Magician heads to Ve­gas

Lo­cal re­al­tor/il­lu­sion­ist is ready to take the big stage at the MGM Grand.

Northumberland Today - - FRONT PAGE - CE­CILIA NASMITH cna­smith@post­media.com twit­ter.com/NT_c­na­smith

COBOURG — Next week, am­a­teur magician Al McLel­lan goes en­ter­tain­ing a hand­ful of as­so­ci­ates to the main stage at Las Ve­gas’s MGM Grand Ho­tel to per­form for an au­di­ence es­ti­mated at 6,000.

A sales rep­re­sen­ta­tive at the Cold­well Banker RMR Real Es­tate Bro­ker­age Cobourg of­fice, McLel­lan was sort of razzed-and-ribbed into sub­mit­ting a twominute au­di­tion tape to be con­sid­ered as one of three magic acts to per­form at the Cold­well com­pany’s in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence, known as Gen Blue. He was the only Cana­dian per­former cho­sen, he said this week — the other two acts are Amer­i­can and fe­male.

McLel­lan is also pleased, be­cause he hap­pens to be one of the new­est reps in the Cobourg of­fice.

The for­mer Toronto res­i­dent orig­i­nally took up magic back in the ‘90s as an ac­tiv­ity he could share with his nephew, an as­pir­ing ac­tor.

The boy went on to shift his fo­cus to cars and girls. But McLel­lan re­al­ized he’d found an en­joy­able hobby that could re­ally de­light a young au­di­ence at such events as birthdays and High­land Shores Chil­dren’s Aid So­ci­ety Christ­mas par­ties — long-time foster par­ents, he and his wife San­dra even­tu­ally adopted four chil­dren, who also loved their dad’s magic act.

It was all just for fun, he said. He never charged to do his thing and he al­ways looked up on it as a way to mo­ti­vate him­self and en­ter­tain oth­ers.

The chil­dren got older, McLel­lan put his magic wand away and de­voted more time to his other in­ter­ests — pho­tog­ra­phy, mo­tocross rac­ing, travel and his busi­ness, RM Com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

The McLel­lans moved to a ru­ral prop­erty near Northum­ber­land some years back, and have since be­come sup­port­ers of Northum­ber­land Hills Hos­pi­tal and other lo­cal causes.

Even­tu­ally, they de­cided to make the move to Cobourg. McLel­lan looked around for a sec­ond ca­reer and was im­pressed with Cold­well’s sales, mar­ket­ing, mo­ti­va­tional, prospect­ing and so­cial me­dia ac­tiv­i­ties and pro­grams.

By that time, he hadn’t touched magic in about 12 years.

When he heard the Gen Blue or­ga­niz­ers were look­ing to au­di­tion magic acts, McLel­lan re­marked idly to of­fice ad­min­is­tra­tor Kathy Hop­kins that he used to do magic.

Hop­kins talked him into dust­ing off his props and sub­mit­ting the au­di­tion video that can be viewed at his Al McLel­lan, Sales Rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Cold­well Banker RMR, Real Es­tate Bro­ker­age You Tube chan­nel.

“I hon­estly never thought I’d have a chance,” he ad­mit­ted. “It has been a rush since then!” Hop­kins and other friends have been act­ing as both au­di­ence mem­bers and coaches ever since to help him get things re­ally smooth for the big per­for­mance on the last day of the con­fer­ence.

The prize for be­ing se­lected was an all-ex­pense-paid trip to Ve­gas, where he will be given the MGM Grand stage for a five-minute show and the chance to win the grand prize – an all-ex­pense-paid trip to Gen Blue 2018, he sus­pects.

McLel­lan has also got­ten a lot of sup­port from Rafael Roberto, owner of the 10 of­fices in the Cold­well Banker RMR fam­ily, such as ar­range­ments for Cold well branded cape and top hat and tick­ets for his wife to join him.

The Cold­well or­ga­ni­za­tion has 70,000 agents in 3,000 of­fices in 49 coun­tries, McLel­lan said, so he agrees the es­ti­mated au­di­ence could be as high as 6,000. And as the only Cana­dian act per­form­ing, he is rep­re­sent­ing Canada in a way.

“Ev­ery­body has been re­ally great — the sup­port of the of­fice lo­cally, but also the head of­fice, Cold­well Banker Canada, all of them, have sup­ported this 100%,” McLel­lan said.

“No mat­ter how it turns out, I can al­ways say with a straight fact that I have per­formed at the MGM Grand Ho­tel on the main stage.”

CE­CILIA NASMITH/NORTHUM­BER­LAND TO­DAY

Cold­well Banker RMR Real Es­tate Bro­ker­age sales rep­re­sen­ta­tive Al McLel­lan of the Cobourg of­fice is one of three magic acts in the world se­lected to per­form at the com­pany's in­ter­na­tional Gen Blue 2017 con­fer­ence in Las Ve­gas — and the only Cana­dian one. The am­a­teur pres­tidig­i­ta­tor will per­form for an es­ti­mated 6,000 peo­ple from the main stage of the MGM Grand Ho­tel.

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