Ben Seidman finds ways to combine his gifts of magic and comedy by creating exciting and interactive shows for his audiences. Many of Seidman’s magic tricks had audience members participate by doing things like making a phone call, coming on stage and getting pickpocketed, or checking their Instagram to see his magic go from the stage to their smartphones.
Having multiple talents, including magic, acting and music, made choosing just one to focus on hard for Seidman.
“I knew I had to choose one thing because all three of those [talents] are crazy things to make a living with,” Seidman said. “So I went with the one that called me the loudest and that was magic. As I performed magic, I was always trying to be funny but as I got better at writing jokes and being myself on stage, I got funnier.”
The combination of comedy and magic isn’t as rare as people might think.
“In the 1600s, a book came out called the Discovery of Witchcraft, which was to try to explain [why to] stop killing people; because they’re just doing tricks and not possessed by the devil,” Seidman said. “As it evolved more into a performing art, people started combining other disciplines.”
Growing up, Seidman was influenced by magicians and illusionists, which turned him into a now-known audience favorite.
“One of my favorite magicians is a guy named David Williamson. He is hilarious and a great sleight-of-hand artist, one of the best in the world. So he influenced me alot growing up.” WIlliamson has won several awards during his comedy career including; the Gold Cups Award of Excellence in close-up magic, Close Up Magician of the Year, Magic Castle lecturer of the Year and Magic Castle Parlor Magician of the Year. He was also voted Most Wanted Magician at the 2003 FISM convention in Den Haag.
Senior Karen Orozco enjoyed Seidman’s comedy and became a believer in Seidman’s magic when she couldn’t think of any theories for a few of his tricks.
“The trick that blew my mind the most was the serial number on the dollar bill,” Orozco said. “I just still can’t understand or even believe how just asking random people in the audience for numbers was able to create the exact serial number for a $20 bill he had hidden the entire time.”
However, Orozco doesn’t waste much time or thought in figuring out if Seidman’s magic is real or not.
“Magic is supposed to be entertaining,” Orozco said. “I, myself, don’t like to think about theories on how to debunk or to try to figure out how magic tricks were made.”
As tempting as it might be to figure out the logistics behind magic tricks, it is sometimes better to just simply believe magic does exist.
“Just as Seidman said, he wants to continue doing magic tricks to keep the curiosity and spark we had as kids when watching magic shows,” Orozco said. “For a split second, when you’re in that audience watching Ben Seidman perform, you believe magic could be real after all.”