FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Question: I love your long black jacket. Where did you get it?
Answer: That’s the single most asked question. No one seems to care about how I do the magic…they just want to get my jacket. It’s actually called The London Opera Trench Coat. I purchased it several years ago from an online company called International Male. They’re still in business, but—sadly—they no longer carry the jacket.
Question: Where did you get your grey jacket with all the stitching?
Answer: Man! What is it with all the fashion questions? That jacket was purchased in Sioux Falls, South Dakota at The Empire Mall in a store called Buckle, which has lots of cool fashions. That jacket immediately caught my eye and was, I think, on a clearance rack, and it was the last one. BUT…I have seen it at other Buckles across the country. If you want one…good luck.
Question: How do you make the music start all by itself?
Answer: Some people
actually think that the music is all timed out.
Question: What’s your favorite magic trick?
Answer: Asking me to pick my favorite magic trick is like asking a father to pick his favorite child. You like them all for different reasons. I like different tricks for different shows. I really like the Split Deck (Compatibility Test) and Needle through Balloon because they’re funny, and I get to goof around with volunteers from the audience. I like Card Rise on Sketch Pad (the animated card) because it’s amazing, and always get a great reaction from the audience. I like The Sidewalk Shuffle (The Three-Card Monte) because I’ve been doing it forever, and it’s based on a true story. The Linking Rings are great because of all of the music and sound effects. Then there are a couple that you probably didn’t get to see. Box Office is a favorite of mine because it’s my invention, and it’s what I used to win the audition at The Magic Castle. Then there’s Metamorphosis. It’s an illusion (large trick) that I do for big shows and corporate events. You can watch it here. See…there’s no easy answer.
Question: Who’s your favorite magician?
Answer: Again, I like
different magicians for various reasons.
There are different styles of magic, and I really like—Surprise,
Surprise—comedy magic. So, when it comes
to that style…there are a few who stick out.
Harry Anderson is an outstanding comedy magician. He uses a Pitch-Man persona to his act…like a
con man. He played the Judge on the TV
show “Night Court”. Here’s one of his
acts. Michael Finney is
quite entertaining too. His interaction
with the audience is very unique. See
him perform here. But, the best—in my opinion—is Mac King. Mac is from
Question: How many schools have you performed at? (Asked by Elise Christensen;
Answer: Wow, Elise. Great question. I had to get out my calculator for this one. First, I do a lot of shows that are not at schools. So, those don’t count. I did my first school tour in 1989. I’ve done a bunch since. Some of my shows are repeats…in other words, shows at the same school, but years apart. So, if my numbers are right, it’s about 6,000 shows in about 4,000 different schools. That’s gotta count for something.
Question: How do you get to be chosen to be a magician’s assistant? (Asked by Emma; Carroll Elementary School; Flora, IN)
Answer: Good one Emma. Well, there are two kinds of magicians’ assistants: The one that are picked from the audience, and the ones that are trained to perform regularly in shows. Let’s start with the ones that come from the audience. We call them “volunteers”. The way I pick them has a lot to do with the way they behave. If I see that they are enjoying the show, not being distracting or talking, and paying attention…then they’re a good candidate. I only pick people who raise their own hand, and only after I say what I need. I’ll usually say, “For our next demonstration I need to find a lady.” I’ll select from the girls who raise their hand when I finish describing who I need. It shows me that they are paying attention. Now, as far as the regular, trained assistants go…that’s a different story. The on-stage assistants typically have a background in theater and dance. They understand stage-craft (like the parts of a stage, and stage direction) and showmanship. Even really good dancers—sometimes—don’t make good assistants. A “good” assistant understands the subtle nature of the effect (illusion) and how to sell that to an audience. The truth is, usually, the assistant does more work than the magician. So, if that’s what you want to do, it’d be a good idea to learn magic, dance, stage-movement (maybe even gymnastics) and, of course, acting. Why acting…because that’s all a magic act is…people acting like they have magical powers. That’s all.
Question: What ages are appropriate for The Dimension of Illusion?
Answer: Any, and all. The wonderful thing about being an interactive comedy magic show is that I can easily fit any audience. Most of my shows are for Middle & High schools, but that’s not where it ends. The Dimension of Illusion is perfect for universities and corporate events as well. The key is that I know the make-up and size of the audience ahead of time.
Question: Can you customize your tricks and routines to promote our company’s product line?
Answer: Yes. That’s the quick answer. It’s pretty common to do close-up magic at a trade show booth or convention, and use the magic to promote and even demonstrate products. Sometimes it’s even possible to use the items in the tricks themselves. I’ve had great success integrating marketing and magic with R.J. Reynolds, The Historic Paramount Theatre, and Good’s Candy Shop.
Question: Beyond the cost of the show, what are your travel expenses?
Answer: I typically charge $0.50 per mile, round trip, from Fort Wayne, IN to the show location. So, let’s say your location is Louisville, KY. Louisville is 250 miles from Fort Wayne. That’s 500 miles round trip at $0.50 per mile…$250 for travel in addition to the price of the specific show you wish. ALSO…if you’re able to piggy-back other venues in your area, then you can split the mileage.