For Erik Dobell and Chris Collins, a magic show is more than just “how a magician performs his tricks.”
It’s about entertaining people, both Dobell and Collins said. The two pride themselves on putting on an unforgettable act for their audiences.
Dobell and Collins will perform a dual act, called “Impossibilities,” at the Garner Performing Arts Center on Friday Nov. 21. Dobell is a mentalist and Collins is a magician.
“There will be magic and mind reading,” Dobell said. “It’s going to be funny, have a little bit of drama and a lot of two-person bits.”
Collins said his interest in magic started in third grade when a magician named Norm Barnhart, came to his school to perform.
He had a chance to visit with him after the show to learn more about magic. Collins said Barnhart remains a friend and a mentor today.
Dobell, on the other hand, wanted to be like Sherlock Holmes, a fictional detective who used his mind to solve mysteries.
When he got to college he saw a man at a kiosk in a mall in Ithaca, NY, selling magic. He became interested in magic, started performing and began studying mentalism, he said.
“And I never looked back,” Dobell said.
“I love entertaining people. I love being on stage. I love meeting people after the show. Meeting people, seeing what they thought. Getting their life experiences. I always tell people, a lot of people go their whole lives without seeing a mentalist so I always want to put on the best show for people to remember.”
The two started performing together in August after Collins proposed an idea that they create a dual act. He told him they could create a night that many people would remember by combining their talents.
“I was a little hesitant at first but the more I thought about it the more it sounded like a good idea,” Dobell said. “Being able to do the show with both experts doing what they are doing, it just became more appealing.”
Debbie Dunn, the cultural arts and events manager at the GPAC, said she was impressed by the two magicians and believes they fit the mold of what the staff at GPAC were looking for with their next performance. The staff was looking for a mentalist to perform at the GPAC, when Dobell and Collins contacted them.
“It almost made you feel like it was meant to be,” Dunn said.
Dobell and Collins will attempt to perform the classic “bullet catch” using a paint ball gun. The bullet catch is an illusion in which a magician appears to catch a bullet fired directly at them often in their mouth, sometimes in their hand or sometimes caught with other items such as a dinner plate.
Collins said a few magicians have died trying to do the trick but he has confidence the two can pull it off.
“It’s an all-around good show where the audience will go on a roller coaster of emotions,” Collins said. It’s a great opportunity to come out and support live entertainment in the community.