Making magic

Frank Dunn of Washougal will launch illusion magic show

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Magician Frank Dunn will take his show to the local stage at the Washburn Performing Arts Center on Friday and Saturday.

Frank Dunn of Washougal will be taking his show to the Washburn Performing Arts Center Friday and Saturday.

He will be performing, “Cherokee Secrets: A Native American Illusion Magic Show.” Performance times are 7 p.m. Friday, an 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday.

Dunn has been performing magic since he became inspired in the 1970s as a kid with a magic set. Eight years ago, he performed his first illusion show on stage incorporating his heritage of being an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

Dunn worked three years for the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation supporting art for Native Americans nationally. He said he was inspired by all of the art forms in music, dance and theater, in addition to traditional Native American artwork.

“This illusion magic show I started with the story,” Dunn explained. “I wrote a Native American story (based on) contemporary day issues of being a Native American in 2014, while pulling on some great historical stories of the Cherokee story of good dog versus bad dog.”

He continued, “Whichever dog you feed is the dog that is going to win. After I had a good story, I brought in the artwork of drums, totem poles, bow and arrows, pottery and dance. Lastly, I added the illusions and magic.”

Dunn noted that the hardest part of putting a show together is having both the time and money. He constructs his illusions from his home woodshop, to save on costs. He is also helping Washougal High School senior Jeff Lunde with his senior project at the same time.

“Jeff has been helping me build illusions and I have been teaching him the art of magic,” he said. “Jeff will be opening for me performing his magic before the show.”

As inspiration, he recently read, “Good to Great” by Jim Collins.

“I am implementing what I learned,” Dunn said. “He describes picking one thing and doing it not good but great. I have picked magic. Collins explains it is like sinking a ship; you fire small cannon balls until you hit your target and get the calibration and angles all right. Then, you fire your big cannon ball to sink the ship.”

He continues, “I am calibrating by (having) the illusion magic show in Washougal with the performance and the marketing. After we refine it, the goal is to take it to the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, fire the big cannon ball and sink it with a sold out show.”

Tickets can be pre-purchased online at for $10. Tickets are $15 at the door.