Cleveland’s own master illusionist, Magic Mike, has dazzled crowds of all ages since he founded Magic Mike Productions in 1999, but Michael Brooks has worked to mystify crowds long before then.
Being a magician is no joke; it takes days and months of repetition to master a trick and to be able to do it the same way repeatedly. Mike has been doing magic since he was 13 years old and he hasn’t looked back since. The first trick he ever learned involved three drawstring bags and a borrowed ring. That ring was placed in the top bag. After that bag was tied, the other two bags would then be tied around that firstbag. Somehow, the ring would vanish from the top bag to the bottom bag.
This trick was the one that paved Mike’s desire to learn and grow as a magician. A full-time career path has given him many opportunities to learn from other magicians and showcase some of his own illusions to different audiences around the country. With inspirations from Siegfried and Roy to David Copperfield, he was able to hone his bag of illusions and tricks to range from being shackled in an 85-gallon drum filled with water and escaping to predicting newspaper articles a week before they were published.
Mike’s gifts came quickly, as he was able to master these abilities before he was 22 years old. When he turned 22, he also picked up balloon artistry and began to shape his craft into family-friendly entertainment. Whether that meant reading or taking classes online, he tried to soak up as much knowledge as he could about being a performer.
One day, Mike went to a hypnosis show and left trying to find anyone who would tell him how he could train in hypnosis. Mike dabbled in mind reading a bit, but not enough for it to be a major part of the show, but he worked on his mind reading and mentalism act. It went hand in hand with the hypnosis and psychological misdirection that stuns the crowd every time he performs.
After learning how dedicated to the craft Magic Mike is, I decide it was time to see his show for myself. Next thing you know, I’m sitting in a poorly lit room at Pickwick and Frolic, nursing a pitcher’s worth of moscow mule, and listening to the soothing sounds of water washing onto shore on stereo.
Mike and his assistant Paige began the show by selecting people from the crowd to participate in the events. He had them close their eyes and listen to that same water sound to help them slip into a deep sleep. It worked for some and not for others, but for the individuals who slipped under Magic Mike’s trance that night, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Magic Mike made fully-functional adults forget the number seven.
I’m not talking the kind of forgetfulness when you forget to buy peanut butter even though that’s the only reason you’re at the grocery store in the first place. These people counted from one to 10 and skipped seven as if that was the order of numbers they knew for their entire existence. Another trance Mike put on the volunteers was that no matter of how much they wanted to say something out loud, they were physically unable to get the words out. They would open their mouths to answer the questions Mike would ask and right when you thought maybe they were going to say words, only silence followed, soon accompanied by laughter from the crowd.
Magic Mike was careful and patient with every volunteer on the stage. He didn’t humiliate them; he performed with a class and swagger about him and made sure everyone involved was taken care of at all times. He made it a point to undo the trance he originally put on them just to make sure their wellbeing was intact. As I left, Mike and his assistant Paige made me feel welcome for attending. After what I witnessed, I think it’s safe to say that Mike is magical in every single way.