Monday, November 20, 2017

This Magic Moment

David Shareef has a few tricks up his sleeve for Las Vegas.

David Shareef

A former schoolteacher from Chicago, David Shareef always wanted his life to be a little bit trickier.

Shareef accomplished that by becoming a well-known magician in his part of the world — and when his daughter moved to Las Vegas, he and his wife followed her to the entertainment capital. The reason was simple: Shareef felt that the move would be a great change for his family, and a good opportunity to expand his footprint in the world of magic.

“I was really popular with my magic in the Midwest, but desired to have my own magic show in Las Vegas,” said Shareef. “After a year of trying to secure a venue, I now headline my own show at the Royal Resort Hotel in the Majestic Theater. I have to say it wasn’t easy — but I’m proud of my show, ‘Unseen Forces.’”

Shareef, who holds a Ph.D in psychology, keeps audiences in awe with hypnosis and other mind-bending tricks. “One of my best magic tricks is when I hypnotize an audience member to move exactly how I move without knowing they have been hypnotized.”

Audiences are enjoying Shareef’s interactive performance in the intimate showroom. “People who come to my show enjoy being up-close to the magic I perform, to try to figure out how I do the magic,” said Shareef. “I don’t use any actors in my shows and the audience participation adds to the intensity. Coupled with great soulful [music], the response has been great.”

He added: “People often ask what inspired me to do magic — and I say it was when I was in elementary school in 1975, and Muhammad Ali came to our classroom and he showed us his magic tricks. I was hooked on magic ever since. Many don’t realize that Muhammad Ali enjoyed doing magic when he was 11 years old and continued doing tricks until he died.”

Shareef acknowledges that there are hurdles to overcome while doing a magic show as a black man in Las Vegas. “I have really experienced some racism in Vegas with my show,” he said. “Some people who come to see the show are shocked to find that I am a black man — because my promotional material doesn’t have a photo of me on it. I have had some people walk out on my shows as soon as they recognize that I am African-American. But on the flip side, those who stay to see the show have only given me positive feedback.”

Tickets to “Unseen Forces” are only $35. For additional information, go to www.shareefmagic.com.

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