Paul Draper will unveil ‘Mysteries of the Mind’ at the Egyptian Theatre
November 16, 2012
During Paul Draper’s "Mysteries of the Mind" performance, the illusionist and magician, will demonstrate how he can read thoughts and tell when people are lying.
He will also bend spoons with his mind, and after duct taping his face with steel, cloth and leather recite serial numbers of dollar bills and other objects the audience members have in their pockets.
Draper, who lives in Salt Lake City and Las Vegas, Nev., will do this at the Egyptian Theatre this afternoon at 2 p.m.
Prior to that, at noon, he will host a magic workshop at the theatre for youth ages eight to 13.
The illusionist said although some of the tricks he does seems mystical in ways, there is nothing evil, dark or spooky about how he does them.
"Some people have asked if I was struck by lightening or born with these strange powers, but I wasn’t," Draper said during an interview with The Park Record. "I want people to know that what I do is all through training and education, and through those two things, with persistence, anyone can do amazing things."
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The workshop is for children who want to learn magic tricks.
"Usually, when I do workshops, groups are more interested in the Mysteries of the Mind offering, so I talk about how to tell if people are lying and different motivations and cultures," Draper said. "But the Egyptian was interested in inspiring the youth, so I’ll bring some fun magic tricks to help young people learn something they can share with their friends."
Magic is a great tool to help young people develop self-esteem.
"I helps them break out of their shells and to help them create conversation and inspire others," Draper said. "It’s a fun activity that anyone can participate in."
Draper’s interest in magic was kindled by three pioneering Salt Lake City-based performers from the 1970s and 1980s Paul Brewer, Dan Paulus and Christopher Fair.
"They were great and got me interested in learning how they did things," Draper said.
Spurred by his interest in humankind, which stemmed from the fact that half of his family were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the other half was Jewish, Draper went on to study cultural anthropology and received a masters degree in political rhetoric.
"My best friend’s family was Presbyterian and Muslim," Draper said with a laugh. "So, in short, I was and still am interested in knowing everything about people."
Draper worked for many years in Utah with what is now called the Inclusion Center, where we taught diversity training and advocacy.
"I learned about the similarities and differences of the human universe, and I found it is much more fun to use that in a Sherlock Holmes-styled stage show than it is to teach it in the classroom," he said.
When his desire to learn about different cultures took over, Draper began studying with psychics and shamans and other "unusual people all over the world," he said.
"I have seen how they do the things they do and, instead of trying to lead a religion, I put on a show," Draper said. "The show I will be performing at the Egyptian Theatre is a mix of mind reading, psychology, anthropology and a general interest in people."
During his studies, Draper found that the skills he uses in his shows could not be developed on his own.
"They have to be part of a living experience with time and people," he said. "Anybody can do what I do if they know what I do, read what I read and have 20 years of experience."
These days, Draper performs hundreds of shows and meets people around the world.
"The more I perform, the better I become, and the more I teach, the more I learn," he said. "When people come to the show, I teach them some of these things that I have learned so they can explore some of these things that I share."
Draper has appeared on various TV programs featured on the History Channel, HBO, A&E and HGTV."
I would like to host my own show or series one day," he said. "I would also like to expand my shows into India and China. I’ve performed in both, but would like to do more."
Illusionist Paul Draper will bring his magical, interactive show, "Mysteries of the Mind" to the Egyptian Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 17, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 for youth, and $8 for adults. He will also hold a magic workshop for children ages eight to 13, at noon. Tickets are $25. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.parkcityshows.com For more information, visit http://www.paulwdraper.com .