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Millersville Mentalist Amazes Audiences

by Sue Young

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"Think of a number between 1 and 52.  Don't say it out loud," said Dick Steiner who just had me shuffle a deck of cards, insert them in their box, and then hold them.  Opening a second deck of cards he spread them out, face up.  "Now pick a card from this deck and remember it," he said, scooping up this deck of cards and returning them to the second box.  "Now," he instructed, "open up your deck of cards and count down the number you picked earlier."  I counted out eight cards.  Turning over the eighth card, I recognized the card that I had mentally selected out of the second deck.  "How did you do that?"  I asked incredulously.  Dick performed three tricks for me and each time, he amazed me with the correct answer.  And, unbelievable as it seems, he has performed thousands and thousands of these "mentalism" feats without error.

Touted in newspapers, both locally and nationally, and named "Baltimore's Best Magician" in 1996, Dick Steiner of Shipley's Choice came to this profession after retiring from a 21-year career with the Army.  A West Point graduate, he served in the Army Signal Corps.  Always intrigued with magic, he was invited by a friend to visit a magician who taught them some tricks.  Dick would practice these tricks until he had perfected them and only then would the magician teach him more.  "I practiced for hundreds of hours," said Dick.  Over time he wondered if he could turn his interest into a career.

Upon retirement, he returned to his hometown of Minneapolis and developed his act.  "I had always loved baseball and I was able to combine that interest with magic and create a unique show for the Minnesota Twins," said Dick.  His success with the act has taken him to many baseball events, including All Star games, season openers, private parties for players and even the Field of Dreams in Iowa.  "Doing show for famous people gave me the credibility I needed to sell my show to others," he added.

With an impressive clientele that included AT&T, MCI and the Baltimore Orioles, Dick performs at corporate dinners, trade shows and private adult parties.  He was invited back to Vice President Al & Mrs. Tipper Gore's for the fifth time, most recently for their Halloween party.

"I do a lot of repeat business."  Though he incorporates new acts into his shows, most people want to see tricks they have seen previously.  "When a client calls, they will tell me what tricks they would like to see again.  Many times, the entire show is a repeat,"  said Dick who usually keeps his stage act to forty minutes.

Dick emphasizes that he does not do children's magic acts.  "I say my act is wholesome, but sophisticated.  It is more appealing to adults," he continued.

His show has taken him around the country, performing between 125 and 150 shows each year.  "The busiest time of the year is December when I work every day."

A member of the Psychic Entertainers Association, Dick is always on the lookout for new material.  "I've had things handed down to me that are not in the book," he shared.

Working evening hours and weekends, Dick has generally been free during the day.  This time has been well spent with his wife, Suzanne, and daughters, Carlie and Lindy.

With his future secure as a renowned magician and mentalist, Dick looks forward to each and every show.  "I am so lucky to be doing something I enjoy doing so much.  It just doesn't seem like work," Dick concluded.

But for me and the countless other thousands who have seen him in action, we will continue to be plagued with that question - "How did he do that ?"  If you would like to join the ranks of the amazed, you can reach Dick Steiner at (410) 987-7801.