I started doing magic as a teenager, performing and competing in Southern California where I was selected to be a member of the Academy of Magical Arts (the Magic Castle) in Hollywood. In 1998, I took first place in the annual International Brotherhood of Magicians Junior Close-up competition, one of the largest magic competitions in the world, with magicians from 29 different countries in attendance. That same year, I became the first junior to ever be named Magician of the Year for International Brotherhood of Magicians Ring 313. In 1999, I took first place at the Pacific Coast Association of Magicians Junior Close-up competition. I was also featured in the Los Angeles Times and several times in the Orange County Register, in recognition of my magic. Since my competition days, I have continued to develop my magic in venues of all types across the country and world.
Photos by Sara Tro
One of my other great passions is speaking other languages. Magic has been a wonderful vehicle for doing this in different parts of the world. For a period of 10 years, I travelled every summer to different Club Med resorts in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. There, I performed for a few hours every night in English, Spanish, and French, depending on my audience (80% of guests in the Dominican Republic were from France). There were some weeks when I happily went the entire time without performing at all in English!
Now I find myself wanting to champion magic as an important form of performing art and entertainment. I’m happy to see that recent shows like Fool Us and Magic for Humans have heightened public awareness of, and interest in, magic entertainment. I want to make magic more visible and accessible to local youth, both as a form of entertainment to watch and a performing art to learn.
The Magic Thread
Magic is a thread that’s been woven into the different aspects of my life for the past 25 years. In college and graduate school, people knew me as “that magic guy.” When doing my dissertation as a research psychologist, I studied that feeling that you get when you’re bothered by something that you can’t figure out – that “mental itch” experience is one that magic is particularly good at generating. When teaching as a psychology professor for a year at Florida Atlantic University and then for 5 years at Virginia Military Institute, I did magic for my students to keep them alert and engaged. (That’s where the picture of me in uniform comes from – I wasn’t actually in the military, that’s just what we were supposed to wear. So no, that isn’t my typical magic attire!)
Me performing for my former students at Virginia Military Institute.
Not my typical magic outfit!
Currently, I use magic as an ice breaker when getting to know new clients as an Organizational Psychologist and Executive Coach at Productive for Good. And I regularly perform for, and teach magic to, Tompkins County youth through the homeschooling program that I run as Executive Director. During all of these different phases in my life, I’ve always also performed magic professionally on the side at private parties, corporate events, and resorts.
Good magic is like no other form of entertainment in its ability to evoke a strong, visceral response in people that they won’t forget. I never want to stop doing that and consider it a privilege to be able to bring this timeless form of entertainment to people of all ages.
My family and I moved to Tompkins County in 2020 and I’m excited to be able to share my magic with the Finger Lakes region.
Learn more about strolling magic and where I perform it…