“A little magic can take you a long way”, the beloved children’s author Roald Dahl once stated.
Renowned magicians nurture our imagination, curiosity and interest by tapping into the supernatural with unimaginable tricks. We admire the magician’s seemingly effortless sleight of hand, quick witted card, dollar bill, lottery ticket tricks and optical illusions. Many of us grew up watching magicians on TV, or have participated in magic shows in Vegas, childrens’ birthday parties and other venues.
Houdini was the master of emancipating himself from handcuff/straitjackets and other constraints. Penn and Teller rested their creativity on comedy, magic and tongue in cheek scientific skepticism.
Local South Florida magician/mentalist Larry Greenberg invokes the same magic creativity that these famous magicians have nourished for 25 years. A self-taught magic professional Larry observes his magician peers, and voraciously studies magic books. In other words, Larry is a self essentially a self-taught magician whose magic is an amalgam of all the best magic tricks out there.
Entranced by Magic at a Very Young Age
Born in Angler, New Jersey, at age 8, Larry witnessed a kitschy blade of grass magic trick performed by his orthodontist, and was mesmerized by the sleight of hand. He recalls that magic kits were every 8 year-old child’s Hanukkah gift, but for him, magic became his preoccupation, his passion. Larry would frequent magic stores like the iconic Tannens Magic in Manhattan, and Mecca Magic in NJ, and observe magicians doing tricks.
By age 12, Larry performed his first magic show at a child’s birthday party for a $25 admission fee – much to his mother’s chagrin. Larry recognized and honed his skills by performing for his peers and his family. As a magician he also had to learn to adopt an entrepreneurial attitude at a very young age. In addition, he shared, that he also realized that the magic comes second, and actual personal connection with his audience comes first and foremost. This latter realization would help him pave the path to magic stardom.
Larry recalls that after beginning college at Rutgers University, he was offered a one year magic stint in Japan at theme parks and resorts. While there he put his magic skills to the test, especially, when it came to connecting with the audience. Because language was a major barrier for him in Japan, he utilized, even more, silent hand/eye tricks and body language to perform his magic. By age 21, Larry was an international magician!
A Career Built Not By Magic, By Much Effort!
After his return to the United States from Japan, Larry, fueled largely by word of mouth, landed corporate gigs, including Pfizer, FedEx, MicroSoft, Wounded Warrior, Boeing, State Farm, Wells Fargo and many high end hotels such as a the W Hotel and Ritz Carlton in the New York, and NE.
Larry’s family lived on the west coast of Florida, and Larry would frequently visit. As is the case with many northern transplants, Larry became enamored with South Florida warm climate and bustling tourist and entertainment vibe. In 2014 he relocated to Fort Lauderdale permanently.
While he makes magic seem easy Larry works hard to stay busy. Larry considers himself a luxury item and acknowledges that South Florida’s wealth and the buying power that comes with it, has been key in sustaining him throughout his time here but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t work hard!
He networks with hotel planners, event planners, and destination management companies in order to build his magic business. South Florida with its inviting climate is a desirable destination for events and life milestones and magic shows are the perfect way to make these events memorable. He performs at private dinner and yacht shows as direct referrals from his large corporate gigs. He has also performed exclusive magic shows for the likes of the 2004 Miami Heat players, for Fred Smith, CEO of FedEx and the 2004 Miami Heat players.
He works hard to continually build his Google presence and earn 5 star reviews. He schedules his own clients, posts his own social media content and dazzles audiences over and over again further bolstering his reputation as a renowned magician.
Not Always a Smooth Sailing
Family was always a source of support and encouragement for Larry. Career challenges were more societal in nature, such as living in Northern New Jersey post 9/11, and the subsequent decline in business in NY/NJ metropolitan area thereafter.
The 2008 recession also presented an obstacle for Larry as the entertainment industry took a financial hit. Lastly, the COVID-19 pandemic beginning in March 2020 initially set Larry’s business to a screeching halt. He shares that his business went from “never better” to “never worse” in 5 days when the pandemic commenced St. Patrick’s Day 2020.
March 2020 began as a full calendar month for him and spiraled into zero bookings. He was forced to embrace the flat, one dimensional Zoom platforms by summer 2020. His positive mantra “So what, now what” helped him ride out the pandemic.
He cites several life lessons from withstanding Covid: his embracing of smaller parties, his reaching different and unexpected audiences due to Zoom, his acceptance that renewed “large events” were still more scaled back, and his appreciation of his love of magic/entertaining and laughter.
Few people realize that entertainers may not have expenses of a physical overhead like a building, but there is nevertheless overhead cost to sustain oneself.
Larry shares that his clothing budget comprises the majority of his business overhead budget. Image and first impressions are vital to a performer’s believability and credibility, so his suits are meticulously tailored/dry cleaned and high quality.
Additionally, his props, including Rubix cubes, multitudes of decks of cards, and lottery tickets (the CRUX of his many magic tricks) are costly but imperative to his magic success.
A Self-Described Luxury Item Does Embrace Philanthropy!
Larry has performed at “Make Our Schools Safe” at the Parkland Country Club spearheaded by the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas parents for gun safety. He has performed magic for sick children at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. He also performed for Challenge Air, a charity event that gift special needs kids their first airplane ride.
Laughter is the best medicine is a timeless, yet truthful axiom, and Larry truly embodies magic as entertainment, a much needed stress reduction and a unifying force.
Larry’s zaniest experience as a magician occurred at a family celebration at an upscale South Florida venue. During the cocktail hour, several family members, including an elderly grandmother, passed out after consuming marijuana edibles. EMS, firemen, and the police arrived at the scene and the celebration devolved into a chaotic mess!
Luckily, these turbulent situations are circumstantial. Normally the gigs are always full of fun, amazed eyes and laughter. A little magic truly does go a long way by entertaining people at weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs and family gatherings and by making memories even more memorable.
Having personally been dazzled by Larry’s magic performance at my daughter’s bat mitzvah I can attest to his amazing skills. He captivated the audience with his money conversions (a $1.00 became $100) and other entrancing card and lottery ticket sleight of hand. He was the sleeper hit of the reception! And he can been the sleeper hit at your next event too. So if you are looking for a great magician, look no further than Larry Greenberg.