KENRICK ‘ICE’ MCDONALD: Imagination – Compassion – Excellence

So you think you know ICE McDonald? Think again. Yes, he has been featured on a half-dozen covers and in dozens of articles in magic magazines, and has also starred on national and world
television. ICE has received numerous awards and has performed in nearly a dozen countries. But there is much more to the man than his accomplishments in the field of magic.

ICE made his magical appearance on Wednesday morning July 6, 1960, at 1:46 a.m. His father was a Baptist preacher, and the family business was preaching and ministering. At the age of ten,
ICE received his first magic kit from a second-hand store; it was missing several pieces. Young Kenrick had to use his creative skill to figure out the missing parts of the kit. We know ICE’s imagination
was so wild that many times his parents found him on top of a thirty-foot tree in his backyard performing to an imaginary audience. ICE was reared in a strict Christian home, so activities such as singing, dancing, and other entertainment outside of church activities were not tolerated. ICE speaks of a time when his mother heard strange noises coming from his room. When she opened his bedroom door, she saw her youngest child performing for an imaginary audience, and then becoming the audience applauding for the performer! She would often just shake her head and continue with her housework.

It would seem that ICE had a good idea of what he wanted to be and where he wanted to go, but that would be an illusion. As ICE recalls, “I would love for people to think I had a firm direction
during my younger days, but I must be truthful. Prior to the tenth grade, I was the class nerd – a glasses-wearing, several-steps-behind- everybody-else nerd. Don’t get me wrong. I was talented, but
the coolness didn’t come until my sophomore year of high school. How ironic that my stage name is ICE – the embodiment of cool. Due to the watchfulness of my parents, it took a long time for me
to shake the nerd-iness. I couldn’t watch ‘worldly’ television programming. Even with the magic, in spite of the fact that my father bought my first magic kit, I had to be discreet when performing
magic. There was a time when the church frowned on the practice of magic, and this is still the case in some churches today. “Being a born-again Christian, I face this issue even today. Before I became
somewhat famous, I felt like the church’s unwanted stepchild. The church leaders wouldn’t allow me to perform when guests were present, but brought me in to entertain children during some family events.

The bishop at my current church made that a dim memory when he invited me to entertain 15,000 church members. My God-given talent had been fully recognized by my spiritual family. But, under this appearance of coolness, I am still the biggest nerd.”

Read ICE’s amazing story in the July issue of M-U-M by Clicking HERE


  1. Samuel Luther Hodges, Jr, July 18, 2014:

    I have followed you briefly since seeing you perform on YouTube. My Father, too was a Baptist preacher, (may he R.I.P.). Your story of becoming interested in magic is much like mind. I see that you made your magical appearance in 1960. I was born in 1961. (The sixties was a good year.) I too was (am) a nerd. Also, being a black young boy doing magic made me even more nerdish, but strangely cool among my peers and adults. I was uniquely cool. Anyway, thanks for all you have and is doing in/for magic! I’m doing a project to locate as many black magicians around the world. If you know of any, please email me or face book me of them. (

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