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Meet Daniel Jaspersen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Daniel Jaspersen.

Hi Daniel, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
Many people ask me, how did you get started into magic? The truth is, I was conned into it. About 20 years ago, I met a retired cardsharp who was working a small magic shop in Minnesota. He was incredible. At the time, I was a naive college student with an affinity for juggling and experimental theater.

I wandered into his shop several times just to watch him work and sell tricks to kids. One day, he pulled out a normal deck of cards and demolished me with a piece of magic. I was hooked. From there, he sold me a few books, showed me some moves, and generously shared his knowledge with me for about two years.

I performed close-up magic as a side hustle in restaurants, small house parties, and other events for years. About four years ago, I stepped away from my corporate marketing job to focus on magic full-time. Today, I perform on stage as a mentalist and still love the close-up magic. I work for corporate events all over the country but consider the Front Range to be my home.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It’s interesting. When I’m out working at an event, one of the natural questions many people ask is, “What’s your real job?” Even my parents said things like that early on. I understand, being a magician seems like an unstable career path which I’m supposed to grow out of.

I look at it this way, I’m a professional artist.

Another period which was challenging was the Covid lockdown. All live events were canceled, and my entire income evaporated. Quickly, I was able to pivot toward performing online via platforms like Zoom. The hard part was, 1) The technology was new and unstable. We all had to learn how to use it. And 2) there are no resources for learning magic for the screen interface like that. We (magicians) had to figure out completely new approaches to performing and creating magic. Overall, I’m proud of the material that I developed in that period, but I hope I never have to perform it again.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I’m a magician.

But not with the old troupe of rabbits and a top hat and an ill-fitted suit. I haven’t performed for a kid’s birthday party in 15 years.

My approach to magic is modern, sleek, with hints of old-school classy. It’s designed for adults in banquet or casual settings. Parts of it are belly-laugh-funny, and other moments people tend to sit in a stunned silence.

On stage, I’m a mentalist. This is a specialized style of magic, sort of like saying that a doctor is a cardiologist. It’s deeply interactive for the audience. We’re literally working with their thoughts, dreams, and ideas.

I want to be careful not to appear arrogant here. I’ve worked for some of the biggest and best companies in America: Google, Harley Davidson, Kohl’s, Dish, Hitachi, and many others book me to perform for their events. I’ve delivered three TEDx presentations and lead creativity workshops for leadership trainings.

I love my job. Truly. It’s interesting, varied, and I believe important. I worked in the corporate world (PR & Marketing Specialist) for many years, and I know how the hustle culture impacts people’s lives. I push back on that a lot.

You know, there are several solid magicians in the Denver region. Other performers who are better at card magic than I am or have bigger personalities than I do. I’m all about connecting people. I’m naturally easy-going and easy to talk with. I leverage that. The quality of my magic is very important, but in the end, I want to be the guy that people want to buy a beer for.

Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc?
I read a lot. Much of my reading stack is magic resources written by magicians for magicians. The work of Juan Tamariz, Derren Brown, and Eugene Burger rank among my favorites.

But I also read books on art, philosophy, and culture. Recently, I really enjoyed Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday and Art & Faith by Makoto Fujimura. The various works of Seth Godin are must-reads for anyone working today.

In many ways, I actually try to avoid podcasts, TV, and other forms of media. I’d rather be producing work than consuming it.

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Image Credits
Dominic Syracuse, Michael Emmanuel, Jessica Rule

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