chicago mind reader

Where I've Been

It’s been about 4 months since my last Thursday Thoughts post, but I’m back!

Honestly, I needed a break. Writing each week was starting to feel like a chore. I was burnt out and overworked. And I didn’t feel inspired like I want to be. But, I've been missing posting these and, deep down, I knew it was only a matter of time before I couldn't resist getting back on the grind.

So, here’s what I’ve been up to:

• I’ve been getting closer to my 10,000 hours - 10 minutes at a time. I have a super-focused approach to improving my script, performance, and creative ideas. (If there’s enough interest, I could turn that into a future post.)

• I was invited to perform at the Orlando Fringe Winter Mini Fest back in January. Both of my shows had packed houses and I even won a small award at the end of the weekend. (I won 12 awards at 12 festivals in just under 2 years, but it’ll probably be my last fringe festival for a while. It’s been a fun ride, I just need to focus on some other projects for a while.)

• I did a show in Dubai. It was my first time in the Middle East, but I made the most of it. I saw the Burj Khalifa, the Palm Jumeirah Island, Atlantis, the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, the Dubai Mall, visited a mosque, and did nothing but eat amazing food. I can’t wait to go back.

• I just did a couple TV spots for Windy City Live and Good Day Chicago. Check out the WCL clip below!

• I was also on the Bill & Wendy Show on WGN Radio. It was super fun!

• After MIND READER won a Chicago Theatre Award last year, the Chicago Magic Lounge asked me to be their artist-in-residence this summer. The show just started this month and I’ll be performing there every Wednesday through the end of June. (Get your tickets here.)

Photo by Trainman Photography

Photo by Trainman Photography

• Also, I just announced my other show dates through the end of the summer. I’ll be performing six shows a week for six weeks at Liberty Magic in Pittsburgh, PA. (Tickets available here.)

• I haven’t really been going on social media much. Chances are you probably clicked this link on facebook or twitter, but that’s only because it automatically posts to those networks for me. I’m not going to see or respond to your comments there, so if you have something to say please comment below this post or send me an e-mail.

• I’ve been taking time for myself. To get through the miserable Chicago winter I’ve been running and working out more. I ran the Shamrock Shuffle 8K last month and am working towards a 10K next month. I took some trips to Los Angeles, San Diego, and Las Vegas. And, I just finished the second season of The OA in time for the NBA Playoffs to start.

• Finally, I’ve been searching for more mystery. More on that next week.

It’s great to be back. See you in my audience soon?

The Rise Of Magic In Chicago

Magic has seen a resurgence lately in popular culture, television, movies, and more. Nowhere is the rise of magic more prevalent than in the city I call home, where some of the world’s finest magicians are amazing audiences on a nightly basis.

These performers are my friends, encouraging me to improve and learn from each and every show. These performers are my competition, pushing me to keep getting better and working harder on my act. Most importantly, these performers are setting the tone for the next generation of magical performers so that one day, like I did years ago, a young boy or girl may sit in the audience at one of their shows and whisper to themselves “I want to do that!”

These performers are the future of magic.

This newfound popularity of magic has forged the path for some of Chicago’s most amazing venues and shows. In an attempt to highlight some of my friends and spread the word about their shows, please see below for a list of places you can see live magic in Chicago. I will do my best to keep this list updated so be sure to check back from time to time for all current shows!

Chicago Magic Lounge - The CML will quite literally blow your mind. Secret passages, great food, and unbelievable entertainment await you seven days a week. (Here's a cool behind-the-scenes video I made at the Grand Opening last month.)

The Magic Parlour - On Fridays and Saturdays Dennis Watkins presents an intimate, astonishing show that will delight and astound everyone. Plus, it's in the beautiful Palmer House Hilton Hotel in downtown Chicago, making it a truly unforgettable experience.

The Magic Penthouse - Enjoy a night of cocktails, live music, and four strolling magicians in a fancy location in downtown Chicago. The show happens once a month and you can catch me there tomorrow, March 2nd!

Lindberg & Hanthorn - My friends Eric Lindberg and Stephen Hanthorn are combining their talents for a twice-monthly show at the Uptown Underground. Part-magic, part-mentalism, and 100% fun.

Near Death Experience - Neil Tobin is presenting his award-winning show at Rosehill Cemetery starting later this month. "Grown up, dead serious fun!"

The 13th Hour - Just outside of the city, mentalist Joe Diamond presents a spooky weekly show that is limited to just 13 attendees. Oh yeah, it's in a "haunted mansion", too.

Vaudeville at Bordel - Every Thursday, three-time "Best Magician in Chicago" winner AJ Sacco dazzles the crowd at Bordel with his magical stylings.

Logan Arcade - Magician Justin Purcell will blow your mind at the Logan Arcade on Tuesdays between 9pm and midnight.

Magic & History - Magician and author William Pack's shows uniquely combine magic, storytelling, and history. His shows happen at many theaters, libraries, and clubs throughout the Chicagoland area year round.

Pleasant Home - Jeanette Andrews will be presenting elegant "sensory magic" at Pleasant Home in Oak Park starting March 15th.

And finally, there's The Mystery Show - my secret, invite-only mind reading show in Chicago. Just join the list below and you'll be the first to know when and where it happens next.

Note to performers: If I missed your show or you have something new coming up, please let me know and I'll get it added to this post.