Danny Cole knows magic. For 30 years the magician has been refining his craft and creating original illusions, one of which brought him notoriety for stumping renowned duo Penn & Teller on their television show “Fool Us.”
This Saturday, Nov. 24, Cole and his partner, Albuquerque native Stacey Cole, will bring some of these unfathomable illusions to the stage at the KiMo Theatre (423 Central Ave. NW) to see if they can once again make magic happen. Along with his own act, which has toured the world, Cole has curated a line-up that includes Losander from Germany, Las Vegas, Nev.-based Kyle and Mistie Knight, and Arthur Trace, who was recently awarded one of the top prizes in the “Olympics of magic,” a competition called Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques (FISM).
Before curtains are drawn, Cole explained the allure of magic, and what he hopes to create in this show, called Hocus Pocus. Tickets are available for purchase now at kimotickets.com, for two performances, at 3 and 7pm.
Alibi: How did you come to this practice?
Cole: I fell in love with magic when I was 10 years old after watching Siegfried & Roy perform in Las Vegas. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and I desperately wanted to know how they were able to do their tricks. Not long after that, I discovered a magic shop about 15 minutes away from my house and I begged my parents to take me. I became obsessed with learning as much as I could. A year or two later when my parents realized my fascination with magic was not stopping and was actually growing, they let me quit my piano lessons and they helped me find a magician that was willing to take me on as his student.
What initially moved you about it?
I love puzzles and I love the feeling I get from experiencing the mysterious and wondrous. I think magic is the perfect combination of these elements. I would read about magic tricks before knowing their secrets and puzzle over how any of it could be possible. As I learned the secrets, I would marvel at their cleverness. I also really enjoyed the challenge of practicing sleight of hand and I enjoyed the positive attention when I performed my tricks.
How long have you been practicing?
I have been practicing magic for 30 years now! And even though I have studied it for most of my life, I have learned that I will never have fully mastered it and that there is always more to learn.
How did you stay motivated during years of practice?
For the most part, I loved practicing too! I couldn’t wait to pick up a deck of cards and toy with it or twirl a magic wand between my fingers. At times, rehearsing can be tiresome, but once I would get going, the feeling of accomplishment after a good rehearsal was rewarding also.
What continues to inspire you about performing magic?
I continue to love creating magical experiences. I love the possibility of wonder that a new magic effect might create and so I am constantly pondering how to create those experiences. The problem solving side of my mind loves to unravel how to accomplish these seemingly impossible pieces of magic.
Have you ever seen a magic trick that you couldn't explain?
Of course! I recently attended FISM ... It was held in Korea this time and attracted magicians from all over the world. There were many effects presented at that event that completely stunned me. I love feeling the magic and being completely fooled. It is inspiring.
Do you think the world is in danger of losing the art form of magic and illusion?
I don’t think the world is in danger of losing the art of magic. It has been around a long time and has endured as an art form throughout the twists and turns of history. Its popularity wanes sometimes until innovative performers figure out a new way to present it and make it connect with modern audiences again.
What do you hope viewers might feel when they watch your show?
I hope viewers feel the excitement of wonder and the giddiness of amazement when they watch my show. And any show I produce. I also hope they continue to ponder some of the mysteries even after they leave the theater. Those are the same things I enjoy about magic.