Eric Evans' interest in magic began when he was around 10 years old. At that time there was a magic shop in Albuquerque, NM where Eric grew up, by the name of Fool’s Paradise.
Saving his allowance, he would visit the shop and look longingly at the books and tricks, all but a few booklets were beyond his meager budget.
Eventually Eric discovered the Magic section of the school library where he checked out Henry Hay’s Amateur Magician’s Handbook, and that set him on his course. A couple of years later Street Magic was published by Claflin and Sheridan and Eric realized that he could combine his love of magic, with his longing to see the world.
At fifteen years of age he built a magic table, and he went out to the shopping center to try his hand at street magic. He didn’t make much money but he began to cut his teeth in front of live audiences.
Then, in 1980 he met a magician that would become his first teacher, Ernest Earick. Ernie’s work would eventually be published in a book by Stephen Minch, By Forces Unseen.
For the next several years, Eric Evans and Ernie would meet every week across the street from the University of New Mexico at a restaurant called The Frontier.
They would sit with their cards and coins while Ernie taught Eric all of his novel and original sleights and tricks. During this time, Ernie developed some of his highly acclaimed material with Eric looking on encouragingly.
Leaving Albuquerque in 1985, Eric traveled to Denver CO, where he again tried his hand at Street Magic. Working in Boulder CO on the Pearl St. Mall, and in Denver on 16th Street Mall, he performed close-up magic for that summer.
Meeting fellow performers such as Johnny Fox, convinced Eric Evans that he would need to broaden his knowledge of magic so as to include Parlor tricks that could play to a larger audience.
Moving to Texas that winter, Eric continued to study magic while seeking restaurant work. Eventually settling in Dallas, and after working in several bars and restaurants, he became the house magician at Flip’s Wine Bar and Trattoria on lower Greenville.
Working there for over a year performing tableside magic, he also sought out other working professionals. Eventually discovering two street magicians, Brian Bloodworth and Merlin the Magical One.
The summer of 1991, he began to perform outside in The West End, a downtown neighborhood that was home to various bars and restaurants. The nightlife and foot traffic made it an ideal place to learn how to gather and control crowds. It was also the place where he would meet the legendary street magician, Cellini.
One night, upon arriving at the West End, Eric Evans saw a strange magician’s table set up on a street corner. Hurrying to secure his spot, he glanced across the street and saw Merlin talking with an unassuming man dressed in a black suit.
Once Eric had set up his table, Merlin crossed the street and asked Eric to come over, that he wanted to introduce him to someone. With the words, “Eric, I want you to meet a legend... this is Cellini” he shook hands with the magician that would change his life forever.
The next summer, in 1992, Eric went to Zurich where Cellini’s school, Der Zauber Zentrum was located and began to learn street magic, the way Cellini performed it.
Staying in Zurich for the entire summer, he also met Cellini’s students, Sonny Holliday and Shawn Greer. After the season Eric headed back to America to begin working festivals and El Mercado in San Antonio, TX.
For the next year and a half, Eric Evans worked on drawings that were to become illustrations for Cellini’s book, The Royal Touch. During that same time, Cellini moved to where Eric lived in south Texas, staying there for seven months. It was then that Cellini taught Eric how to work indoors in bars.
Setting up in the middle of the bar, he would work the entire place, essentially performing a street show inside. Traveling back to Zurich in the summer of ‘95, Eric hand delivered 320 drawings to Cellini for his book. Of those 320 illustrations, 250 were used to illustrate, what for many, is the greatest single collection of material suitable for the street.
In 1998, Eric moved back to Texas after spending a couple of years living in Los Angeles where he performed regularly in the Parlor at the Magic Castle. It was then that Eric began work on a book that was to become The Secret Art of Magic: Strategy for Magicians.
While writing a booklet on how to perform street magic, Eric made a seminal discovery. Namely, the work of Sun Tzu, an ancient chinese general and philosopher.
It occurred to him that War Theory might be used to inform Magic Theory, thereby presenting a unified, and exhaustive theory of the psychology of deception. Researching further, Eric discovered another book, The Secret Art of War or The 36 Strategies.
Instinctively he knew this was exactly what he had been searching for, a document that explained how deception worked and why.
After a year’s research and writing, Eric realized that he was ill equipped to deal with the monumental task of deciphering the different strategies, Eric enlisted the help of his friend Nowlin Craver. Nowlin’s contribution eventually became the second half of The Secret Art of Magic.
Published in December of 2003, it immediately became a bestseller. Highly acclaimed by Michael Close, Jamy Ian Swiss, Jeff McBride, among many others, it is regarded by many readers as a classic of magic literature.
In the year 2000, due to the success he had experienced working for magicians at the Magic Castle, Eric decided to compete in the stage category of the Texas Association of Magicians convention, he won the category as Best Stage Magician with his manipulation act.
The next year he entered the Society of American Magicians competition for Stage where he won the Mystic Craig Award for Professional Promise. His manipulation act has been compared to the work of T. Nelson Downs, Cardini, and Fred Kaps.
These days, Eric Evans continues to work the street, traveling throughout Europe and the U.S.A. He occasionally lectures but continues to rely on the street for his bread and butter.
For more information, visit Eric Evans' Official Website.
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