BEAVER CREEK — Mike Super may be the only child in history to have been paid to enjoy Walt Disney World. At the age of six, Super stumbled upon a magician on Main Street USA while visiting the enchanting theme park and simply did not want to leave.
“My parents never thought they’d have to bribe me to ride rides,” he said. They gave him $20 to move along and stop watching the captivating magician.
From that moment, Mike Super, short for Supernovich, was destined for show business. Despite his resistance to roller coasters, Super remains inspired by the spirit of Walt Disney, who he claims is the “Steve Jobs of family entertainment.” Super said “he was able to connect things you didn’t see before.”
“I tend to gravitate toward people who overcame amazing odds” and “celebrate that struggle,” he said.
The science of magic
Super worked his way from performing tricks at friends’ birthday parties to tableside magic at restaurants, to corporate events, university shows, performing arts centers and, eventually, television. A Pennsylvania native, Mike Super earned a degree in computer science from the University of Pittsburgh. During his college years, Super was touring and interviewing as a magician and being paid to do what he loves. Pursuing magic professionally was a no-brainer.
“I never necessarily had to take a risk or make a decision because I have an obsessive personality,” he said. Super was all-in from the beginning.
In 2007, he made history as the first person to ever win a primetime TV live magic competition with NBC’s “Phenomenon.”
“If you follow what you love, the opportunities seem to line up perfectly,” he said. At the time of his reality win, he had been touring for 20 years. The show challenged him to create new material on the spot and the resulted exposure boosted him to become and esteemed national entertainer.
In his show, Super combines comedy, magic and illusion to create an interactive experience with the audience that will leave even the biggest skeptic perplexed. Using audience members as his assistants, Super promises a variety of tricks including scientific-based time travel, “voodoo magic,” and paranormal activity. He will make an audience member levitate and another disappear.
“So,” he said, “everyone bring your mother-in-law.”
The husband and father of two young girls admits it can be hard to find something fun for both parents and kids to enjoy, but says his show bridges the gap by offering such a variety.
“I’ve taken a magic show, turned it on its side, and I dumped it into the audience,.” he said. “When you see your kid laughing there’s no greater feeling and when they see you laughing they feel great as well ... (you can) be cool in your teenager’s eyes, if only for one evening.”
Catch Mike Super Magic & Illusion for two dynamic performances at the Vilar Performing Arts Center on Thursday at 4:30 pm and 7:30 pm. Tickets are available by visiting www.vilarpac.org, by calling the box office at 970-845-8497 or in person at the box office.
Emily Sears is the marketing coordinator for the Vilar Performing Arts Center.