An award-winning magician, actor and playwright, Ben Whiting’s career spans from the Las Vegas Strip to New York’s Off-Broadway playhouses. He’s worked with Crystal Cruises, American Express and Oprah’s HARPO Studios, and now you can find him right here in Northern Michigan. Get to know Ben, and check out an upcoming show

Magician is probably the coolest career choice ever. What’s one thing we should know about your job?

Performing magic is only about 20 percent of my job, the other 80 percent is all about connecting with people. A mentor told me people will forget what you say and do, but they never forget how you make them feel. While I work hard to make sure the magic is top notch, I work even harder to make sure my audience is having a blast from start to finish.

What’s the first magic trick you learned? 

How to pull a coin out of my ear when no one was watching. 

Do you have a signature trick?

I have a few, but I like to get to know each audience before I decide the final setlist. I always show up with 3–4 hours worth of material and decide in the moment to perform effects I feel that audience will connect with and enjoy the most.

What kind of experiences do you offer?

I wanted Magic on the Rocks to be a fun date night where you could drink great cocktails, laugh at original comedy and be amazed by world-class magic and mind reading. No two shows I perform are ever the same, so you can expect a completely unique experience at every show. I’ve been humbled to have a lot of people come back to see Magic on the Rocks two or three times.

Is there anything else you want to share with audience members?

The shows I perform are not possible without my audiences. I’m very lucky to live in a community that supports local artists, where people will turn off Netflix, go out on the town and take a chance on a live performance. Making sure you have a great time is a responsibility I don’t take lightly, and if you’ve ever attended one of my shows or are even just considering it, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

See Ben in action at these Traverse City events:

Magic on the Rocks | August 8, 15, 22, 29

A magic and mind reading show for people who like to drink. You’ll be amazed as Traverse Magazine’s 2018 Red Hot Best Comedic Entertainer returns to the Northern Express Room at The Parlor in Traverse City for a limited run of all new magic and mind reading right in front of your eyes. 

Tricks Against Humanity: A Show for Horrible People | October 11–12

Drink. Laugh. Don’t bring the kids. Ben promises a hysterical evening of inappropriate magic and mind reading. Two nights only. For audiences 18 and up.

Magic on the Vine at Chateau Grand Traverse | November 9

Whether you’re a Master Sommelier or you barely know the difference between white and red, this is a show you don’t want to miss. Tickets include the show, hors d’oeuvres and a glass of wine.