It’s part of his job as a magician.
Looking for something to do this weekend? Find what you need in our Weekend Entertainment Guide newsletter.
But there’s more to Buss than meets the eye. He’s also an actor and comedian and admits to be pretty handy with power tools.
Put all these talents together and — abracadabra! — you have a high-energy show of illusion, music, comedy and zany inventions.
One minute, Buss will display an intriguing sleight of hand, and the next he will show off his Elvis impersonator skills or get laughs with a homemade stage prop.
Buss’ unique style of entertainment has landed him on such shows as “America’s Got Talent” in 2012 and “The Late Show with David Letterman.”
He’s also performed around the world — from the Happy Valley Theme Park in Shenzhen City, China, to Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan.
“I’ve been to countries that I would never get the chance to visit without magic,” he said. “And it’s been a blast.”
Buss will bring his innovative knack for fun to the seventh annual Safe Place/Antietam Exchange Club Comedy and Magic Show on Saturday, March 23.
A major fundraising event for Safe Place, Washington County’s Child Advocacy Center, the show will be held at The Maryland Theatre in downtown Hagerstown, beginning at 7 p.m.
In addition to Buss, performers will include Kerrick “Ice” McDonald, a master magician, show producer and lecturer; The Crescent Circus, featuring Nathan Kepner and Morgan Tsu-Raun, who entertain with magic and acrobatics; and Michael Grasso, a magician who also was on “America’s Got Talent” and became a YouTube fan favorite.
The show is sponsored by Friends of Safe Place and Antietam Exchange Club, in addition to other community sponsors.
“We consider this our signature event,” said Janis Williamson, a Safe Place board member, “to not only raise funds to help support Safe Place, but to raise awareness about child abuse and the role Safe Place plays in child abuse prevention in our community.”
Williamson said organizers expect to raise about $10,000 this year from sponsorship and ticket sales.
“Funds are used to help with some of Safe Place’s expenses, such as specialized staff and equipment,” she said. “Safe Place has made every effort to ease the experience for the children and their nonoffending family members who they serve, and this includes using state-of-the-art technology in order to make interviews as unobtrusive as possible.”
According to Williamson, Safe Place assisted almost 3,000 victims and family members in 2012. That work hasn’t gone unnoticed by Buss.
“It’s always great to be part of a fundraiser show like this,” he said. “Everyone in the room is helping a great cause. Whether you buy a ticket or appear on stage, it feels good to raise money to help kids in need. There is no reason they shouldn’t be able to achieve their dreams, too.”
Buss knows about dreams. He can trace his desire to entertain an audience back to kindergarten.
“Our class was putting on a show for the parents at the school,” he recalled. “And my teacher asked me to take a program to one of the other teachers. She was standing across the auditorium near the front of the room. After I crossed over to hand deliver it, I noticed it became quiet in the room and everyone was watching me. And on my way back, I stopped at the center of the room, took a bow and kept walking. The whole room erupted into laughter. That was the first laugh I ever got in public. So, I guess I was a stand-up comedian at age 5.”