"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
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.