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Reservist pulls double duty to entertain the troops

(Left) Maj. Wayne Capps, 315th AW Public Affairs Officer, along with Murray Sawchuck (Center), and Dace Chandler perform magic illusions April 16, 2017, to military members in Greenland. The magicians made an American flag appear during an illusion to show appreciation to military service members and families. (Courtesy photo)

(Left) Maj. Wayne Capps, 315th AW Public Affairs Officer, along with Murray Sawchuck (Center), and Dace Chandler perform magic illusions April 16, 2017, to military members in Greenland. The magicians made an American flag appear during an illusion to show appreciation to military service members and families. (Courtesy photo)

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, SC -- Maj. Wayne Capps, 315th Airlift Wing Public Affairs Officer, has more than one trick up his sleeve.

The PAO recently traveled to more than six countries, performing illusions for U.S. troops as part of the ‘Masters of Magic’ tour performing 10 shows in 17 days, with a little help from some magical friends.

Capps was invited to perform on the Armed Forces Entertainment tour with other famous magicians Dave Chandler, also known as “The Boston Magician”, and Murray Sawchuck, a Las Vegas headlining magician and reality TV star.

According to the AFE website, Capps is one of the Southeast’s most talented stage illusionists, performing in nearly 20 countries and alongside many celebrities. In Charleston, he has an annual summer theater show and runs the successful Charleston Magic Parlor.

“I’ve shared a stage with Penn and Teller and sawed Flava Flav in half,” said Capps. “I’ve also performed at Stephen Colbert’s home, but this tour may be the highlight of my career as a magician.”

According to Capps, it was important to provide a piece of home to the troops abroad for many reasons. Unlike his magical counterparts, Capps is the only one serving in the U.S. Air Force Reserve.

During one of the stops on the tour, Capps performed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. This experience brought back a lot of memories for the magician, since he was deployed there for six months in 2015.

“Performing for these men and women means the world to me,” said Capps. “I’ve been deployed multiple times, including Guantanamo Bay, and understand what it’s like being thousands of miles from my family, and sitting where they’re sitting now. AFE shows give a break from reality, and offer a piece of home.”

Capps added, to give these hard working men and women an escape makes it all worth it. At the end of the show, Capps was given a standing ovation from the crowd in Cuba.

“Wow, what a great show,” said Steave Barness, director of MWR at Soto Cano Air Base in Honduras, one of the tour stops. “This was one of the most fun shows we have had here.”

“As a reservist, we all have a thing,” said Capps, referring to his work outside of the military. “It’s the thing we do that defines us. For some, it’s being a police officer, or a school teacher, or being a part of a company; it’s a unique skill set we bring into our military careers.”

He added, “For me, it’s magic.”

Capps, a native of Knoxville, TN, has been performing magic since the age of fourteen. He is a student of classical magicians, but adds his own twist. Influences include famed illusionists, Harry Houdini and David Copperfield.

AFE is the official United States Department of Defense agency for providing entertainment to U.S. military personnel overseas, hosted the magic tour.

AFE hosts more than 1,200 shows around the world each year, reaching more than 500,000 personnel at 355 military installations. In addition to magicians, AFE showcases musicians, and celebrities of sports, movies, and television.
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