It’s powerful and mind blowing, the kind of experience you have to see to believe. And if you’ve met Bill Peterson and have seen him in action, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Peterson draws you in with his jaw-dropping, get-your-heart-racing, can’t-quite-wrap-your-head-around-it magic that you will be telling your friends about for weeks – and which will probably stay with you a lifetime.
He is the type of magician who will likely turn even the harshest skeptic into a believer by the time he’s done.
No, there’s no rabbits being pulled out of hats, no smoke and mirrors, and no birds up his sleeve. Peterson simply wows by bringing the audience into the magic, to make them feel it themselves and become part of the experience.
Magic for him is an art, one which he says creates a “positive permanent memory” for those who witness it. And that’s exactly why he loves what he does.
“It’s the pleasure of giving that gift of joy and excitement to others that makes it so much fun,” he says.
Peterson’s magic goes beyond the ordinary. A magician, mentalist and entertainer all rolled into one, Peterson performs incredible magic effects and exclusive routines that include world-class card magic, teleportation, mind reading and illusions.
“I do magic that I love but that the audience loves.”
His goal, he says, is to spellbind audiences by providing them with entertainment they wouldn’t get anywhere else.
“When you experience quality magic that is well performed, it’s so shocking, and so fun and exciting, that you want to see more,” he says.
A Sackville father of four, Peterson travels throughout the Maritimes several times a month performing his magic at various company functions, corporate events, wedding receptions or fundraisers. From trade shows to expos, from conventions to conferences, from banquets to holiday parties, he does both walk-around magic and interactive shows for audiences, regaling them with his creativity and energy.
Peterson hasn’t always imagined himself a full-time magician. In fact, it was while he was doing his Masters degree in neurophysiology at the University of Manitoba about 20 years ago, he went through a “huge explosion of creativity.” He took up new hobbies such as piano lessons and oil painting, and first discovered the thrill of magic. He says after seeing a magician show at a festival at the time, he approached the older gentlemen and told him of his interest and that he wanted to learn more: “Not kids magic but good magic, real magic.”
It was in that moment he knew he wanted to pursue this further – and so he began to travel to various locations, seeking out the best “magic shops” throughout North America where practising magicians can go to buy new tricks and learn more about the industry. His journey took him to Florida, California, New York, Las Vegas, and across Canada, among other locales.
“I started the search for the best magic and the most exclusive routines out there,” he says.
What he learned very quickly, however, is that becoming a magician is not just about learning tricks, it’s a performance art that people develop with experience and practice.
“You can buy a trick, but that doesn’t make you a magician,” he says. “It’s like a comedian. Everybody knows a joke but not everybody’s a comedian. There’s a lot that goes into the performance.”
Peterson has been practising his trade for the past 18 years but his career path has been taking him in different directions – he’s served as a real estate investor and a property manager, among other things. But that all changed about five years ago when he decided it was finally time to take the plunge and pursue his real passion.
“The magic was always in the background of all these things. And then five years ago, I said I’m going to bring it right to the front and run with it.”
Peterson will be bringing his magic to the Vogue Theatre stage in Sackville on May 11, where he will put on a show featuring mind reading, teleporting, mentalism, illusion and card tricks. The show will get under way at 7 p.m. and tickets are available online at www.AnEveningofCloseUpMagic.com, where he can also be reached for corporate event or private function bookings.