Saturday, November 23, 2013

Wes Iseli's Sideshow Memories

This video shows my old sideshow banner and me eating fire. 
The only magic trick is a quick trick of turning a broken lighter into a box of matches.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Wes Iseli's 7th Annual 24 Hour Magic Show

Wes Iseli Magician & Illusionist
Contact: Wes Iseli
Phone : 1 877 987 4201

Wes Iseli Magician & Illusionist Presents 24 hours of magic

Ruckersville, Va - Wes Iseli Magician & Illusionist will present 24 hours of magic to
raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network, taking place at Walmart of
Ruckersville on Nov 26th 10:00 am – Nov 27th 10:00 am, sponsored by Wild Wing
Café of Charlottesville.

Wes Iseli Magician & Illusionist is proud to bring 24 hours of magic to Walmart of
Ruckersville for the 7th year in a row and the third time at this location. Wes
Iseli will be performing close up magic and more all the while asking for small
donations to the Children’s Miracle Network.Wes Iseli will be in front of Walmart
the entire 24 hours. In the past overnight temps have dropped to 14 degrees with
the wind chill. He is hoping for warm weather this year.

“This is just my way of doing something extra special as a way to give back at

Wes Iseli has been doing magic since he was 7 years old. Wes currently works at
resorts, country clubs, theatres, trade shows, company picnics, and high school
auditoriums all over the East Coast. He still enjoys doing smaller shows such as
private parties and family reunions. He couldn’t think of a better career choice; it
never gets old performing all over and entertaining thousands of people each

Friday, October 25, 2013

One of my favorite shows

People ask me all the time what is your favorite type of show to do, but I truly like all aspects of magic so to me I don’t care if I am doing close up magic, parlor magic, or an Illusion show; I just love performing. Close up magic is so intimate, a no holds barred right in front of the spectator magic that can be so powerful because people say “the big stuff may be mirrors, may be trapdoors but you were right there” or even better “the magic happened in my hands”. Family size shows are great too because you can do magic on a bigger scale and you are still close to the audience with the front row maybe 3 feet away and still you have a semi intimate feel to it all. The bigger shows such as the illusion shows are great
because you can feel the audience due to the size of the audience, you can feel it in your bones if they are having a great time or not and I love that feeling.

Today I just wanted to tell you about one of my favorite type of shows. It is in the family size category and it is the harvest party/ chilly cook off / neighborhood get together. I lump these 3 titles together because they are lumped together lots of times when we perform at them too. I love the fall and these outside shows are in the fall when it is cooler which is so nice after fair season performing in 100 degree plus temps. Besides the temperature, it brings me back to when I was little and my own neighborhood would get together this time of year. Some are even costume parties and the magician being an impartial spectator at the event gets to judge the best or scariest costumes. Here are some photos from a neighborhood get together / chili cook off I recently performed at.

Wes Iseli's Obsessed with Magic

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New age in magic

WOW, I have been performing magic full time for 17 years now. It really is hard to believe, time just flies. When I first got started in magic I felt as though I was alone on my magical journey. Yeah there were some magic books in my local library, but learning from a real magician or attending a magic lecture or visiting a magic shop all of these things were out of the question. You see I lived in a suburb of Charlottesville, Va and as a kid I thumbed through catalogs drooling over the newest magic items for sale. Also in these catalogs were ads for magic conventions or magic camps & even the Magic Castle.  The closest magic shop was over 100 miles from me when I was growing up, but it didn’t matter my parents weren’t going to drive that far to buy tricks anyway. Once I got into high school I stumbled upon a magic shop that had just opened up in Waynesboro, Va called Shenandoah Magic. The owner was a little different but he was nice to me and encouraged me with my magic and I remember just sitting in there for hours looking at all those shelves loaded with apparatus and books and cards and feeling more at home than I ever had before. I used to drive over to that magic shop on weekends when I could and spend every penny I had wanting to know everything about magic. Just a little while after finding the magic shop in Waynesboro a new magic shop opened in Charlottesville called Magic Tricks. It was 30 minutes closer to my house and had even more inventory than the other location. This became my hang out during high school. While other kids were going to parties, I was practicing my magic. I can’t even begin to tell you how much time I spent in this shop, I even started getting my hair cut at the salon next door to it so I could just be close to it. After high school, while attending college, I started working at the magic shop and practically the only time I was not in the shop was when I was at school or at a gig performing. I learned a lot there not only about magic, but about business and dealing with all types of people. I met scam artists, carnies, professional magicians, jugglers, comedians, super talented sideshow performers and more. My eyes were opened to a whole new world. Well this was all going on about the same time the new world wide web thing was starting to become more and more popular. Each month in the magic magazines you would read stories about “brick and mortar magic shops” (that’s what magic shops were being called now) closing due to the fact that people were buying online instead of at their favorite magic shop.  That is exactly what happened to the two magic shops near me, both closed due to fewer magicians buying from them and rent going higher each time they would sign a lease. Since then the internet has grown at a rate I don’t even think anyone could have imagined and just last year I attended a magic convention in my magic room in my home via an iPad were I got to see approx 37 of the best magicians in the world perform, then teach their magic and I could ask questions live as if I was in the room with them. It was an amazing experience! Things change. When I was a kid New York or LA seemed like they may as well have been on the other side of the earth, but nowadays we can talk to someone anywhere in the world via email, facebook, skype and more with just a click of a button. I know you kids are reading this thinking I am old, but it really is amazing how far we have come along.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

What the FCM has done for me

In case you were wondering, the FCM is “The Fellowship of Christian Magicians.” It is one of the many magic fraternities in which I belong.  Since joining the FCM I have learned a lot more about my relationship with God. I was honored to have been asked to headline the FCM convention this year in Ohio and as a writer and contributor to their bi-monthly magazine I am known all over the world by other members of the FCM. Natalie and I joke about how popular I am in Germany due to the fact I get several emails each month from over there from guys who read my newsletter and column, who buy my magic products, and also ask for help with their magic or routines from time to time.

I have created several Christian themed magic effects such as Love story, &  7 Deadly sins. Both are card effects that are meant to entertain and educate at the same time on truths from the bible. I also created a magic kit called Miracles of the Bible which includes five magical effects you can perform that illustrate miracles from the Bible.

Since becoming a member of the FCM I have become a husband, a father, and author, and I have come to know some of the most wonderful Christian magicians from all over the world that I may never have met if it were not for the FCM.

Who would have thought that by joining another magic club so many good things would come to me, “God does work in mysterious ways!”

Lana's Caretakers

Our little girl Lana is growing up fast while being on the road with mom and dad. She has traveled all over Virginia, Maryland, and even Ohio. During our smaller shows Natalie & I alone take care of her while we are performing, but during our bigger shows that involve big box illusions we hire extra help just to watch Lana. For over a year my uncle Freddy traveled with us to our resorts and other illusion shows to take care of Lana, but last month he got a new job that made it so he was unable to take off work to help us like he used to be able to. Luckily as stars lined up in our favor two girls from church (Caitlin & Jessica Hopkinson) had just said a couple weeks before Freddy left “we would love to baby sit anytime”.

When Natalie & I have her, we pass her back & forth like clockwork. Since we average 400 shows a year we are used to the juggling now. In between shows we take her to malls, parks, pet shops and just about any other place you can think of to stretch her legs after being in the car all day. I knew having a baby on the road was going to be a lot of work, but the alternative would be sticking her in daycare and we really wouldn’t see her so we will just keep juggling because although it is a lot of work she is worth it…

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Deaf magicians and Deaf Audiences

Over 10 years ago I was asked to perform at UVA for a group of people who had just received a revolutionary hearing device called a  cochlear implant. This hearing device was snapped to a fastener in their skull.
I was happy to do this show as I knew magic was universal, even though there would be lots of deaf folks in the audience it would be fine because magic is a visual art. This was my first experience with deaf audiences and since then I have performed for them on several occasions.

At this year’s National Society of American Magicians Convention they even had a special show dedicated to Silent magic. They even asked that instead of clapping that the audience hold their hands in the air and shake them as that is sign language for applause.  I was told the music for this event was crazy loud which makes sense if the performers were deaf that they needed to feel the music to make sure they hit their marks.

Silent acts in magic have been around for as long as magic itself, but it is usually not because the performer is deaf it is because that way they won’t need a script and they may just want the magic to speak for itself .

My friend Kyle Peron is a deaf performer in the Philly area. Here is a short excerpt from him: As most folks know...or maybe do not know....I am a deaf magician. I started losing my hearing at age 8 and it got worse as the years rolled on. I am now about 60-65% deaf in both ears. I lip read to understand what people say and I tend to feel music more than hear it. There are many magicians out there who have various disabilities. I commend them for never giving up or giving in. Magic for me was a saving grace. It brought me out of my shyness and helped me to learn to communicate better and focus more. In a way magic was a healing art for me. If you are reading this and have a disability (or know someone interested in magic that has one) I hope that it inspires you to go out there and get involved in the art. We do not have to stop doing what we love simply because it may be harder for us. What we must do is have a desire to go above and beyond and push ourselves to simply adapt. Magic and performing magic was a challenge for me and still is in some degrees. That does not mean I have to stop doing it. It does not mean I have to settle for second best. If the desire is there, work hard to come up with a means in which to accomplish what you want to accomplish. There is always a way to make it work for you.

Wes Iseli's Close up magic at the fair pt 2

Monday, June 17, 2013

Psychics and Mediums are Scum!

Houdini, after the death of his mother, spent a great part of his life debunking these frauds and con artists who under the umbrella of entertainers take hard earned money from believers who in times of crisis are looking for answers.  Most folks go to these charlatans in times of feeling low. Questions about love, health and wealth are among the top three.

Today James Randi AKA The Amazing Randi has led the war against frauds like these by establishing the James Randi Educational Foundation that once a year invites these frauds to prove if their “powers” or “gifts” are real under scientific conditions & if they do show that they can predict the future or communicate with the dead Randi will be happy to give them the 1 Million dollar reward money & help introduce them to the world.                                (Picture is of James Randi)                                                  

Last month, three young girls who had been kidnapped some 10 years earlier were found in a Cincinnati home. One of these girls was named Amanda Berry. In 2004 Sylvia Browne, (a self proclaimed Psychic) appeared on the Montel Williams show and was asked by Amanda Berry’s mom “can you help me find my daughter?” Sylvia Browne looked at the mother with certainty  and said “It’s too late, she is in heaven and on the other side. And her last words were ‘Goodbye mom I love you’.” It makes me sick just to type out that last sentence!  The mother of Amanda Berry never found out her daughter was in fact alive because she herself died 1 year after appearing on the Montel Williams show.

You can see videos on youtube of Sylvia Browne’s arrogance when she gives a grieving mother false news.  There have been folks on TV for years claiming to be Mediums and Psychics and unfortunately being on TV itself gives them creditability with lots of folks.  The newest up & comer in the world of FRAUDS is the Long Island Medium. Who also has several videos on youtube showing her miss at her claims, but of course all that is edited out when you see her own show.

People will always be looking for answers, I think it is in our DNA, but by going to a Psychic or a Medium you are not only wasting time but also money.

For more info check out James Randi’s website at

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Life on the road...

Yesterday, June 14th 2013, was one of those memorable days on the road. We left the house at 7:00 am with our breakfast sandwiches in our hands to arrive in Vienna (Northern Va) to perform at a summer camp at 9:30 am. Once the show was over we headed to Richmond, Va to perform at another summer camp at 1:15 pm. We ate our packed lunches along the way and Lana watched the Smurfs on the TVs in the van, but with traffic on the interstate we barely made it on time. As soon as that show was over we got gas and a couple of sodas from the gas station and headed back to Herndon (Northern Va) for an open house for a daycare who was signing up kids for their summer program, but once again with traffic on the interstate we barely made it on time for a 5:30 pm showtime. Once this show was over and we got all packed up we decided to hang out and play soccer with Lana who had been in the car all day like us; we wanted to stretch our legs too. Afterwards, we found a Ruby Tuesday and grabbed a bite to eat then headed home. We realized on the way home we needed a few things for the house and as tired as we were we had to stop for groceries, by the time we got home it was 11:00 pm.

People have no idea of what is involved in being a full time entertainer. The time we spend on the road and fuel costs are almost unheard of. Just yesterday we spent around $120.00 in gas and around 13 hours in the van.

My favorite part of being a magician has always been the time in front of the audience. Drive time, packing and unpacking the van, setting up and taking down the show, loading and unloading animals, office work, rehearsals, researching new tricks and illusions, and more are hardly ever seen, much less thought about; even our families are surprised when we talk about this part of our job.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Wes Iseli's Dollar to Impossible Location

This was filmed after an illusion show in Northern Va around 11:00 pm. I am in sweats because the audience is all gone and I was loading the van and trailer. This is an effect I have been working on for a while and I am thinking about marketing it to magicians later this year. You are seeing the effect just as it happened. The only edit was turning the camera point of view when the videographer turned the camera on its side while filming. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Magi_Whirl 2013 Recap

    From left to right: Eric Henning, John Carlson, Brad Ross,
 John Payne, and Juliana Chen

Magi-Whirl is a small magic convention held in Alexandria, VA each year the weekend after Easter. They do a great job on getting entertainers from all over the world to lecture and perform in the Gala show which is held on the last night. At the last minute I found out I was able to attend this year’s convention. The worst part was that Natalie & I decided she & Lana would stay at home for this trip; I really missed my girls.
This year’s convention had Disney Illusionist Brad Ross, John Payne, John Carlson and last, but definitely not least, Juliana Chen. I know these names mean nothing to most of my readers, but to magicians they are a great get for such a small convention.
As most of you know, I am not only a magician & Illusionist but I am a collector of magic, a history buff when it comes to magic, and I am a huge all around fan of magic. The main reason I wanted to attend this year’s convention was to meet Juliana Chen who is the only female ever to win FISM or “The Olympics of Magic.” She was not only an amazing talent but a really sweet person and took time out to teach me a few of her award winning secrets.
Although I was there to see Juliana, the overall convention was great. John Carlson and Brad Ross spoke about marketing and John Payne surprised me with an amazing lecture on showmanship and getting the most out of your props.
Here I am working with Juliana after her lecture 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Wes Iseli's Reappearing Chocolate Eggs

This was a trick I learned years ago. I have been thinking about this for a while and while watching my daughter digging into her Easter basket it reminded me of this effect. I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

My Interview

Wes Iseli is a Virginia-based magician who entertains at resorts, country clubs, theaters, trade shows, company picnics, and high school auditoriums all over the East Coast. Close-upstand up,illusions: Wes does it all and often performs with his wife Natalie. He’s also the owner of his own entertainment agency called “Party Magic” and often conducts lectures for other magicians.
Some years back, I met Wes and Natalie when they were in Southern California on their honeymoon. Over the years, we’ve stayed in touch and I’ve admired their charitable work. Since 2007, Wes has performed his “24 Hours of Magic” show where he stands in front of a Walmart and performs magic for 24-hours and collects money on behalf of a charity.
Wes recently took time out to talk with I hope that through this interview Wes inspires magicians to pursue and support important causes of their own.
Wayne Kawamoto: How do you support charities and what was your inspiration?
Wes Iseli: I support a bunch of charities in different ways. I give blood as often as I can, I offer discounted shows to charities and/or help them get sponsors so I can perform for them for free. I have a video commercial on YouTube titled Wes Iseli's Team Fox Commercial (click here to view). I also support Relay for life and have been performing my 24-hour magic show every year since 2007 which raises money for The Children’s Miracle Network.
My dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease when I was seven years old and I watched that disease turn him into a shell of a man over the next 18 years. He died from Cancer which was not found because the Parkinson’s medication masked his symptoms.
WK: Please tell me about your “24 Hours of Magic.”
WI: I racked my brain for about a year wanting to do something big at Christmas time as a way to inspire others and give back. I set up a booth in front of a local Walmart performing close up magic while asking for donations for the charity. I do it outside in the cold on the sidewalk, which sounds crazy but if I were inside and warm it wouldn’t be as much of a news story. (Click here to watch a video.)
I advertise “24 hours of magic” or “72 shows in 24 hours.” I guarantee ten minutes on and ten minutes off for the entire 24 hours but work more than that during busy times and in the middle of the night I try to keep an audience as long as I can because at that point they are entertaining me and keeping me busy. The best part is I always get newspaper coverage and TV news to cover me as well.
WK: How do you promote the event?
WI: I use magic as my tool to make money for the charity. In my home town I have a fan base. Friends, family and fans who can and do use social media let people know I will be performing magic 24 hours straight. I also put up posters and contact all the local media outlets. If I was just asking for donations there would be no buzz and no media coverage. Working for a charity and asking for donations is no different than performing at a trade show asking people to hand over their business cards or come into the booth.
WK: How did you get involved with the Childrens' Miracle Network?
WI: The Children’s Miracle Network is the charity that Walmart supports throughout the year. I told them about my idea for the 24-hour show for charity and they asked me if I could do it for the Children’s Miracle Network. It’s a great cause so I said agreed. The stories I have heard over the years about the Children’s Miracle Network are heart wrenching and I know that all my hard work to raise money for them is going to a great cause.
WK: Any advice that you can give magicians who may like to do magic on behalf of charities?
WI: Once you get an idea write it down and go for it. I was turned down at two other Walmarts before getting the OK at a location one hour from my home. Now I could go to any Walmart and do this because it is a win win for everyone involved. I get press, the charity gets money and press, and Walmart is the backbone of everything as it is the location for the event. And when people come to see me, very few leave without going into Walmart. I am now working at a Walmart less than a mile from my home which was not even open when I started all this in 2007.
WK: Any other thoughts come to mind?
WI: 2013 will my seventh year of “24 Hours of Magic.” I really enjoy being known as the “charitable magician” and having folks look forward to my event each year. I have even inspired several folks to take up magic as a hobby after seeing me perform at my event.
Year one was the best weather wise with highs in the 50’s, but I have also had lows in the teens overnight which is terrible. And performing close up [sleight of hand] magic while you’re shivering is harder than you can imagine. Also, when it is cold people don’t stick around long no matter what effects you show them, which means time goes by slower because you’re just waiting to perform. The only upside to extreme cold is the fact it makes for a better news story.
This year I plan on going even bigger, I am making plans now to do 30 days of giving over the month of November 2013. Each day I plan on visiting a charitable organization and donating supplies and/or time and filming a magic effect at each location and uploading it to myYouTube channel. I plan on mentioning the organization, explaining what they do, and then ending with a magic effect every day for the month.
Even though people think I am crazy for doing the 24 hour event, I still feel I have more to give. Hopefully 30 days of giving will help me feel more satisfied with my internal guilt that I am not doing enough.
To see the article at click here:

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Our Adventures in Ohio, West Virginia & home

Over the past few weeks things have been crazier than normal for us, let me explain:
I knew I had a magic convention coming up in Columbus, Ohio so I was working around the clock making magic tricks to sell as well as coming up with a new lecture to do, all the while maintaining normal office hours and performing shows. It was kind of like a vacation when we headed off to the convention. Even though at a magic convention you don’t get much sleep, it’s nice to only think about one thing at a time instead of checking off a list and juggling ten things in your mind. The convention went great, we met a lot of great people. I even had 2 tables in the dealer room where I sold magic, everyone loved my new effect ”Love Story”.  I headlined the evening show and got to perform on stage with David Ginn and Duane Laflin who are two legends in magic. On the way home things took a turn for the worse; my van died at 4:00 pm on a Sunday evening in Clarksburg, West Virginia during a snow storm. We had to get a tow truck to take the van to a mechanic and drop us off at a hotel. The next morning the mechanic said it would take a week to fix the van, so I called my local mechanic in Charlottesville and he said “get a rental car and get home, I will send a tow truck to pick up your van and we can work on it here, besides a huge snow storm is expected to hit here anytime.” (We use Airport Auto they are the best) Well we did just that, we got a rental car and went home, our van got to Charlottesville about 2 hours after we did. The next day 14 inches of wet heavy snow fell here in Virginia and we lost power for 3 days, the temperature in our home was 45 degrees and we ended up staying with friends in Culpeper. We felt like we were homeless and had the worst luck all at the same time. On the other hand we felt blessed to have friends like Bryan & Amy Bowling to take us in and give us a warm place to stay.
The folks who hired us had a photographer walking around the convention, I am hoping I will get a few photos from then soon….

Monday, February 11, 2013

Wes Iseli's Love Story

This is my newest effect in my Magic with a Message series. This is a Christian magic trick that is self working and requires no sleight of hand. This is perfect for Christian Magicians, Youth Pastors, and Sunday School Teachers. Only available at

Thursday, January 24, 2013

My Meeting with a TV casting agent

On Monday January 21, 2013 I was checking my email and received a message from an acquaintance whom I met when she interviewed me for Virginia Living TV a while back. Over time we have become friends. The email she sent was actually a casting call for a magician to be used in an upcoming TV project. She also attached a note saying I was the first person she thought of. The casting call stated that they were looking for someone who could actually  perform magic and they were not looking for an actor. I responded to the email thinking, what the heck. In a matter of a couple of hours my phone rang and it was the casting agent. They saw my promo and YouTube videos, liked my bio, and wanted to talk to me. Well I missed the call because I was in the shower getting ready to go to a gig, after my shower I called them right back but they had left for the day. I called back the next morning and left a message again and got a call back that the main casting agent was out of the office but that they had a few questions for me. They interviewed me over the phone for about five minutes and they thanked me for my time and said "I think we got everything." Then I asked if I should call back in a few weeks and they told me, "don't call us, we'll call you". That was very funny to me and I couldn't believe that I actually heard that line from a TV casting agent.  In about one hour I got a call back that they reviewed my info and they wanted to set up a Skype meeting on Thursday at 1:30 pm.  So on Thursday I did the Skype interview and it went well, but they really just asked me the same questions as before. I did learn a little more about the show, but because of the risk of someone else stealing their idea I was asked not to talk about that.  I may never hear anything from them again but I must say the whole experience so far has been fun. The picture above is of me during my Skype meeting...