When attending a magic show, it’s hard not to find yourself forgetting where you are and getting wrapped up in the awe-inspiring tricks. Tom Anderson has the pleasure of being the man behind the magic—providing shock and amazement when he takes the stage.
After retiring from a lengthy career in business, Anderson was looking for something to do in his spare time. He first worked as a clown through the Minneapolis Aqua Jesters and then decided to just do the magic aspect of it. “I just started playing around with it,” Anderson says. “I did a little bit of school stuff and just started working into it, got more and more stuff, and, pretty soon, I was one of the better magicians in town.”
Anderson performs at a wide variety of gigs around the Twin Cities, including birthday parties, company events, Blue and Gold Banquets for Boy Scouts, county fairs and the Minnesota State Fair.
Anderson learned a lot of his magic through books and magazines and would search magic stores to find new bits for his shows. Now, he finds a lot of his newer items through the internet. He’s collected hundreds of different magic accoutrements over the years that he tries to incorporate into his show.
All the routines are tailored to the audience at hand; it’s going to be different for a crowd of children versus a crowd of adults. “I play it by ear a little bit—to what I think they’ll want because I bring enough magic with me to the show for four hours of magic,” Anderson says. Audiences are treated to some classic tricks, featuring cards, ropes, doves and rabbits, fire and the time honored straight jacket escape. He also incorporates comedy into his magic to amp up the fun factor for his audience. “I do comedy based on the magic,” Anderson says. “Every trick has a little bit of that in it—where you can play with people.”
Anderson is passionate about making the show as interactive as it can be. It doesn’t matter the age, Anderson has brought up to the stage 2-year-olds through adults. “If I have the opportunity, I’ll bring someone up,” Anderson says. “Kids love to see an adult get up there and do something.”
Entertaining runs in the family. Anderson’s daughter, Nicole, has also joined the magic business with her father. After doing gigs with him as clowns when she was only 8 years old, it sparked her love of magic, too. Since then, she’s continued on with magic and works with him in his shows as an assistant. If Anderson is double-booked, Nicole often takes his spot. “I love the ones that call me up and say we’d like to book Nicole. And I’m like, ‘What about me?’” Anderson says with a chuckle. “She’s perfect for the younger girl parties because they would rather see a lady magician come in.”
From clowning to magic, it’s clear Anderson loves performing and captivating an audience. “It’s one of those things where I’m actually good at it,” Anderson says. “So I just get up there, and I just have fun with the people.”