Entertainment Local

Cobourg magician heads to Vegas

Cecilia Nasmith

By Cecilia Nasmith, Northumberland Today

CECILIA NASMITH Northumberland TodayColdwell 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.

CECILIA NASMITH Northumberland TodayColdwell 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.

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 two-minute 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 Coldwell-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."

cnasmith@postmedia.com

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