Professional and part-time illusionists share their stories

Bill Gates knows how to do magic.

He knows how to do magic because Greenwich magician Bill Herz taught him face to face.

“[We taught him] to spawn money, of course. We taught him how to turn a computer into a bowl of money,” Herz said of an illusion he performed that made it look like a computer magically turned into a bowl of money. .

The trick was also a metaphor that is part of Herz’s desire. He’s a professional corporate magician, which means he shows up at events for big corporations and does magic that intersects with the message the boss is trying to convey.

Herz also has his own company based in Greenwich called Magicorp Productions which represents some of the most famous magicians in the world, such as David Blain, Michael Carbonaro, Piff the Magic Dragon and David Copperfield.

Riverside magician Bill Herz has been bringing magic to boardrooms around the world since 1988 through his company, Magicorp Productions. He is also a collector of old magician posters.Anne Semmes

Tom Pesce is one of the magicians represented by Herz, and he lives in Ridgefield.

Pesce performs for major companies around the world, including Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, and he is also a sixth-grade English teacher in Rye Brook, NY.

“It’s a wonderful combination because I’m improving my teaching with magic, and I’m improving my magic with what I know through school district administration,” Pesce said.

“I taught elementary and middle school students for 18 years, so I put some of that child psychology in when I work with adults – all of that expertise can work together, which is really fun” , did he declare.

While Pesce teaches children as part of his day job and works magic for businesses at night, Dan Trombetto, also known as Danny Diamond is almost the opposite.

Trombetto was born and raised in Stamford and is a website and graphic designer by day and a children’s magician by weekends. Work the Magic of Danny Diamond part-time job, he does 100 or more shows a year and has maintained it for 17 years.

And Trombetto said his side job requires a lot of time and energy.

“On a busy Saturday, I might be able to do three shows… So I’m bouncing back from loading the car in the morning, driving off, putting a ton of miles on the car, unloading the show set-up, playing, being full of energy, packing up at the end and heading to the next place.”

“You know, it’s just like, there’s a lot more going on than those 45 minutes [clients] see,” he said. “Some people just see ‘oh, you get up there and blunder for 45 minutes and do a few laps,’ but there’s a lot more going on.”

Connecticut has a sort of secret magical world under everyone’s nose. There are associations of magiciansa magic conference and groups of young magicians who meet around the state and exchange tips and tricks.

Dana Herz, Bill’s daughter, was one of those young magicians who showed up at meetings of the Young Magicians Group and blew the group out of the water with tricks she learned from her father. Dana now lives in California, but grew up in Greenwich.

Dana Herz is a stand-up comedian/magician from California.  She grew up under the guardianship of her magician father, Bill Herz, in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Dana Herz is a stand-up comedian/magician from California. She grew up under the guardianship of her magician father, Bill Herz, in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Courtesy of Dana Herz

“I’ve been doing magic since I was, you know, two years old and I used to get my child allowance by going to Young Magicians Society meetings,” Dana said. “It’s so normal for me because that’s all I’ve known in my entire life.”

As a child, Dana put aside all magic. It was a family affair, and she had never experienced it with the fear of a spectator. In college, she started doing stand-up comedy. It was then that she discovered that she might have more in common with the family business than she thought.

“Once in a while I would add a little magic (to the stand-up routine) and find that was when I would get the best reception. For me, my goal in entertainment — as much as I love the experience of amazing people — is that I just want people to leave after having a really good time and having a lot of fun,” she said. kind of gave a lot more freedom to not necessarily follow the normal trajectory and more to just be inspired by whatever makes people happy.”

The art of magic is changing, according to Dana and Bill Herz and Pesce, especially after the pandemic. Virtual magic shows have made performing across the world more accessible than ever. Dana hosted virtual magic happy hours which she says were a big hit.

This virtual presence has also enabled a new demographic to invest in magic and illusions. Bill and Dana Herz both said they’ve seen an increase in magicians of all genders and races, which could make the image of a mustachioed gentleman with a top hat and tail a thing of the past.

“We consider all of these male magicians — especially white male magicians — to be the norm,” Dana said. “I think for anyone interested in magic, it’s definitely worth taking a look at the up-and-comers, because a lot of them are of different races and identify differently, and I think that there will be a lot of power in these new voices using this ancient medium.

Brian L. Hartfield