Magician Siegfried Tieber is a research in contrasts.
Tall and lithe, the 30-yr-previous Ecuador-raised sleight-of-hand artist is dressed within the magician’s requisite formal vest and white shirt, sleeves rolled to the elbow, cheekily accented with a micro-printed floral tie, a rose pin on his lapel. Directly mysterious and open, his honey-coloured eyes glow with real affection as he actually hops out of his seat to greet visitors earlier than the present, as effusively as if every have been an extended-misplaced good friend.
However after the 20 or so members of the night’s purposely intimate viewers settle into two tiers round a half moon-formed desk, Tieber begins his present wordlessly — shuffling and rearranging a deck of playing cards for 2 full minutes earlier than addressing the gang.
“Good night,” he lastly says, formal however pleasant. “Welcome and thanks very a lot for becoming a member of me.”
The Los Angeles-based mostly magician is presently closing out a restricted run of reside performances referred to as “See/Noticed,” introduced by Atlas Obscura. Tickets have been onerous to get since Tieber’s August look on “Penn & Teller: Idiot Us,” when he stumped the well-known magician duo. Wrapping on Oct. 15, Tieber’s performances happen at Civic Middle Studios in downtown Los Angeles, which (fittingly) may be accessed solely by way of a hidden entrance.
“We did not truly name it a secret entrance at first, however individuals began adopting that concept,” Tieber says. “I might wish to assume that having a secret entrance places individuals within the mindset of getting into a secret expertise, one thing outdoors of the every single day.”
With the mixture of the speakeasy-type entry and entrancing host, to not point out the twins who announce the beginning of each present in unison, it is virtually assured that “See/Noticed” can be in contrast to another efficiency you’ve got seen.
“In these sorts of settings, what I take pleasure in probably the most is the interplay,” Tieber says. “In most performing arts, most of the time, it is the performer on the stage, and they’re speaking to you while you’re mentally and emotionally engaged however listening passively. In this type of setting, communication flows each methods. I do my 50% of the efficiency and the members are doing their 50%, each of us collectively creating the expertise.”
Tieber’s shut-up type of magic, the place these within the viewers can have their eyes on each gesture, is having fun with a renaissance. Throughout magic’s golden age, roughly the Eighteen Eighties to the Nineteen Twenties, magicians toured the world and have been thought-about the “rock stars of the period,” as Tieber places it. The Nineteen Seventies and ’80s noticed the expansion of televised giant-scale stage illusions or newsmaking stunts. Lately, although fewer individuals attend exhibits, magic has extra publicity than ever earlier than, thanks largely to the web.
“Magic isn’t mainstream leisure, however we undoubtedly are in a transitional stage, with increasingly more individuals ,” Tieber says. “Thrilling issues are occurring.”
Tieber hadn’t all the time deliberate to be a magician. Shortly after he enrolled at Ecuador’s Universidad San Francisco de Quito to research mechanical engineering, destiny dealt an auspicious hand when the then-19-yr-previous stumbled throughout a guide of magic tips.
“No clue who, how [or] why that ebook ended up in my palms,” he says, “however it modified my life.”
Instantly after performing for the primary time for his household, Tieber turned hooked on the interplay and reactions of his captive viewers.
“They freaked out and I freaked out at their freaking out,” he says with amusing.
Telling his household that he needed to do card tips for a dwelling, nevertheless, was a way more somber dialog.
“My father was heartbroken, my mom was livid, I used to be terrified,” says Tieber, whose mother is Colombian and pop is Austrian. “I do not blame them. After 5 years of college, they anticipated me to have a standard profession. Fortunately for me … after the preliminary shock, they accepted it. They usually have been supportive at each single step alongside the journey.”
From there, he began doing magic full time in his native Ecuador.
“I used to be doing very nicely financially and commercially as a result of it is a tiny nation and there is not a lot competitors for magicians,” he says. “There’s ups and downs to that, in fact. There’s not a whole lot of competitors, however there’s not plenty of demand, both.”
Realizing there wasn’t a lot room for inventive progress, Tieber determined to maneuver to Los Angeles in 2012, “in a nutshell, due to the Magic Citadel,” the Hollywood nightclub, performing arts middle and clubhouse.
“The Magic Fort is an enormous deal for us magicians worldwide,” he says. “It is type of like what Hollywood is for the movie business, pulling individuals from everywhere in the world: actors, administrators, writers… the identical factor, on a smaller scale, in fact. Individuals who go to the Magic Citadel go to observe magic and are keen and enthusiastic about it, which is half the battle gained.”
Since then, he is carried out in Miami, San Francisco, Chicago and Las Vegas, in addition to overseas, together with Bogotá, Colombia, Calgary, Canada, and Edinburgh, Scotland, for the 2015 Fringe Pageant, the place he premiered “Magiko,” a one-man magic play.
“I did the entire month of the pageant, and carried out for perhaps 29 or 30 nights in a row,” he says. “That was an thrilling milestone. I discovered rather a lot.”
One other achievement was turning into one of many uncommon magicians to efficiently idiot magicians Penn and Teller on the CW’s “Idiot Us.”
“For the previous 5, six years of my life, Penn and Teller have been two of my heroes,” he says. “My solely expectation in getting into to the present was to inform them, ‘You sit there, proper right here, and watch actually intently.’ Fooling them and whatnot was a pleasant added bonus. However simply the expertise of performing for them was completely superb. I am ridiculously proud about it.”
With the talents to idiot esteemed magicians in Las Vegas (a locus for magicians and card sharks alike), it begs the query, why not see how far these conjuring expertise may get you on the on line casino flooring? However Tieber insists that he is by no means thought-about utilizing his expertise for evil.
“Undoubtedly not,” he says vehemently. “I feel that perhaps I’d have the ability to pull it off, however it’s the identical factor as [asking], ‘Have you ever ever thought-about robbing a financial institution or perhaps a retailer?’ No, I have never.”
It is clear that Tieber is in it for the love of the “misunderstood” artwork type relatively than its potential for monetary achieve.
“At its very core, magic is storytelling,” he says. “Not within the conventional type of a story, however it’s storytelling, and it is sharing the human expertise.
“I feel magic has a terrific potential to precise complicated and delightful concepts like some other artwork type. And I feel that magic can also be very straightforward to fall in love with. I simply want that extra individuals have been prepared and hoping and excited to expertise magic. I feel that they might undoubtedly take pleasure in it.”
All through “See/Noticed,” Tieber switches hats as host, historian and illusionist, explaining card-shark methods, fielding viewers questions and graciously accepting compliments (on his palms, which a number of of the friends coo over), all whereas referring to every individual by identify.
“What is certainly totally different in each single efficiency is the individuals and the interplay,” he says. “This specific occasion, from starting to finish, lasts about two hours. And we prime the viewers at 24 members or attendees. So after spending two hours with that group of individuals, you truly get a way of who every particular person on this room is. There’s the one that reacts extra effusively, these people who find themselves extra reserved, there are those that swear once they watch a magic trick. In order that undoubtedly makes every efficiency totally different and distinctive.”
What’s subsequent for Tieber after this run?
“I do not know,” he admits. “I’ve many tasks in thoughts, however we’ll see the place it goes.”
comply with me on twitter @sonaiyak