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The Illusionists' Jeff Hobson at the Fox, 5 Things To Know
Jeff Hobson knew he wanted to do magic from an early age.
Growing up in Detroit, he saw a police officer perform a magic show and decided “that’s what I want to do for the rest of my life.” He developed his skills locally and then moved to the national stage and developed his persona as The Trickster, a wise-cracking sleight-of-hand specialist whose comic quotient is as sharp as his magical skills.
These days Hobson is part of The Illusionists, a traveling troupe of magicians who spend evenings dazzling audiences with feats that truly defy logical explanation. And throughout it all The Trickster makes sure everyone is laughing about it...
• The allure of magic for Hobson was its effect on people seeing it. “When I saw the effect that police officer, Wally Wilson, had on kids...Everybody was oohing and aahing and shouting and laughing and clapping and he was making people feel kid. That’s the kind of affect I want to have on people. I want to take them out of their life for a minute and amaze them.”
• Hobson was able to become a professional, of sorts, at a young age. “When I was 11 I did a show in a friend’s garage; I charged 10 cents and 11 kids showed up. When I was 12 somebody offered me five bucks to do their daughters’ birthday party, and ever since then I was one of the busiest magicians in the Detroit metro area for a decade or two.”
• Hobson’s role as The Trickster came naturally as well. “Unfortunately I was a class clown. I got in trouble quite a bit in school; I was always the one to be sent to the principal’s office for one reason or another. Once I realized I had a knack for making people laugh, coupled with my fascination for magic, I realized, ‘Gosh, this is a perfect thing I want to do, I can do magic and make people laugh. How great is that?”
• Hobson’s favorite moment in his act is not necessarily a trick but the reaction it evokes. “When I pull out the watch the person was previously wearing on their wrist and they look down at their wrist they’re stunned and you see that magical wonderment in their eyes. Some people call me a magician, other people call me a thief. But I always give everything back. I’ve taken over 75,000 watches in my career so far, and I’ve given every single one back -- I swear, your honor.”
• After 26 years of living in Las Vegas, Hobson will be returning to Detroit this summer, taking an apartment on Woodward Avenue. “Detroit is making a massive comeback, which just happens to coincide with me wanting to go back home and enjoy life in the D. I still have some cousins and lots of friends and comrades, and I love Michigan and I love the city of Detroit and want to be part of what’s going on now.”
If You Go
• The Illusionists -- Live From Broadway
• Friday and Saturday, April 27-28
• The Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit.
• Tickets are $30-$65.
• Call 313-471-6611 or visit 313Presents.com.
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