By Barbara Perry Bind
Greenwich resident Ben Zabin has been practicing magic for 10 years, and he's performed everywhere from New York to Boston, and from the Dominican Republic to Mexico.
Not bad for a 13 year old.
Yes, Zabin, who will enter eighth grade at Greenwich Country Day School this September, is already a seasoned performer -- despite his tender age. Known on stage as "Benjamagic," Zabin recently was honored as the youngest person ever to perform in "Stars of Tomorrow," the annual show held at the Society of American Magicians convention. He is also a member of the Society of Young Magicians in Stamford, where every month he meets with other young magicians --and learns new tricks to add to his repertoire.
His mentor, the late Bill Andrews, said of Zabin, "He's one of the brightest stars ever. The minute he walks on stage, he just lights up the audience and they're just crazy for him." And Andrews should know -- the Stamford magician was at one time the National President of the Society of American Magicians.
Whether he's performing street magic or before a large audience, Zabin says his favorite part about performing magic is the look of amazement on people's faces.
Greenwich Citizen caught up with Zabin to learn more about what got him hooked him on magic, how he keeps on top of his game and some of his favorite tricks.
At age 13, you are already known as a "professional magician." When did you go pro?
I started doing paying gigs about three years ago. These include birthday parties, corporate events, fundraisers and other occasions.
What got you interested in performing magic?
The magic set I got for Hanukkah when I was 3 years old.
Who are some of your magician idols?
My mentor, Bill Andrews, who passed away last July.
What is your favorite part of performing magic?
Getting to meet new people and seeing the look on the audience's faces.
Can you share with us some of your favorite tricks?
My favorite trick for a stage is the Floating Table, in which I make a table float. My favorite up-close trick is "Sleight of Mouth" in which a chosen card appears in my mouth.
Where have you performed?
All over the world including Atlanta, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York,
Dominican Republic, Mexico and all throughout Connecticut.
How do your fellow magicians react to your age?
Most of the adult magicians that I know are very supportive and strive to help me succeed. I am very grateful to them.
How do you learn new tricks? Do you learn and share tricks with fellow magicians?
I learn many of my tricks from books and videos. I go to magic conventions, where I learn other effects from other magicians that I meet. It's like one big family!!
How often do you practice?
I practice everyday, on school days I don't get much time, but on the weekends and holidays, I will practice for hours at a time.
Who do you practice on -- your family, friends, etc.?
Whenever I learn a new trick, my father is usually the first one to see it. I will also bring new tricks to show to my fellow magicians.
What makes a trick great?
I feel that knowing how to do a trick is not nearly as important as presenting the trick in an entertaining manner.
Thus, the presentation is what makes a trick great.
For more about Zabin, visit www.benjamagic123.com.