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Michael Close - Biography

Jamy Ian Swiss | Roberto Giobbi | David Ben | Michael Close

Michael Close would be considered a Renaissance Man, had the Renaissance been founded upon the accomplishments of Don Alan, Fats Waller, and Gene Siskel. He is a magician, an accomplished pianist, and a reviewer. He is also the author of the Workers series — five books that have changed the way magicians think about magic. His latest release is Closely Guarded Secrets, an ebook that has raised the bar for magic instruction.

Michael Close became interested in magic at the age of six, when he received some tricks from Dick Stoner's Magic Shop in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He began performing professionally in 1978, when he became the house magician for Max and Erma's restaurant on the north side of Indianapolis. He held that position for seven years.

During this time Mr. Close also established himself as one of the top studio musicians in central Indiana. He has performed on hundreds of custom albums, and was he also the keyboardist on many of the "Disney on Ice" soundtracks.

In 1989 Michael Close joined the staff of the newly opened Illusions restaurant. Within a few weeks he was made manager of the magic staff. During his five-year tenure, Illusions established itself as one of the premier magic venues in the United States. The magic created during this period continues to influence magicians.

In 1990, Michael Close released Workers 1, a slim volume that contained "The Pothole Trick," which has attained a reputation as one of the greatest tricks possible with your business card. This was followed a year later by Workers 2, which featured "The Frog Prince," a memorable and evocative card trick that is a favorite of magicians worldwide.

Another important event occurred in the fall of 1990: Michael Close added a memorized deck routine to his performing repertoire. Michael was fascinated by an improvisatory approach to the memdeck (inspired by Simon Aronson's Open Index concept), and his skill at estimation combined with his sleight-of-hand abilities devastated magicians. Michael did not release his work on the memorized until 1996 with the publication of Workers 5, the final volume of the series. By this time, his performances had inspired many talented magicians (including Jamy Ian Swiss and Eric Mead) to add memdeck routines to their repertoires.

In 1998 Mr. Close moved to Las Vegas. That year he recorded the Very Very Close video series for L&L Publishing. He also embarked on a lecture tour that took him to most of the major cities in the United States.

For three years Michael performed in the Houdini Lounge in the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. This elegant lounge became a magnet for magicians visiting Sin City. In 2003 the staff of the Las Vegas Review Journal voted him "Best Magician in Las Vegas," the first time a close-up magician has received this honor. Mr. Close also occasionally plays piano at the Penn & Teller show.

Michael Close is the product reviewer for MAGIC magazine, a position he has held since 1995. In that time he has written about a million words, and has established himself as one of the most trusted and honorable critics in magic.

In the summer of 2004, Michael Close released Closely Guarded Secrets, an ebook containing most of Michael's Houdini Lounge repertoire. Combining text, photographs, and video clips in the most effective way possible, Mr. Close has pushed the envelope of magic instruction. CGS has already been praised as one of the best books of the new century.

With his attention to detail, his deep understanding of what magic should look like, his presentational and technical abilities, and his substantial communication skills, Michael Close has established himself as one of magic's greatest contemporary performers and teachers. When Jamy Ian Swiss conceived the idea of Stack Clinic, Michael Close was his first and only choice as colleague and collaborator.