Eugene Burger, “universally recognized as perhaps the finest close-up magician in the world,” (Stagebill magazine) has written fifteen best-selling books for magicians, starred in a number of instructional videos, lectured widely to magicians’ groups in over a dozen countries, and his writings have been translated into several languages. His deep understanding of the psychology and philosophy behind magic has won him international accolades, cover stories in conjuring magazines, and four awards from the famed Magic Castle in Hollywood, California. When the leading international trade journal Magic compiled its list of the one hundred most influential magicians of the twentieth century, Eugene Burger was included for his ability to “arouse feelings of astonishment, as well as a host of other indescribable sensations.” His talk, “How Magicians Think,” applies his special understanding of deception and perception to the corporate world. He has performed on numerous television shows in Great Britain, Canada, Belgium, Finland and Japan, and has been featured on PBS’s The Art of Magic and The Learning Channel’s Mysteries of Magic. He’s also been been profiled twice on CNN.
In this conversation with D.J. Grothe, Burger discusses belief in the paranormal, “Spirit Theater,” and the possible deception of the public by paranormal claimants or entertainers such as Israeli psychic Uri Geller and American psychic medium John Edward. He also explores the relationship of magic to religion and to science, what magic can teach us about how we believe, and the kinds of benefits the student of magic receives from learning the art.