Super man

Wonder at illusionist Mike Super at the Victoria Theatre

By Matt Clevenger

Photo: Mike Super conjures his show that’s ‘turned on its side and dumped out into the audience’ Dec. 10 at the Victoria photo: Duane Rieder

If you’re skeptical about mystifier Mike Super’s live show at the Victoria Theatre this Saturday, Dec. 10, just get on twitter, and the internationally-known magician and illusionist will read your mind via social media.

“My twitter is @mike super,” the America’s Got Talent finalist and Phenomenon-winning performer says. “If they tweet me, it’s really me that answers. If they say they’re thinking about going to the show but they want to see if I can read their mind, I’ll read their mind over social media, to try to convince them to buy their family tickets to the show.”

An offer like that might be intimidating for other illusionists, but Super is used to performing under intense pressure. In addition to performing an estimated 200 live shows per year, he also appears frequently on live television reaching millions of viewers.

“There’s no editing and there’s nothing you can do to fix anything,” he says. “That does add a level of pressure, but that’s how it is in a theatre too; there’re no second takes.”

“There’s a lot of pressure before you go out there and do it,” he says. “For me it’s a big deal until I’m out there performing, and then I just kind of click right into what I would normally do anyway…you just do your best and are thankful you get to do what you love.”

Super has been performing magic and illusions since he was 6-years-old and was originally inspired by a Disney street performer. “It was at Walt Disney World,” he says. “There used to be a magic shop on Main Street, USA. There was an older gentleman doing some plastic magic tricks, and I was obsessed. I remember vividly my mother saying ‘let’s go ride the rides, Michael, its very expensive to be here.’”

“His mother made a deal to give me, $10—at least he thinks it was $10—on the way out, if he would go on the rides and have fun with the family.”

“That’s kind of what got me started,” he adds. “It’s really come full-circle, too, because now I work a lot for Disney; tomorrow I’m going on one of their cruise ships for five days to do some shows.”

The Victoria Theatre show will be Super’s first performance in the Dayton area. His act is different from other magicians and illusionists, combining elements from many different magical specialties. Super loves all the branches of magic but chose to call himself a mystifier, explaining, “The reason I chose that instead of a ‘magician’ or ‘illusionist’ is because when you say ‘illusionist,’ you think of a guy with big boxes and things onstage with an assistant; and if you say ‘magician,’ you’re thinking of a birthday party guy pulling scarves out of his sleeves. If you say ‘escape artist,’ you think of people in straightjackets. I didn’t want to be locked in to any one of those; I wanted to do all of them, because I just love what I do, and I didn’t want to be limited.”

His show is also much more interactive than traditional magic acts. “It’s been described as a magic show that’s turned on its side and dumped out into the audience,” Super says. “It’s completely interactive. I don’t travel with any stage assistants; I use the audience for everything, which gives the magic another level of credibility and more excitement… Usually, if you take the kids to go see something like “Barney on Ice,” the parents are sort of rolling their eyes, but the kids love it. Or if you go to a different kind of show, maybe the kids don’t enjoy it so much, but the parents like it. This is a show that operates on many different levels, so younger kids, parents, grandparents, and I’ve even been told that teens like it, which is the best compliment you can get.”

Super’s show is “also really, really funny as well, so you sort of get many shows all rolled up into one,” he adds.

One key to the show’s wide appeal lies in the very nature of magic and illusion. Super believes that it is in our DNA as human beings to wonder. “I think that’s why we try to sort of push the boundaries with space exploration and other exploration.” He also thinks the show provides relief “in a world where you can Google the answer to anything, sometimes wonder is a hard thing to find.” He thinks most folks consider it is fun to be in a theatre, know what is really happening, yet can’t believe their own eyes.

Magic, illusion, mystification—all offer an escape from real life and an opportunity to experience child-like wonder again, and “just enjoy not knowing. When you’re doing that, you’re not concentrating on everyday problems; you’re not concentrating on the mortgage, or what is going on at work. Super says there is value in seeing something that requires the suspension of disbelief. “It frees people’s minds…In a world where we’re used to getting an answer immediately on anything, I think it’s even more powerful to fool someone nowadays, because everyone is so used to being able to get that answer, and when they can’t it sends them through a range of emotions that I think are really interesting.”

Mike Super will appear Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main Street in Dayton. The show begins at 8 p.m. and tickets start at $25. More information can be found online at or

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