When I was in second grade, I went to "magic school." Think less "Hogwarts" though, and think more local community center in Long Island with a weekly afterschool program. As a spectator, I was dazzled by the mystery of it all, but deep down inside I wanted to know how it worked - and to use it as a vehicle to impress others.
Fact is, my love of entertaining started at birth, and so I used my new magical talents as a means to show off. I thrived on each moment someone smiled and clapped, but not everyone was so quick to encourage me. Some laughed, and made fun of my attempts at these amateur tricks. It stung, but I used that response to focus, improve and find a new trick that would impress them.
Clearly, I'm not a magician. That energy continued to evolve and transformed later into my becoming an actor and singer in my teenage years, and now writer and theatre personality.
But, here's something pretty shocking. Until recently I'd never been to a magic show. I hadn't even realized it until I got a press invite for The Illusionists, a touring spectacle that hit Broadway during the holiday season last year and returned recently following that smash run. There wasn't any reason that I hadn't gone to a show, it was just an oversight - but this was an awesome opportunity to revisit that love of magic that helped start me on my path to the magic of theatre. And how perfect, with their show being performed on Broadway.
The show is a mix of magicians who present a range of talents, from fiery, death-defying acts, to comedy and sleight of hand. It struck me how much the show appeals to a broad range of fans and ages, and with the exception of a few minor errors during the tricks, it was a terrific afternoon that I would recommend to fans as a Vegas-style alternative to traditional Broadway shows.
In advance of the show, I got a sneak peek from one of the magicians, "Futurist" Adam Trent who told me about The Illusionists, and in honor of my childhood love of magic, he taught me a new trick!
Check out my interview with "Futurist" Adam Trent of The Illusionists, below:
(Video Producer: Claude Apollon)
Steve Schonberg is the editor-in-chief of www.centerontheaisle.com and the theater expert for NBC "Weekend Today in New York."