Myrtle Beach resident Carl Michael is quickly becoming one of the top magicians in the country, and Grand Strand residents and tourists will have an opportunity to see him perform throughout the summer.
The Carl Michael Magic and Comedy Show for all ages premieres next Friday at the Carolina Comedy Club at Celebrity Circle in Broadway at the Beach.
“The show in a nutshell will be a mix of audience interaction, comedy, slight of hand, mentalism … and I’m going to be using a lot of volunteers,” Michael said. “It’s not one of those shows where it’s just a production where you watch the magician show off his fancy props.”
Michael, 26, is a native of Gallipolis, Ohio, who moved to Myrtle Beach in 2007 and has been perfecting his craft ever since. He has performed in five countries, on cruise ships and for numerous celebrities, and will perform a scheduled 130 shows through Sept. 7.
Through May 26, shows are at 6 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday, and there is a 90-minute magic workshop at 2 p.m. Saturdays for $50.
The Show expands to six days a week on May 27, with two shows Monday and Saturday in addition to the Saturday workshop. The 4 p.m. Saturday show is for children.
“I’ll also be doing some bigger stunts and illusions throughout the summer that will be open to the public to promote my show,” said Michael, who plans to escape from a straight jacket while being suspended from a helicopter and create an illusion utilizing a boat and the ocean.
Michael sat down to answer a few questions from The Sun News.
Q: How did you get into magic? Why did you get into magic?
Michael: “I saw my first magic show when I was 6 years old in first grade. A magician came to our school and after the show I guess I asked him like 100 questions. I was the kid that was always trying to figure out things. I got caught with the bug early. I got my first magic kit that Christmas and did my first talent show with magic when I was 7 or 8, and won the talent competition with some silks. I did a silk act where I made the silks vanish. From there I became engrossed in magic.”
Q: Did your love for magic endure throughout your teenage years?
Michael: “I went through the early teenage and high school years and kind of put it to the side and on the backburner. I was involved in athletics and school in general. I belonged to a lot of clubs and things. I was even in Future Farmers of America. I was always in agricultural clubs and stuff like that. I still loved magic but it wasn’t the cool thing to do. I didn’t try to concentrate on it much. Then I picked it back up professionally full time at like 19 and I’ve been going at it strong for seven years.”
Q: Why did you move to Myrtle Beach?
Michael: “I was going to take the contract at the Hard Rock Park. It was going to be a rock & roll magic show and I was going to be the headliner. Some of the stage specifications still sitting over there were sketches that I drew out in the initial series, including spades in the stage corners. I was going to sign a long-term deal and they canceled the magic show before the park even opened and replaced it with an ice show.”
Q: Why did you stay in Myrtle Beach?
Michael: “I thought Myrtle Beach was the perfect venue – 12 million visitors annually and no magic show, though I guess I have a little bit of competition this year with the Palace, but it’s going to be a completely different act.”
Q: What are some of the better gigs you’ve had and who are some of the people you have performed for?
Michael: “I’ve opened for Matisyahu [in three South Carolina cities] and Cake in Las Vegas. I’ve performed on cruise ships. I’ve done the Playboy Mansion twice, Hootie & the Blowfish Monday After the Masters four years in a row, the Michael Jordan and Drew Brees golf tournaments in Las Vegas and San Diego, MTV Spring Break in Cancun last year, and I’ve done a lot of private parties for celebrities including Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony.”
Q: When people see the show, what can they expect?
Michael: “I wanted to create a one-of-a-kind intimate experience. I’ve always been known to either do close-up magic or big stage illusions, but nothing in between. It’s been an area I haven’t tried to go after. In this show, every audience member will be within 50 feet of the stage, which is crazy to think you’re that close to everything happening. You can’t say it’s a lighting effect or back stage effect because there is no backstage. You’re right there up on me. Half of the show will be original, one-of-a-kind, never-before-seen effects.
“… This will be geared towards people who want to be involved. It will be interactive and I think one of the most intimate magic shows in the United States. There’s no show that’s a mix between stage and close-up.”
Q: What does the 90-minute Saturday afternoon workshop entail?
Michael: “You’ll get to learn some effects of magic, the basic fundamentals of magic, nothing complex. You’re not going to learn to levitate or saw a woman in half. You’ll be learning some basic slight-of-hand principles and different things. When you leave the class you’ll be able to perform at least five effects. The class is $50 and it includes a DVD and the props you’re going to need to perform some things, so you’re getting about $50 worth of material plus the one-on-one instruction.”