For Kyle Groves, magic is a way of life. Growing up in Colorado, he learned the craft from his father, Ed Groves, known as Mr. E, who traveled nationwide and abroad performing as a magician. The younger Groves acted as his father's stage assistant and ran the lights and sound.
"I like to tell people I was pulled from a magic hat and not even born at all. I've been doing this as long as I can remember," said Groves, an Oxford resident.
Groves will bring his brand of family magic to Colonel Cob's Corn Maze on Saturday and Oct. 17, for three shows each day at 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. His performance is free with the cost of admission to the maze.
The magic bug bit Kyle Groves' father at age 8. After the school librarian noticed him checking out the same book again and again on magic, she ordered new magic books for him. After graduating from high school, he attended the Chavez School of Magic in Los Angeles (as did Kyle and Kyle's mother) before launching a career as an illusionist.
"It's just been the love of his life," said Groves of his father's connection to magic.
Groves said that although he immersed himself in magic as a young child, by the time he went off to college he had drifted from it, earning a college degree in graphic design.
After his return home from college, Groves interest in magic reignited and he once again became his father's assistant. He and his family also opened a magic and party shop.
"When I moved back to Colorado, I really took it back up and became an award-winning, close-up magician," said Groves.
Groves not only followed his father career-wise but also, like his father, he's involved his family in his magic profession. Groves' five children - ages 15, 14, 12, 10 and 7 - act as his stage assistants and his wife Kendra Groves runs the lighting and sound.
"It makes it fun because we get to do this as a family and they get to experience what I experienced as well as gain a sense of responsibility and hard work," said Groves, who performs his show throughout the Southeast for fundraisers, churches, birthday parties, civic events and festivals.
Audience members watching Groves perform at the corn maze will meet an array of animals that appear and disappear, including Rabbit E. Lee and doves named Elvis, Marilyn and James Dean.
"When Elvis disappears, I get to use the line 'Elvis has left the building," Groves said.
Groves will also make ropes cut in half come back together and make a handkerchief disappear and then reappear in different places. For his performances closer to Halloween, Groves likes to turn audience members into mummies, perform clairvoyant card tricks and place a sword through someone's neck, leaving the person unharmed, of course.
"They have a good time with it. We make it so that no one is uncomfortable at all," Groves said.
Groves said as he's gotten older, he realizes that magic is really show business, which means it's all about making the audience happy.
"The reason I do it is because if I can make someone smile and laugh for even 30 minutes and forget about what's going on in day-to-day life, then I've done my job," Groves said. "I have the best seat in the house because I get to look out and see everyone smiling and just having fun."
Groves said every show has a life of its own, with heavy audience participation making each one unique.
"We look forward to every show because every show is different. It may be the same magic but not the same show. You never know what you're going to get out of people," he said.
For more information on Groves, visit www.kylegrovesmagic.com.