Dan Sperry will be one of The Illusionists performing at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center on Sunday.

Courtesy photo

A group of exciting magicians from all over the world will come to Rapid City as The Illusionists take the stage at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center on Sunday.

The event will see a collection of unique magicians performing. One of those magicians, Dan Sperry, referred to it as an "international mixed bag of magicians."

"They wanted unique personalities, people of different ages and from different parts of the world," said Sperry. "It's a montage show with a little bit of everything."

Sperry, 30, was raised in north-central Minnesota, where he said he first encountered magic when his grandparents took him to see David Copperfield at age 5.

"I didn't know what he was about, I didn't know magic was this big thing with lights and theatricality," Sperry said. "I saw him open the show with something called a Death Saw, where he has to get out before the saw drops...and the saw drops early."

Young Sperry said that he "freaked out," thinking he just saw someone die, and had to be led out into the lobby, but it left an impression. He soon got into magic kits, performing his first show at 12.

"There wasn't a magic scene or anything in north-central Minnesota," Sperry said. "I didn't have friends who were magicians. It was just something separate I had where I was doing shows throughout high school."

Sperry said that he pursued it as a living soon after graduating and moving to Chicago as a way to pay for things, letting his own unique goth-influenced look become a part of his act soon thereafter.

"I had that growing up, because I was into stuff like horror movies and punk rock offstage, but in high school I had to comb my hair and take the piercings out onstage," Sperry said, adding with a laugh, "being an adult without a reputation, you can't go perform at Tommy's eighth birthday party like that. A resume and reputation lets you get away with more of that."

That reputation building, including a handful of viral videos and word-of-mouth, got him scouted out for "The Illusionists," of which he is one of the few remaining original members.

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"I was doing an off-Broadway show in Manhattan, and they came to see it and asked me to be a part of the show," Sperry said. "After that, the rest of us sat down and started jotting down ideas for material."

Sperry said that his favorite illusions vary from night to night. His favorite part of being part of the tour was being able to perform in different cities.

"You never know how they're going to react, because everyone's different," Sperry said. "I'd never want my own show in Vegas because I'd rather keep touring. That's what I look forward to, checking out what the culture is like in each scene."

What's consistent, then, is seeing how involved audiences get with the show.

"You don't just sit there and watch what's on stage: we make this as up close and personal as we can," Sperry said. "And it's not a contest of the audience vs. us trying to fool them. We're bringing them on the ride with us."

Tickets can be purchased at gotmine.com or by calling 394-4115.

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