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The Interview

Luis Carreon

Magician Luis Carreon, Bending Minds and Bending Dreams

"I let people decide for themselves if I have real powers."

by Jerry Nunn
Chicago-based magician Luis Carreon is bringing his original solo show, Bending Minds and Bending Dreams, to the Jasper Theatre Club at Magic Inc., 5082 N. Lincoln, for two nights.

The award-winning master magician is known for combining old school tricks with his own original illusions and a flare for the dramatics.

Originally from Mexico City, Luis appeared on Tengo Talento, the Spanish language equivalent of America's Got Talent as well as an upcoming episode of Sabado Gigante. He has has performed for Shakira, Jim Carrey, and even Chris Angel.

Jerry Nunn visited the illusionist to see what tricks he has up his sleeve.

JN: (Jerry Nunn) Hi, Luis. Where are from originally?

LC: (Luis Carreon) I was born in Mexico City. I came to the United States around the age of nine. I am 23 now.

JN: How long have you been making magic?

LC: Ever since the age of nine. The reason I got into it is because I used it to speak to other kids in my classroom because I didn't speak English at all. I thought it wouldn't hurt to make friends and if I did something visual they would probably like me.

JN: So you started when you moved here?

LC: I did a little bit of magic when I was in Mexico. My dad was a circus clown. I learned a few little tricks here and there.

JN: How did you learn?

LC: I started reading books. Unfortunately I didn't go to a magic school. Coming from a Hispanic family my parents didn't really want to pay for that because they don't think it will get you anywhere in life. So I had to learn everything on my own. There used to be a little local magic shop down on the South Side that is no longer there. I used to buy a few tricks from the shop and did an internship there in high school. Most people didn't even know I did magic until I won the school's talent show. Then I thought I could do it professionally. I asked my parents for one year to try it out and see. It worked.

JN: Did you perform at children's parties?

LC: I did some but I could never see myself as a kid's entertainer, it's tough. The truth is if you book kid's shows then you will always be the house party magician. I wanted to be different and be taken seriously. I wanted to create something new.

JN: How did you wind up on Tengo Talento?

LC: It was a funny thing. They called me the day before the auditions from LA. They had heard good thing about me from locals, even calling me one of the best magicians in Chicago, which was a huge compliment. They told me this would be for the Spanish version of America's Got Talent. I had seen some on that show that were either bad magicians or were just made to look bad on TV. I had to really think about it but I went to the auditions. I flew back and forth to LA and made it round after round until I made it to the semifinals. They were impressed. Mainly people had used big boxes for illusions but mine were tricks with what I carried, paper bags, bowls of fruit, etc. I was the only magician who made it to the finals but at the end it really is a singing contest.

JN: Where did you perform for Shakira?

LC: I used to do restaurant work down by Midway airport. Many celebrities would come in and I would get to perform for them.

JN: What is your favorite kind of trick to perform?

LC: I've always liked the big box illusions but when you see a box on stage you know it's the box doing the magic and not the magician. I like more mental challenges like bending forks. In my show the fork bends into different shapes even in people's hands. I like things to be more weird. I let people decide for themselves if I have real powers.

JN: How much time do you spend practicing?

LC: I spend a lot of time practicing. Even if I am not doing something physically I am coming up with new ideas or how to make things better. For example this show I have put a lot of time into. If you really want to astonish an audience you have to put quality time into it.

JN: Tell our readers a bit more about Bending Minds Bending Dreams.

LC: It is about an hour and 45 minutes. It has modern music because people relate well to that. There are two sections, a first and second half. There is a mix of things from mind reading to hamburger tricks. One time I did a performance at Hamburger Mary's in Mary's Attic. We had a good crowd people went nuts over the hamburger trick. That was great. We were going to take it out of the show but it is a crowd pleaser.

The director of the show is Joseph Cranford. It is always better to bring in an outside person and he really improved things. He is a good actor as well and plays Pete Ross in the new Man of Steel movie.

JN: I want to see that movie. Are you gay by the way?

LC: No, I am not. I do get that a lot, maybe it's the skinny jeans!

JN: What are you upcoming projects?

LC: I'm actually going to be working for Disney to promote the new movie about the Wizard of Oz on Spanish network channels. I am flying to Miami this month to be on a Spanish show this month called Sabado Gigante. It is the oldest running variety show being on the TV for fifty years with the same host. It is the second most viewed show in the United States. I have my own show of course this weekend and I'm also working for Gift of Hope organ donors so that is in the works.

To see this prestidigitator in person head over to the Jasper Club Theatre at Magic, Inc., 5082 N. Lincoln Ave., on Feb. 15 and 16 at 7:00 pm. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased at Please remember that no late seating allowed. Call 773-334-2855 for more information.
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