In all of Burbank, London Ruff may be the only high school girl to beg her mom for a tarantula, only to settle for a snake instead.
But then again, her mother Wendy Ruff may be among the few moms in the city — if any — who is adept at securing her daughter in a strait jacket, only to sit back and watch her escape.
The trick is only part of what London Ruff has learned the past two years while participating in the Magic Castle's Junior Society program where she performs with fellow young student magicians and receives coaching from successful professionals.
"Most girls want clothes — mine wanted a snake," she said of her daughter's 16th birthday request. Even so, "I've always told her, just be yourself," Wendy Ruff added. "Don't follow the pack. Be a leader, not a follower."
Another of London Ruff's favorite tricks is one she created and involves taking a Barbie doll apart, putting the limbs and pieces in a blender, turning the blender on, and pulling out a "stitched-together" Barbie doll.