A successful CPA with a love of magic has found a way to do both. Neil Schloss, founder of Castle Consulting in Hightstown, New Jersey, provides accounting services full time and throws in a card trick or two.
Castle's receptionist Colleen Dikert told reporters "Yes, he does tricks in the office. Everyone that has come in the last couple months received a card trick. That's his specialty."
Schloss's love of magic began when he would watch David Copperfield entertain at children's parties, he explained. That inspired him to develop his own repertoire of card tricks that he uses to dazzle clients and friends - perhaps proving that the button-down stereotype of a certified public accountant may be nothing more than an illusion.
Earlier this month, Schloss, along with magician Dennis Eleuteri, held a grand opening for It's Magic!, a store packed with every magic trick or prop a kid - or adult - could want. The store is decorated with brightly colored posters of people from the world of magic, such as Harry Houdini and Thurston Howard. Best of all, the store is right next door to Castle Consulting.
Eleuteri explained that his interest in magic developed when, every day on his way home from school, he would stop in at a local magic shop. Over time, he said, the owner would teach him tricks and, when he saved up enough money, he would buy them.
"Before I left the store," said Eleuteri, "I was ready to do the trick. I went home to show mom and dad and the world. I went on to have drawers and houses full of magic." Eleuteri outgrew childhood, but not his passion for "sleight of hand."
"We hope to bring the joy of magic into every heart," he told reporters.
Eleuteri and Schloss don't just love magic, they also love teaching magic and will enjoy the opportunities presented by customers at the store. "We won't sell any trick to someone who can't do it," Eleuteri said. "When people leave here, they will know how to do a trick and to do it well."
With both of Schloss's businesses side by side, all he has to do is step outside the accounting office, walk next door, and step inside a world of magic when he needs a break from number crunching.
"Hightstown is a great location since it's located right off the turnpike and we are in the center of town," he said. "Hightstown has something magical about it, which is why it needs a magic store to bring out the true magic of the town."
The shop will host birthday parties and serve as a referral source for local magicians who want to work parties. The two partners already are bursting with plans to host magic shows and give magic lessons.