Summer reading program kicks off with magic



May 29, 2013 - 12:00 AM

People of all ages piled into the Iola Public Library meeting room Tuesday morning to catch a glimpse of a magical experience.
Iola native and professional magician Mark Toland helped the library kick off its summer reading program by performing an hour long magic show. Children oohed and aahed as Toland demonstrated mind-boggling tricks.
Toland said he has been doing magic since he was 3.
“I got a magic book when I was young and got bit by the bug,” he said. “I’ve been doing magic ever since.”
Previously Toland worked at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., at the Boardwalk Promenade. Now that his show has wrapped up there, he will be living in Chicago. He does shows nationwide.
Although his Tuesday audience mainly consisted of children, Toland said that surprisingly a majority of his regular audience is older.
“My audience is made up of about 90 percent adults,” he said. “I do shows for corporate events and college students.”
During his Iola show he asked multiple kids in the audience to help with his tricks. Children tested his mind reading skills and ability to hit a target with a Nerf gun while blindfolded.
The audience laughed along as Toland showed them how to be a magician. He ordered a magician kit, “The Vanishing Bandana,” and instead of getting a bandana he received a banana.
For his last trick Toland had the audience promise him not to reenact his dangerous trick. “I promise to never ever, ever, ever do this at home,” Toland said. Instead he jokingly suggested to “go to a friend’s house or school instead.”
The last trick that he performed was a needle and thread swallowing trick.
The library show was the only one Toland was performing in Iola. He was glad he could perform for everyone at the library.
“I taught myself how to read so I could read magic books. That’s why I love doing library shows.”
To learn more about Toland’s performances visit

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