Film fest stars show children endless possibilities (Video)

Camille Doty

March 24, 2012 at 7:02 p.m.
Updated March 23, 2012 at 10:24 p.m.

Musician Kevin Gant, the subject of the documentary film "Kevin," performs at the Children's Discovery Museum.

Musician Kevin Gant, the subject of the documentary film "Kevin," performs at the Children's Discovery Museum.   Todd Krainin for The Victoria Advocate

The art of magic is hiding the art, and great magicians can make the most complicated trick look effortless.

Grant Truman learned how difficult it is to create an illusion.

"I tried it once, and it was horrible," he said.

The 9-year-old Nazareth Academy student was amazed Saturday at how documentary star Derek McKee made cards disappear.

"How did you do that?" Grant asked.

"I do it well," Derek answered.

The two young magic enthusiasts had this exchange at the Victoria TX Independent Film Festival.

Derek, 17, and fellow star Krystyn Lambert did a question-and-answer segment after the Victoria debut of their documentary, "Make Believe." About 100 people attended.

Film fest executive director Anthony Pedone invited actors, directors and jurors from five different countries to be a part of his hometown festival.

Thirty-seven features, documentaries and short films were screened throughout the four days. Most matinee features were at the Johnson Symposium while the premium films were at the Leo J. Welder Center.

In "Make Believe," camera crews followed six dedicated teenagers embarking on their journey to the World Magic Seminar in Las Vegas.

Although these aspiring professionals appear self-assured and confident on stage, they are somewhat isolated from their peers. Their passion for magic helps them push through the obstacles of adolescence, poverty and fear of failure.

Derek and Krystyn have traveled coast to coast and to Toronto to promote their film. During their Saturday afternoon, center stage performance at the Welder Center, Derek and Krystyn exuded confidence and showmanship.

Krystyn said she's learned to accept her unique personality.

"What made me uncool in high school made me well liked in college," she said. The 21-year-old Los Angeles star is now a third year philosophy student at University of California-Los Angeles.

Krystyn has decided to make magic her life's work. "I'm going to die on stage, 80 years from now," she said.

Derek, who's still in high school in Littleton, Colo., hasn't figured out his career path, but he's pretty confident his choice will involve his childhood passion.

"Magic is such an important part of my life and everything I do," he said.

The 17-year-old high school junior dedicates 35 hours a week to perfecting his craft. His performance was infused with life lessons.

After the Theatre Victoria performance, the two movie stars took to the stage at the Children's Discovery Museum.

Derek looked out into the audience at the wide, curious eyes who looked up to him. Six-year-old Kristine Koch became his assistant.

He captured the wishes of several inquisitive spectators and made them form into a rainbow. Joking that he's the Justin Bieber of magic, Derek told the crowd any dream is possible.

Curious, Grant volunteered to be a part of the act.

The fourth-grader was inspired and intrigued by the show. "With magic, you can do stuff you've never seen before," he said.

After watching the movie and demonstration, he learned a valuable lesson. "I'll try harder to get it right the next time," he said.



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