
Sparkman's Magic, as he calls his enterprise, offers everything from comedy stage shows, to children's shows,
to strolling, one-on-one magic acts. Sparkman performs at places and functions ranging from business trade shows
to day care centers to private parties.
Stacy Petschauer The Daily News
Brittany laughed as Doug Sparkman pulled a long, colerful sash from the back of her shirt.
The professional magician from Olive Branch was using his “magic” to entertain the youngsters at the Wildwood Christian School…
Sparkman said it took about 100 shows to learn how to entertain children. He averaged about 250 children’s shows last year.
And though he enjoyed entertaining the young ones, he also works with corporations at meetings and trade shows.
Katie Shaw Desoto Appeal
Doug Sparkman asked for an assistant and three dozen hands went up in the air,
waved by eager children wanting to play a part in his magic act.
Sparkman picked bespectacled Chris Stringfellow. "The glasses make him look smart. Is he?"
A mixed chorus of yeahs and nays arose as the 10-year-old bounced to the front of the room to stand beside
the elegantly dressed man and his bag of tricks.
Chris grinned his toothy grin and played the perfect fall guy for Sparkman, who entertained about 40 students
during a weekly chapel program at "The Shepherd's School in Whitehaven April 16.
Chris looked in Sparkman's red cloth bag and assured his classmates nothing was in there.
Sparkman reached in and pulled out a softball-sized rock. Chris flapped his arms and squaked like a chicken.
Sparkman retrieved a plastic egg from the bag. When Sparkman gave him a magic wand to wave over the bag and make the egg disappear,
the wand went limp. Afterward, Chris, a Whitehaven resident, said "It was exciting. It was kind of fun."
He had never been involved in a magic act before but he liked it.
attributed to Debra Elliott-Tenort The Commercial Appeal
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