For as long as he can remember, 29-year-old Richard Flores, better known by his stage name Ritchy Flo, dreamed of being a rapper.
But when it came to paying the bills, the music left him a little flat.
“I was still starting to doubt the music side of things. I was like music’s fun, but it’s so much work,” Flores said.
So, about a year ago, in part to draw a steadier paycheck, he took up a new gig: magic.
Ritchy still raps, but now lives off his magic.
“I called my friend one day like, ‘Hey, I’m paying the bills with magic money,’” he said.
Ritchy first got into magic when he was just a boy. “Almost all magicians have the same story: their grandpa showed them a trick, and it changed their life. Same as me," he said.
Over the years, Ritchy always had tricks up his sleeve, but never really took it seriously, until he performed some at one of his rap shows and presto.
“These people are reacting so crazy to this little thing that I did people like my music," he said. "People love my magic.”
Many of them are so amazed, they truly believe Ritchy has magical powers. Some even claim he's the devil.
“The devil can’t do this stuff. I've never seen the devil do any of this kinda stuff," he said.
He promises he's not the devil. He simply found a passion and let it flourish.
In fact, Ritchy said misdirection and sleight of hand are just part of the act. He said the real magic is how it makes people happy.
“People need that," he said. "No one’s going out in the street and making your day a little better. I just hope they walk away thinking ‘what was that?!’”
Ritchy said it's made him happier too. Not only is he still doing music, but now he's also made all his worries disappear.
“I’m finally able to pay my bills doing what I love to do," he said.
This wasn't the career Ritchy had in mind, but what started as a second job has turned out to be pretty magical.