“How did he DO that?”
It’s a deeply gratifying phrase for any magician to hear. For Max Krause, that phrase encompasses the essence of his art form. “Art, music, or theater can all cause you to feel emotions, but I believe that magic is the only one that gives you such a true sense of wonder. When you see something disappear in your own hand, it’s an unexplainable experience,” Max said.
When Max makes a lemon appear or accurately picks a word out of an audience member’s head–it is magical! What makes it even more extraordinary is that Max performs his show—not on a distant stage—but a few feet from his small audience. “You won’t see me doing a lot of fast, crazy movements. I move real slow so that people can watch my hands easily. My goal is to perform with my audience, not for an audience. Everybody gets to participate, and the individual decision that someone makes on stage is what causes impossible things to happen. I like to think of myself as a facilitator of the impossible.”
Max’s Magic Theater is new to the Oklahoma City scene. Max moved here and started performing in March. Not only is he selling out all seven shows each week, he’s top-ranked on Trip Advisor. Although he attributes his success to his humorous, quality show—he’s amazed at how quickly he’s been embraced by this community. “I’m blown away by the support here. Everyone’s so friendly, they come back multiple times, and they tell all their friends to come. It’s what I always dreamed of, but it’s never come together this well before. My magician friends are shocked by what’s going on in Oklahoma City—they’ve been visiting to see how this has happened so quickly.”
Max moved to Oklahoma City because of its central location in the United
States and because of its growing tourism industry. He’s currently saving money to achieve his ultimate goal—to open an emporium of magic in Oklahoma City next year. “It includes a theater, a magic shop, two escape rooms and a party room. I’ll be bringing in performers from around the world and offering magic classes. It’s going to happen, and it’s going to be incredible!”
The enthusiasm Max has about his business venture is likely the same enthusiasm he had as a 10-year-old boy, when he decided that magic was his life’s calling. He was watching “The Bozo Show” on television and saw a magic performance by Whizzo the Wizard. Inspired, he instantly decided to become a magician. He started reading magic books and performing tricks for his friends at school.
“In Junior High, the principal called me in to see if I could perform in the school talent show. It turned out that a kid’s talent scout was in the audience. She immediately hired me, and at the age of 15, I was doing 3-5 shows a weekend,” Max said. Thirty-seven years later, he still loves performing for all ages. “I’m not a character on stage, I’m just me. And the show isn’t about me, it’s about the audience and their reactions.”
The most profound audience reaction Max ever had occurred when he’d been hired as a strolling magician at a restaurant. He would visit a table, offer to do a few tricks, and move on. A table of six surprised Max by politely refusing his show, but later, they changed their mind and invited him over. “They genuinely enjoyed the show. One woman, especially, laughed so hard that she had tears rolling down her face,” Max said. “Before they left, one of the men from the table came over to express his appreciation. He said, ‘That woman you had laughing so hard–she just left from burying her husband. We weren’t sure it was appropriate for you to entertain us, but it was the best thing that could have happened. You reminded us that there are wonderful things in the world, and that life has to go on.’ You talk about connecting with the audience. No other compliment will ever be able to touch that.”
And yet, Max reaches audiences in new ways during every single performance. As rubber bands magically split and cards magically mend, he hears people’s awe as they ask, “How did he DO that?”
“It never grows old. That’s why I love to perform magic. I get to orchestrate an experience that might cause laughter or squeals, or just create an amazing sense of wonder.”
To learn more visit www.maxsmagictheatre.com