By Luke Dodge
A dark, hardwood tables adorns the stage along with a chalkboard filled with mysterious numbers. Objects on the table are meticulously arranged in a precise, exact order. My mind is already swirling with the possibilities these items hold.
Chris Carey is a master storyteller. His humor is patient, dry, and effective, almost clinical in nature. The show feels like a traditional magic show one might expect but slowed to half speed. By no means does his calm and measured demeanor make the show boring, but rather it pulls you in closer as an angler fish lures its prey in the darkness of the ocean. If Bob Ross were a magician, this is the show he would perform.
Chris sets up his tricks and then seemingly casts them aside, only to return to them later with a flourish. He quietly lines up the pieces in his careful narrative to suddenly pull back the metaphorical curtain at the end for an astonishing reveal. Not flashy or fast-paced, some tricks you don’t realize they’re happening until they are already over.
Not your typical sleight of hand magician (or at least he doesn't appear to be), Chris has audience volunteers do most of the prop manipulation. The show relies heavily on audience participation, but do not let this deter you. Chris is incredibly supportive and respectful of the volunteers. “If something goes wrong, it’s my fault,” he claims. Nothing does go wrong and everyone leaves the stage smiling, if a bit bewildered.
Tricks are varied, ranging from the classic use of playing cards, clever math, wordless miming, and even human body tricks provoking audible gasps. Despite its unhurried pace the show never turns stale. Slow paced and comfortable, this magic show meanders to truly perplexing endings and the payoff is worth the wait every time.
I consider myself to be a fairly observant person who is not unfamiliar with magic, so when I was asked to come on stage I was unfazed. Tension builds and the atmosphere of the room thickens and all sound vanishes until you could hear a pin drop. I’ve thought a lot about what happened to me on stage and I still can’t help but feel I witnessed the impossible.