Student Spotlight: Brence Platner

The Paw Print recently sat down with senior Brence Platner, who has been concentrating on his act as a magician lately, among his many other interests and talents. Aside from being a professional magician, Brence is the president of the Pine Crest Upper School chorus, a multi-sport athlete on the varsity basketball and volleyball teams, and filmmaker with Pine Crest and on his own.


It is not an uncommon sight to see a group of students crowded around Brence, mid-magic trick, in our Pine Crest hallways. Brence often performs magic on command for the delight of friends and fans around campus. His dexterous sleight of hand never fails to wow those watching.


“My dad got me into magic when I was younger. He would always show me small stuff,” Brence said of his introduction to magic. 

However, Brence was not always the skilled magician he is today. He described that his aptitude for magic began the day he was at an airport in Belize on a trip to get his scuba diving certification. Three years ago during the summer after his freshman year of high school, he said that he held a deck of cards in front of him while he and his parents waited for their flight. A couple in the airport asked him if he knew any card tricks, and Brence was disappointed to tell them no. The interaction inspired Brence to learn once he got home, and he quickly began to build his repertoire of tricks. 


Three years after the catalyst of Brence’s interest in magic, he now shares his talent with audiences outside of the Pine Crest community.  He has since performed at birthday parties, bar and bat mitzvahs, and public events, like this year’s Boo-By-The-Sea, a family-friendly Halloween gathering in Lauderdale by the Sea. With his recent purchase of business cards, the senior shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. 


Brence’s 11th grade English teacher, Mr. Lemole, has been a fan of Brence ever since teaching him in AP English Literature and Composition. Aside from his writing skills inside the classroom, Mr. Lemole has recognized Brence’s adept skills as a magician. Mr. Lemole said of his magic, 

“I don’t know much about magic, but I do know that distraction is part of the game. What Brence does well is he’s not just agile with his fingers… He’s agile with his mind. He can keep a stream of conversation that keeps his spectators occupied, so he can keep them distracted as he needs them to be.”


Additionally, Brence had a special experience this past summer by travelling to Cape Town, South Africa. He made the journey with Zebra Crossing Adventures, a leadership organization headed by Chad Songy that teaches basketball as well as leadership skills to kids in South Africa. Brence was very complimentary of the trip, and said it was a great learning experience for him and the children he interacted with. However, he ran into an interesting situation when performing magic abroad. When performing the tricks, he had to clarify that the “magic” was only tricks, as the people were afraid of possible voodoo spirits that Brence’s magic might have brought.


An overall friend of Pine Crest School, Brence is always happy to talk or perform spontaneous magic shows in the hallway for all those who would like to see. If you see Brence, say hello, give him a high-five, or hire him for your next event!