Magician dentist uses skills to give back

January 3, 2010 12:22:22 PM PST
For 20 years, a Chicago-area dentist has been using his amazing magic skills to give back to his community. He also has a special magic program for children who are deaf and hard of hearing.

There are no communication barriers when it comes to magic. Dr. Mark Kaschube's magic workshop has given deaf and hard of hearing pre-teens a chance to showcase their real talents.

"Dr. Mark is awesome. I've been seeing him for a long time, and I couldn't tell I was like shocked last year I was shocked that he was very good. I thought he was no better than other magicians," said Tatum.

Despite the fact that Dr. Mark Kaschube is a dentist, 12-year-old Tatum Reiss is surprise at how good he is. He is head of the Channahon Family Dentistry practice and a master illusionist.

"When I was a little boy my mother went to a far away place called downtown Chicago. There used to be a magic shop on Randolph Street, so over time ... she has a little gift and it was a magic trick," said Dr. Kaschube. "I would run all around town showing all of my friends and here I am as a professional."

For 20 years, he has put on a Halloween show. One year, a group of deaf children and their teacher came to the show.

"They wanted to design a magic show. So their teacher called me up, said, 'Would you be interested in helping us out?' I went there and it was just absolutely the most wonderful experience to put together a show, and everybody loved it, and next year was a smooth transition," said Dr. Kaschube.

"Unfortunately, my dental career took off the teacher moved on, and it's been a bunch of years. But recently one of my patients has a granddaughter who's deaf and we were talking about this program we used to do, and she goes, 'Would you like to do it again?' " said Dr. Kaschube.

And he did.

"This year was the best out of any, because normally, it takes a couple of magic lessons for the children to open up to me. Within one visit with me we had a photo session that weekend, and I said if you guys go out and get your costumes, and you're ready in two days, I will invite you and you can get your profession," said Dr. Kaschube.

Lisa Slusher's 12-year-old son Justin was one of the kids in the show.

'I'm very happy that he had this opportunity to be in the magic show with Dr. Mark. It enabled him to be in the community and give him a chance to grow up, and he could do many things that many other children can do like hearing children," said Dr. Kaschube.

"The whole concept of this program is to develop social skills and excitement, and when those kids are in front of the audience of 3,000 people, boy does it change their life."

To learn more about Dr. Kaschube, the dentist-magician, go to