Lights and magic

May 14, 2003 12:00 am

By CLAIRE ST. JOHN

Rob Smittle has a passion for performance.

Tyler Goldemberg prefers to stay in the shadows, providing light for the more dramatically inclined.

Although their interests follow different paths, the two Sonora High School seniors will do their final performance together.

Smittle, who will attend the American Musical and Drama Academy to study acting on film next year, did magic tricks on the streets of San Francisco for his high school senior project. He spent three days in different locations in the city, confounding anyone who would watch with his nimble fingers and slick deck of cards.

"It's just looking for people who would watch," Smittle said, twisting cards over the fingers of one hand.

Two friends made a DVD of Smittle performing and dealing with a police officer who asked for their filming permit.

"We actually filmed him talking to us," Smittle said. "I guess you can't make a movie on Pier 39."

Goldemberg's senior project focuses on lighting. He wrote his senior paper on aspects of lighting design, and he served as the lighting technician for Sonora High School's production of "Inherit the Wind."

Goldemberg has done a little bit of lighting over the past few years, he said, but since researching the subject, he plans to work in lighting at Sierra Repertory Theatre over the summer and eventually get a degree in lighting design and a degree in business law from Carnegie Mellon University.

"If I ever have a theater drop on me, I ought to know how to run it," he said of his aspirations. "I'm not the kind of person who leaves things to chance."

Smittle and Goldemberg will combine their talents for a panel of senior project judges that will score their long-labored efforts.

"I'm going to start with some flourishes … " Smittle began, "And I'm going to do some light tricks," Goldemberg finished.

Although it might be an extra strain on the judges to pay attention to magic tricks and creative lighting at once, Smittle and Goldemberg — both passionate about their skills — plan to make the presentation perfect.