All posts by mackenzieevenson2020

Into the lives of Chicago’s modern magicians

By Mackenzie Evenson
Medill Reports

During the pandemic, magician Jeanette Andrews is casting a few spells through a toll-free, magic telephone line. Shelter-in-place callers hear a voice give instructions and choices on the other line, resulting in what seems like a real trick. “The ongoing faith in me and my work is one of the only things keeping me going right now,” Andrews said.

The 30-year-old sensory illusionist learned much of her craft from generous mentors who spent their time and knowledge helping her succeed and grow. “Magic is one of very few fields that is still genuinely handed down from person to person,” she said.
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Parting with Alaska

By Mackenzie Evenson
Medill Reports

During my junior year at the University of Alaska Anchorage, I was walking into an Applebees when my dad called and said, “They found a tumor in my brain.” He said it so nonchalantly that the appropriate response evaded me. In a few days, he would undergo emergency brain surgery — but I shouldn’t worry, he said. “It’s not like I’m dying.”

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Jesse Leinwand: The peaceful simplicity of apes

By Mackenzie Evenson
Medill Reports

Strolling into the Park Place Café at noon on a chilly Chicago day in January, Jesse Leinwand dressed the way he does every day, rain or shine: knee-high rubber boots, tall socks and khaki shorts reminiscent of the late crocodile hunter Steve Irwin. The 30-year-old Lincoln Park Zoo research assistant gives the apes daily cognitive puzzles on touchscreens and helps scientists with other studies of humans’ closest living relatives.

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