Illusionist Adam Trent is hilarious, entertaining, with three shows Dec. 27-28 | VailDaily.com

Illusionist Adam Trent is hilarious, entertaining, with three shows Dec. 27-28

Illusionist Adam Trent is actually using his college degree: finance and entertainment marketing.

Among other things, college taught him that in his business, a tiger would be tax deductible.

But it's his life lessons that he said taught the magician-illusionist to be an entertainer.

"I can't remember a time in my life when I wasn't performing," Trent said.

He began with birthday party shows at age 9 for kids who were older than he was (slightly awkward) and corporate events when he was 13 (slightly illegal).

"I realized that the most important element in a show is the performer's connection to the audience. Without that, even amazing skill can fall as flat as a bad boy band," Trent said.

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At 14, he started street performing in Los Angeles, schooling he called "the most amazing/brutal training a performer could ever have."

"It taught me to build a crowd and be entertaining in the worst of situations," Trent said. "I discovered an audience's true attention span because they just walked away if things got boring."

At 18, he went to college in Los Angeles and earned the degree that, unlike most of us, he's sort of using.

Trent's meteoric rise started last year with a breakout role in the critically acclaimed Broadway and touring show "The Illusionists."

He's at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek for three shows between Tuesday and Wednesday.

"I've always thought that magic should be entertaining first and tricky second," Trent said. "I don't want people to remember just the 'tricks,' but also the laughs and the memories."

The analytical and Type A among us will go to a Trent show and wonder how he did that stuff. The rest of us will laugh and marvel and be glad he did that.

The Type A types will eventually come around, too.

An Adam Trent show is part magic, part concert and part stand-up comedy.

He has become a television regular, with appearances on "Good Morning America," "America's Got Talent," Disney Channel, ABC, VH1, "Rachel Ray," Travel Channel, SyFy and many others.

Trent said if there's a problem with magic shows — and he insists there can be — it's that most people think "magician" and think of a guy making awkward dance movements and telling stale jokes while torturing women in wooden boxes.

"I'm not suggesting that simply wearing jeans and a trendy shirt solves this problem. Perhaps a good refresh is needed," Trent said.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

If you go …

What: Illusionist Adam Trent.

When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27, and 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28.

Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center, 68 Avondale Lane, Beaver Creek.

Cost: $42 for adults and $32 for children.

More information: Buy tickets at the VPAC box office, by calling 970-845-8597 or online at vilarpac.org.