“A Cool Way to Express Hope:” Madison’s Matthew Teague Shares Magical Journey

“A Cool Way to Express Hope:” Madison’s Matthew Teague Shares Magical Journey

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World-class, award-winning magician Matthew Teague finesses spectators everywhere he goes with a flick of the wrist and mind boggling tricks up his sleeve.

Originally from Roswell, New Mexico, Teague’s family found a home in Madison where he lives and performs today. While he has traveled the country for thousands of events and made national television appearances, his journey with the craft began at an early age learning magic from his grandfather, who learned a few things from another magician he served with during World War II.

“I had like three tricks that I always did everywhere I went,” Teague says.

His fascination with magic grew in first and second grade, but did not think about magic as a career until much later. Teague just found making a coin disappear in front of other kids in school entertaining.

“In second grade, I did a coin trick. It disappeared and I had everyone going different directions trying to figure out where it is,” he recalls.

For Teague, his childhood hobby of making the impossible possible became his career. Even as a young magician, his craft allowed him to connect with other people. Teague says people warm up to magicians during an act.

“Even when I met a professional magician at twelve, I tried to impress him,” he says.

As Teague’s love for magic grew, his hours practicing a variety of tricks increased. He began showing off what he learned for others on State Street and in coffee shops, restaurants and  bars. Teague’s first job was performing magic at TGI Friday’s at 15 years old. After high school, he found himself working at a magic shop in West Towne Mall.

“I think it’s just a really cool way of expressing hope, I guess. You break something and put it back together. I think that’s just a really good metaphor for life,” he says.

For Teague, practicing magic comes purely out of love for the craft and his family supported him growing up. Even when he began considering becoming a magician as a serious career, he says they made him believe he could do it.

“That’s something you encourage when you’re like nine but in college, they’re like it’s time to get real,” Teague says about how society views magicians.

Luckily for him, he’s had many supporters right here at home and at age 23, Teague decided to take a leap of faith entering in the World Magic Competition in Las Vegas. After riding the bus from Wisconsin to Nevada, he brought home third place.

“It was kind of surreal. I met some of my greatest heroes,” Teague says.

He solidified his place within the global community of magicians which he describes as a supportive network of individuals who just love the craft. Since then, he’s networked with magicians in numerous locations exploring new places like the Monterey Bay Area in California, Manhattan, Houston and Louisville, KY.

“I love traveling. I’m just trying to soak it up and enjoy the new experience,” Teague says. “Half of the time, I feel like I’m going on a vacation and working.”

Even though Teague’s role as a magician provides him an opportunity to travel to various areas of the country, he found another home in Wisconsin. He developed a partnership with Ho-Chunk Gaming when Rob Reider, who was director of marketing at the time, called him out of the blue.

“He saw one of my videos and asked whether I’d be interested in performing at the casino,” Teague says.

Performing for Ho-Chunk has been an exciting adventure for him which has lasted for about six years. He performs at their venue on a weekly basis.

“At the beginning it was king of scary, you have to do a show and get a bag and figure out how to fit everything in a bag,” Teague says.

In the near future, he hopes to showcase some new acts for an upcoming magic show in November. Teague will write, stage and present his own show in a venue he booked for the first time.

“The highs are a lot of time is just getting off a big stage and just feeling the energy. The enthusiasm is contagious,” Teague says.

He says he looks forward to announcing the show on his social media accounts. Information about ticket sales, the date, time and location will be posted on his website.

 

Written by L. Malik Anderson

L. Malik Anderson

Originally from Milwaukee, L. Malik Anderson is a journalist and student at UW-Madison.

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