Monthly Archives: April 2007

In the News: Magic With a Twist

One of our clients was recently featured in the April 15th issue of the Augusta Chronicle:

Where we live
Sunday, April 15, 2007

When Michael Gilliland and his wife go shopping at Wal-Mart, he goes straight to the toy section. He isn’t shopping for his children or for himself; he is doing research for his audience.

This job will keep you young,” he explains. “I’m just a big kid.”

As a magician, Mr. Gilliland has to stay on top of what children like.

He has been performing magic tricks since he was 8 years old and he has come a long way since then. From changing nickels into dimes at age 8, Mr. Gilliland can now captivate the most skeptical 5-year-old as he makes a white dove appear.

With decades of experience and eight years performing as Magic Mike through Magic With a Twist, Mr. Gilliland is a local celebrity to some children.

At a birthday party in Evans on Wednesday, several children approached Magic Mike with grins before the performance to ask him if he remembered them.

“I have groupies; it’s funny,” he said as they walked away.

Children remember Magic Mike and squeal and laugh throughout his interactive show. When he made Stinky the rabbit appear and replace a fake rabbit, several of the 5- and 6-year-olds stood up and screamed. Two girls even hugged each other.

He said he is the busiest children’s magician in the Augusta area and performs shows for adults, schools and businesses.

“I’m a ham. I’m a big ham.” Mr. Gilliland said, “I enjoy entertaining.”

Magic has opened doors for him since he was a boy.

“I wasn’t the jock, I wasn’t the scholar, but magic helped me find my niche. It has helped me meet so many people.”

And it continues to do so. He performed for members of Augusta National before the course was closed for the season last year and even performed magic in the recently filmed Who’s Your Caddy in Aiken.

While he enjoys sleight of hand and the mystery associated with magic, those are not the key parts to a good show.

“Presentation, performance and showmanship is what really counts,” he said.

“You shouldn’t look at magic as a puzzle, but look at it as entertainment. Once you pull back the layers, it can be disillusioning and disappointing.”

So don’t expect Mr. Gilliland to share the secrets behind his magic. He doesn’t even tell his wife, although he said she is pretty good at figuring them out.

From the Sunday, April 15, 2007 edition of the Augusta Chronicle.