This is a story of double-barreled ambition, tragedy, perseverance, but most of all, about magic. Not the saw-a-girl-in-half, rabbit-from-a-hat, cloak-and- dagger, cheeseball entertainer kind of magic, but the sort of one-of-a-kind illusion that makes you think twice and reminds you why magic can enthrall the most disbelieving of men. Fire appears out of thin air, skin blisters in front of your eyes, objects oat, vanish, change structure and reappear on the other side of the looking glass.
Back in the day magic was associated with necromancy and the supernatu- ral. It was weaved throughout with mysticism and the magician was suspect of sorcery and superhuman powers. Now in the skeptical era of YouTube exposés, HARRY POTTER and unskilled imitators, the world of magic has become less about the magical and more about swindle, pomp and post production. However there are still a select few magicians out there who startle their peers and defy their audiences with never before seen illu- sions and reality-defying mysteries. Mystery is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of combining true art, and science. It’s the sunset you’ve never seen but dreamt of many times.
What makes Réohm stand apart from the rest isn’t just his approach, his execution or his attitude, it’s his unilateral ability to charm someone into believing what we believed before we learned real from imagined. We used to believe in Santa Claus, in elves and reindeer, and most of us believed a Tooth Fairy gave us money for our rotted baby teeth. So what makes something real? Magic can be real because all magic is an emotion. When someone witnesses something they can’t explain, it opens up feelings most of us haven’t felt since childhood.
“You grow up learning that things cannot disappear, things can’t oat, that eventually everything must fall. But I create a world where things defy the rules, I want to create something that can’t be experienced anywhere else,” Réohm says. “It’s real actual magic happening in front of you because it makes you wonder, even if just for a moment, what’s real and what’s pos- sible.”
From an early age, Réohm was stricken with a dog-with-a-bone desire to achieve success in ways that were beholden to only a few, by defying the natural laws of reality and physics. When Réohm performed his rst magic trick for his younger brother, renowned musician Eli James, at nine-years old, he saw Eli’s thunderstruck reaction and decided that was what he was going to do for the rest of his life. He devoted himself to relentlessly prac-
ticing magic for hours on end, while his peers were off doing what most teenagers do. Now when you see Réohm perform his abstract art, you see how much skill, aptitude and creativity true magicianship requires. The complex combination of cognitive manipulation and use of physical phe- nomenon to create illusions.
Skilled in sleight-of-hand by age twelve, he quickly graduated into stage manipulation, parlor magic, mentalism, and street magic. He has per- formed nearly every type of magic in every type of arena, from kid shows, to trade shows, corporate parties, movie premiers, and everything in be- tween. By age eighteen he was performing for audiences of 14,000 and then at NBA half-time shows. Along the way he won international awards for his innovative thinking in magic, including the John D. Pomaroy award for ‘Magician of the Year’ and Stan Kramium’s Award for Close-up magic. At age 19, he was admitted into Int’l Brotherhood of Magicians and became the Vice President of its Seattle Chapter.
“I think of myself as an audience member and think of what I’d want to see. I would want to see something that’s real magic. I want people to see something that isn’t just an illusion that can be accomplished with a prop, I want them to forget they are watching a magician.”
Unlike most illusionists, he performs without the traditional campy signi- ers of magic–no tuxedo, no girls in spangles, no top hat. His favorite stage is the street, a quality which he brings to the stage. He creates implausible truths by means of unscrupulous trickery. “It’s not just making the impos- sible happen. It’s how I make you feel after you’ve experienced it.”
Most magicians master one particular kind of magic, but the self-taught Réohm is polished in all its formats. As an illusionist, he has an enviable cache and a coinciding con dence in his ability to make people sitting feet, even inches away, staring up his sleeves and into his pockets, suspend dis- belief. Magic has a basic vocabulary, and each magician arranges it in their personal own style. Réohm isn’t trying to just create his own vocabulary, he’s attempting to communicate without words. He invents tricks no other magician has done before.
“I’ve got a rule,” he says. “My rule is: there can’t be a single piece of magic that’s ever been done before. I have to invent and I have to build it myself. If it’s a bought piece or out of a book, I can’t use it. For my show, it’s all built, invented, and designed by me.”
Réohm has performed his capricious sleight of hand and mind tricks all over the world for corporate giants such as Bill Gates and Hillary Schneider [CEO Yahoo] and personally entertained the heads of Macy’s, Costco, the US Navy and Xerox, along with a large following of A-List celebrities. Celebrity photographer Tyler Shields commissioned Réohm to perform at his recent art exhibition “Mouthful” in Los Angeles. “The best thing to me about Joseph is that his life is magic, he lives and breathes it,” Shields tells me. “His dedication knows no bounds and his goal in life is to blow your mind in the best possible way. He’s two parts magician, one part wizard, with a twist of unicorn.”
His show’s are the unique manipulation of cognitive functions and mirage. The illusions, conjurations and fantasy involve science, showmanship, and the ability to captivate. You are bound to observe the curves, not the straight lines. There’s a sense of modern and classic drama to his movements.
“I love doing what I do, because I can incorporate every element of art in my shows. Music, dance, drama, a live painting–the options for creating my art are endless,” Réohm says. “I try to think of what I’ve never seen and then I think about how to do it.”
For more about Réohm and his upcoming stage show, go to LADYGUNN.COM