"Magic and cutting hair are both arts," he says. "You work with your hands, like a sculptor would work. I invent my own cuts, according to a person's bone structure, and I invent my own card moves."
As a fan of magic, I have seen plenty of performers over the decades, and Juarez is a master. You can marvel for yourself by going to youtube.com/cesarjuarezmagic.
A member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, he has been "retired" for a few years, but that doesn't mean he has stopped working.
He gives private magic performances and also private poker lessons. His business card touts him as a "Texas Hold'em Expert/Specializing in Gambling & Scams with Cards," and he says, "I am not a gambler, but I know how to teach people to protect themselves from other gamblers who will try to cheat."
Almost every day he travels from his home in the Andersonville neighborhood to downtown barbershops and salons, where he offers his services as an expert sharpener for high-end tools. He carries with him a small suitcase filled with scissors and another filled with various stones used to make them sharp.
"He came in here about four months ago," Vodovoz says. "I had not seen him in many years, but I offered him a job. I wanted him in the shop with me."
There is a playful affection and sincere admiration between these two old friends. When they get going, it is like watching a sharp and hilarious comedy team.
"But sometimes we only talk for 5 minutes during the whole day," Juarez says, smiling. "That's why we get along so well together."
Vodovoz laughs and throws his arm around Juarez.
"Tell them about the time …" Vodovoz starts to say, and Juarez, fiddling with the deck of cards in his hands, starts talking again, saying, "Did I tell you about …"
Listen to, among many guests, author Louise Erdrich, photographer Charles Osgood, the Tribune's Ernest Wilkins, WGN weatherman Tom Skilling and director Robert Zemeckis when Rick Kogan hosts "The Afternoon Shift" 2 p.m. Monday through Friday on WBEZ-FM 91.5.