LOCKPORT — Fooling a pair of judges on a Las Vegas stage with a magic trick earlier than a nationwide TV viewers is kind of an accomplishment in itself.
Mesmerizing the legendary Penn & Teller in their very own dwelling? Effectively, that is about pretty much as good because it will get for budding wizards like Garrett Thomas, whose biggest transformation maybe, is his personal self identification.
The Western New York skilled magician and in style, part-time host at Danny Sheehan’s Restaurant has transfigured from a struggling, dyslexic Depew Excessive College sophomore 1 / 4 century in the past into a real YouTube sensation and rising star this month, when he stumped the world-famous magic act on their hit CW Community program, “Penn & Teller: Idiot Us.”
In a latest seventh-season episode, entitled, “Lord of the Ring,” Thomas astonished and bewildered two of the foremost figures in American magic and around the globe. Not solely has the episode been considered near 400,000 instances on YouTube, the put up has garnered greater than 7,200 “likes” from around the globe.
“It was a privilege to be on the present. It is an invitation-only competitors. You are invited since you’re identified on your abilities,” mentioned Thomas, a 1994 graduate of DHS now dwelling in downtown Buffalo.
“They’d been asking me for years, however then I might say, ‘I need to do one thing with a Rubik’s Dice and so they’d reply, ‘We had a man with a Rubik’s Dice already. Are you able to do one thing with a balloon?’
“It is as a result of the producers have to make present on high of all of it and I perceive that,” Thomas mentioned. “So, it went on for years like that, ‘We’re on the lookout for one thing with a paper bag.’ In the future they mentioned, ‘We’re on the lookout for one thing with a hoop,’ and I mentioned, ‘I despatched you one thing on that 5 years in the past.’ Then, after taking a look at it once more, they mentioned, ‘Yeah, we wish you,’ so I flew out to Las Vegas for one week of filming.”
Taking the Penn & Teller Theater stage earlier than a big studio viewers with the well-known two judges seated entrance and middle, Thomas talked about his life briefly and the way dyslexia led him to magic.
“My dad favored magic and have become pals with a magician who confirmed him a trick to point out me after I was 5 or 6,” Thomas mentioned.
“It made an enormous impression on me and after I was 12, I began doing tips myself. I began doing exhibits after I was 16 and I used to be no good till I used to be 18.”
Thomas mentioned he was extraordinarily nervous previous to the beginning of the taping, however stored his composure.
“Those that know me know that it was one in all my worst performances ever, however I have been doing magic professionally and that individual trick for therefore lengthy — it is like when Michael Jordan has a nasty day and the ball hits the rim earlier than it goes in as an alternative of straight by. It is nonetheless moving into,” Thomas mentioned.
In a crowd-pleasing efficiency that left Penn & Teller stumped as to how he did it, Thomas took a strong metallic ring and someway managed to get the ring to go from finger to finger with out leaving the information.
Penn Jillette mentioned the one factor he and Raymond Teller might give you as a doable technique of phantasm was to make use of a doctored ring.
Thomas’ response was to drop the ring in order that the sound of the strong metallic object might be heard by the viewers. Penn requested for Thomas’ phrase that the ring was not a faux, and Thomas swore to it.
Penn then introduced dramatically that the Western New York magician had legitimately fooled him and Teller.
“Every time somebody questions the ring, I all the time drop it on the desk in entrance of the to allow them to hear it ring and listen to that it is strong,” Thomas mentioned.
“Some folks assume it opens up someway. They assume I am mendacity about it. I might supply a money prize to anybody who might present me how this ring opens,” he mentioned.
Thomas has been performing the ring phantasm for 20 years and at this time has made it uniquely his personal.
“I’ve quite a lot of issues which can be signature items and pulling rings by the entire hand is my idea. There’ve been magicians who’ve pulled rings by one finger, however I needed to maneuver the ring proper throughout the entire hand.”
As somebody who “fooled” Penn & Teller, Thomas was provided a major money prize for his efficiency or one other alternative to look as a highlight act on this system. He took the latter and avidly appears to be like ahead to his return on this system.
“My sole objective for competing was simply to satisfy and hang around with Penn & Teller and be on their radar,” Thomas mentioned.
“No different magician has had success in each fashion. Houdini strived to be the king of playing cards and cash and no person ever heard of him. He does escapism and now he will get acknowledged. Copperfield is grand illusions. Penn & Teller have finished all of it, from conversational magic to road magic, touring exhibits, the school circuit, comedy golf equipment, gameshows, books, you title it.”
Earlier than his subsequent nationwide look, Thomas mentioned he’ll proceed performing each in particular person and on-line.
These dwelling within the Lockport space can catch Thomas reside at Sheehan’s acting from 6 to eight p.m. on Wednesdays. You can even discover him on Fb and Instagram.
Observe reporter John D’Onofrio on Twitter with “Good Morning, Lockport, N.Y.” weekday mornings at @LockportJournal.