LOCKPORT — Fooling a pair of judges on a Las Vegas stage with a magic trick earlier than a nationwide TV viewers is sort of an accomplishment in itself.
Mesmerizing the legendary Penn & Teller in their very own house? Effectively, that is about nearly as good because it will get for budding wizards like Garrett Thomas, whose best 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 Faculty 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 current seventh-season episode, entitled, “Lord of the Ring,” Thomas astonished and bewildered two of the foremost figures in American magic and all over the world. Not solely has the episode been seen near 400,000 occasions on YouTube, the put up has garnered greater than 7,200 “likes” from all over the world.
“It was a privilege to be on the present. It is an invitation-only competitors. You are invited since you’re identified in your expertise,” stated Thomas, a 1994 graduate of DHS now dwelling in downtown Buffalo.
“They’d been asking me for years, however then I might say, ‘I wish 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 a very good present on prime of all of it and I perceive that,” Thomas stated. “So, it went on for years like that, ‘We’re on the lookout for one thing with a paper bag.’ In the future they stated, ‘We’re on the lookout for one thing with a hoop,’ and I stated, ‘I despatched you one thing on that 5 years in the past.’ Then, after it once more, they stated, ‘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 heart, Thomas talked about his life briefly and the way dyslexia led him to magic.
“My dad appreciated magic and have become pals with a magician who confirmed him a trick to indicate me once I was 5 or 6,” Thomas stated.
“It made a giant impression on me and once I was 12, I began doing tips myself. I began doing exhibits once I was 16 and I used to be no good till I used to be 18.”
Thomas stated 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 every of 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 a substitute of straight by means of. It is nonetheless entering into,” Thomas stated.
In a crowd-pleasing efficiency that left Penn & Teller stumped as to how he did it, Thomas took a stable steel ring and in some way managed to get the ring to go from finger to finger with out leaving the ideas.
Penn Jillette stated the one factor he and Raymond Teller may 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 stable steel object may very well be heard by the viewers. Penn requested for Thomas’ phrase that the ring was not a pretend, and Thomas swore to it.
Penn then introduced dramatically that the Western New York magician had legitimately fooled him and Teller.
“Each 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 stable,” Thomas stated.
“Some folks assume it opens up in some way. They assume I am mendacity about it. I might provide a money prize to anybody who may present me how this ring opens,” he stated.
Thomas has been performing the ring phantasm for twenty years and in the present day has made it uniquely his personal.
“I’ve a number of issues which are signature items and pulling rings by means of the entire hand is my idea. There’ve been magicians who’ve pulled rings by means of one finger, however I needed to maneuver the ring proper throughout the entire hand.”
As somebody who “fooled” Penn & Teller, Thomas was provided a big money prize for his efficiency or one other alternative to seem 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 goal for competing was simply to satisfy and hang around with Penn & Teller and be on their radar,” Thomas stated.
“No different magician has had success in each model. Houdini strived to be the king of playing cards and cash and no one 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 faculty circuit, comedy golf equipment, gameshows, books, you title it.”
Earlier than his subsequent nationwide look, Thomas stated he’ll proceed performing each in particular person and on-line.
These dwelling within the Lockport space can catch Thomas stay at Sheehan’s acting from 6 to eight p.m. on Wednesdays. You may also discover him on Fb and Instagram.
Observe reporter John D’Onofrio on Twitter with “Good Morning, Lockport, N.Y.” weekday mornings at @LockportJournal.