I turn 30 years old today! Wow. I can't believe it.
I've spent most of my life studying the art of magic and mind reading. When I got out of college 8 years ago I started performing full-time. Performing is all I've ever known and it's been the through line of my life thus far.
So, with that in mind, here is a list of my 30 favorite gigs from the past 30 years. (In no particular order.)
1. The Early Days - When I was younger I'd perform for anyone who would watch. I wanted to be a magician, a clown, or a detective. Now I get to be all three.
2. School Talent Show - My friend Tim and I did a partner magic act at our elementary school talent show.
3. Senior Showcase - In 2009 I did a magic/mind reading show to earn my BFA and graduate from college.
4. Children's Shows - In the early days, I did a ton of children's events at libraries, schools, and parties.
5. TED Talk - In 2014 I checked "TED Talk" off my bucket list when I presented at TEDxParkerSchool in Chicago. You can watch my talk below:
6. Bowlus Fine Arts Center - A childhood dream was to headline at this beautiful performing arts center in my hometown.
7. Harvard - I drew a standing room only crowd for my show at Harvard. They said it was "Unlike anything we've seen before."
8. WGN TV - I've been on WGN in Chicago several times but this clip is one of my favorites.
9. Stage 773 - My first attempt at a theatre run. It was a disaster.
10. Bar Below - I sold out almost every show of my 12 week run at the Bar Below in Chicago.
11. Public House Theater - The following year I did a six week run in north Chicago. You can watch the full show here.
12. Chicago Fringe Festival - My first fringe festival was a blast! Watch the behind the scenes below or click here to see my full show.
13. Disney World Boardwalk Resort - One of my earliest gigs! I spent 9 months performing in Orlando. It was SUPER HOT outside but it gave me time to develop the material and persona I have today.
14. The Aldrich Mansion - I performed in the same place Brad Pitt stood in "Meet Joe Black".
15. The Hemi Hideout - Outside Houston is a barn with hundreds of collectible neon signs, gas pumps, and vintage cars. It's incredible.
16. National Museum Of Wildlife Art - An incredible show and one of the most incredible places I've ever been.
17. Snow College - I was flat broke and flew to Utah for one of my first college performances. The students were incredible and I used this photo to book dozens more colleges in the coming months.
18. WGN Web Series - I did a 10 part web series with WGN, culminating with this blindfolded bike ride through downtown Chicago.
19. UT Austin - The Longhorns took a chance on me early on and I gave them a show they'll never forget. I've been back five years in a row.
20. NCAA Prediction - I predicted the final four teams, the championship score, and the headlines of that day's newspaper. Here's the proof:
21. Crown Uptown Dinner Theater - This was a benefit show for children with special needs in Wichita. My first marquee!
22. Cupcake Comedy Cabaret - My friend Casey let me on his show week after week so I could work on new material. It was my first show after I moved to Chicago five and a half years ago and I still do it whenever I can.
23. Walking On Broken Glass - I used to ride the bus in LA with two buckets of broken glass so I could do this in my show. It helped me stand out but it was a huge pain in the ass. It's easier to read minds.
24. The Heckler - People hardly ever mess with me during a show but when this guy spoke out I had to respond.
25. Converse College - Most college shows are memorable but the way this girl reacted makes it a stand out.
26. Corporate Events - It's too hard to pick just one but damn this is a good picture.
27. Appearing Convertible - The first magic video I ever made.
28. Havencrest Castle - I can't do it justice with words. Just go.
29. Hard Rock Cafe - A rock band was onstage downstairs and I brought the house down upstairs. Crazy.
30. Chicago Magic Lounge - I'm performing there tonight. Will you be there?