The unsuspecting reporter pulled a jack of diamonds from Bryan Lizotte\u2019s deck of playing cards. When Lizotte looked through the pack and identified the wrong card, he told the reporter she should look on her cell phone. There, on the screen, was a text message: \u201cThe card you\u2019re thinking of is the jack of diamonds.\u201d Lizotte, a full-time magician and Shelton resident, has moved into the realm of technology, using a new magician\u2019s app on his phone to stump his audience. \u201cYou have to constantly change what you\u2019re doing to reflect what people are familiar with,\u201d he said. Although pulling his pet rabbit Cookie from a hat is still the top crowd pleaser, Lizotte peppers his shows with contemporary themes. He presents anti-bullying magic shows, using large cards bearing the sad faces of children who are bullied. \u201cI change them into smiley faces after teaching the children that they have to counteract the bully,\u201d he said. He also performs magic shows with \u201creading\u201d themes at libraries and has done shows related to Turn Off Your TV Week and promoting recycling. \u201cI try to put a message in my shows,\u201d Lizotte said. Movie connections, balloon animals He often makes his tricks \u201cresemble\u201d parts of popular movies, he said, and recently used his talents as a balloon artist to create 240 penguin balloons for children attending "Penguins of Madagascar" at a movie theater in Wallingford. He also makes balloon animals on family nights on Sundays at the SBC Restaurant & Brewery in Milford. Lizotte said his favorite type of performance is \u201cclose-up\u201d magic, involving sleight-of-hand tricks with cards, ropes or coins. \u201cI like to do the close-up, because the magic happens in your hands,\u201d he said. Whether he\u2019s performing magic at children\u2019s birthday parties or for adults at corporate functions or other events, he \u201creads\u201d his audiences to see how they react to the tricks he\u2019s performing An early interest Lizotte has gained confidence through the years, and recalls how nervous he was during one of his first shows at the Pinecrest Country Club in Shelton. \u201cI shook throughout the show,\u201d he said. Lizotte, who attended St. Joseph\u2019s School and Shelton High School, has been doing magic shows for 24 years. But his interest in magic began as a child. \u201cIn 1990, when I was 12, my dad took me to a magic show in Derby,\u201d he said, to see well-known magician and Shelton resident Chet Karkut, who was also a police detective. \u201cI enjoyed the show, and he asked me up on stage,\u201d Lizotte said. \u201cAs we left, I told my father, \u2018I want to be a magician.\u2019\u201d He sent for a catalog on magic tricks, but it wasn\u2019t suited for someone his age. \u201cI got frustrated,\u201d he said, and it would be years before magic entered his life again. He was working in a medical laboratory at Griffin Hospital at age 32 when a local magician, Amazing Andy, introduced him to local magic clubs. \u201cI started learning the magic and started to perform,\u201d Lizotte said. Performs at many venues Today, he often performs in restaurants and bars, including the Triple Play Sports Bar in Watertown on Saturday nights. His magic shows can draw people into a restaurant to boost business, he said, which is a benefit that restaurant owners recognize. In one Waterbury restaurant, he performed a magic trick for a few women attending a nearby conference. \u201cThey wanted to see more and stayed,\u201d he said, and they later brought 15 of their friends in to see his magic tricks. He also takes his shows to child care centers, adult day care centers and nursing homes. His 9-year-old son Patrick occasionally accompanies him. \u201cThis time of year, I do Christmas parties,\u201d Lizotte said. He has entertained children for the past 20 years at the Echo Hose Fire Company\u2019s Christmas party. He starts shopping for new props in November to create new Christmas tricks each year. Had magic stores In past years, he ran his own magic shop, the See-More Magic Shop in Seymour, and he and his wife Michele ran Lizotte\u2019s Magic and Toy Shop in Shelton. These days, he\u2019s the official magician for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and for Thomas the Tank Engine in Essex. Although the recession cut into his magic show business, the popularity continues, and he performed magic at 15 Halloween parties this fall. He recently performed at a grand opening of a dentist\u2019s office in Fairfield and has done magic shows at weddings and funeral receptions. A marriage proposal \u201cI helped a man propose to his girlfriend,\u201d he said, at the former Carousel Restaurant in Seymour. As part of a magic trick, he made the ring appear, and the man \u201cgot down on his knees and proposed,\u201d Lizotte said. He\u2019s also performs mind reading or \u201cmentalism\u201d tricks. \u201cSomeone turns to a page in a book, and I can tell them what they read,\u201d he said. Doing magic tricks \u201ctakes a lot of practice,\u201d he said. \u201cIt\u2019s very important to practice before [doing] tricks.\u201d He adds his own \u201cpatter\u201d \u2014 or conversation \u2014 as he performs the magic, and gives advice to young magicians he tutors. \u201cIt\u2019s more than doing a trick,\u201d he said. \u201cYou have to tell a story.\u201d For information about Lizotte\u2019s magic shows, call 203-924-9532 or go to the Magic Moments website at www.bryanlizotte.com.