Award-winning magician, actor and playwright Ben Whiting is back on stage—and we couldn’t be more excited. And so are his fans. Whiting’s June 18 event sold out in less than an hour. Luckily, he’s adding two more dates for his “Reconnected” show, with brand new magic and mind-reading, at Turtle Creek Casino in July.
Whiting’s career spans from the Las Vegas Strip to New York’s Off-Broadway playhouses. He’s had multiple television appearances in the United States and England. His clients include Crystal Cruises, American Express and Oprah’s HARPO Studios. Read on for more on his upcoming Traverse City events.
Love the “Reconnected” theme for your June show. Is that what guests can expect for your July events, too?
Indeed! It was humbling and exciting to see the first Reconnected show sold out in under an hour, so we’re adding two shows. The first will be on Saturday, July 17, at 7:30 p.m., and the second will be on Saturday, July 24, at the same time.
How are you feeling about getting back in front of an audience?
The first show I performed out of lockdown was really emotional for me. It’d been over a year since I stood in front of an audience and when they walked in, a year’s worth of not being able to do what I love hit me all at once. However, once I started interacting with the people in front of me I was off to the races and it was A LOT of fun. I’m beyond grateful for the opportunity to work at Turtle Creek Casino again and look forward to creating a unique, fun and unforgettable experience with every audience member I have the privilege to perform for.
Give us a little sneak peek of what the shows will include.
The star of this show is the audience and the community they create. Everything hinges on the choices they make (and don’t make) from the moment they walk in until the moment they leave. With any luck, everything will be connected.
During your shows, you’ve said you really focus on connecting with each unique audience and then delivering tricks you think they’ll enjoy. How do you do that?
No matter what I’m doing on stage, I’m always trying to listen to the audience (even when I’m talking). I think of my show as less like a presentation and more like a conversation. If you’re listening, the audience will let you know if they like the direction you’re taking them and if you should change course. Then it’s just a matter of having enough well-rehearsed material that you can perform at any given moment.
Is there a lot of audience engagement/volunteers needed to help with tricks?
Once when I was about 6 or 7 years old, I was so excited because a magician called me up on stage to help him out. Unfortunately, he spent the next 20 minutes or so making fun of me and trying to get laughs by embarrassing me. It was awful. I’m grateful for that experience though because it motivates me to make sure I never do anything to disrespect or embarrass anyone when they’re on stage helping me out. That being said, Reconnected is all about how wonderful it is that we can reconnect in person as a community again, and the audience is the star of the show.
Anything else you want to share?
Tickets will go on sale for the July shows on June 17 at noon at MyNorthTickets.com.