Since he was 6-years-old, David Caserta dreamed of performing magic on the grandest stage of them all: network television.
Tonight the master illusionist, Walnutport native and star of "Haunted Illusions" Halloween spectacular will appear as a contestant on The CW's Penn and Teller: Fool Us.
Caserta said Tuesday that putting his signature "Cutting" illusion -- in which he cuts himself in half -- in front a studio audience is an accomplishment years in the making.
"I used to take my goals and write them on my mirror so everyone in my house would see them and put pressure on me to stay with it," Caserta said. "Through the years, I got sidelined by different TV shows, promises that never happened."
After submitting an audition video last year, Caserta was chosen from thousands of his fellow magicians for a spot on the show. In March 2016, Caserta flew to Las Vegas, where he spent a week rehearsing, filming interviews and performing in the Rio hotel's main showroom. (Rio hotel is also the home of Penn and Teller's Las Vegas residency.)
The "Cutting" illusion -- which Caserta debuted during his 2015 "Haunted Illusions" show at the State Theatre in Easton -- took two years of development to finesse and complete. Caserta said he made some adjustments and the tweaks to the illusion for the taping and will incorporate those changes when he brings "Haunted Illusions" back to the State Theatre on Oct. 21.
"Along with one of my goals, along with doing TV, was having a chance to perform on a stage in Las Vegas and this allowed me to do both of those things," Caserta said.
Caserta, who resides in the Nazareth area, praised the producers for encouraging all of the contestants to do their best to fool the hosts. He said the veteran magician duo legitimately want to be dumbfounded and go out of their way to avoid contestants prior to tapings to maintain the element of surprise.
"What I found really interesting is they (Penn and Teller) don't know who's going to be on the show or what (illusions) are going to be performed," Caserta said. "Their goal is to put magic out there in a good light. They don't say anything bad about the acts."
The appearance is a culmination of a career that started at the age of 12, when Caserta discovered a magic shop in Allentown that offered private magic lessons. Those lessons led Caserta to produce his first large stage show for his fellow students at Northampton Senior High School.
Caserta said he is not allowed to reveal his fate, but encouraged fans to watch this evening's episode.
"It's called Fool Us, but the main objective is to make magic look good," he said.
Penn and Teller: Fool Us airs 8 tonight on The CW Network.