A magic trick can do more than it might appear.At least, it did for New York magician Steven Brundage. His Rubik’s Cube trick not only got him out of a speeding ticket, but a video of his exchange with the officer went viral and landed him on “Good Morning America,” and his career took off. Brundage performs at 8 p.m. Saturday in Lewiston.
The 25-year-old performer is best known for his Rubik’s Cube routine, which involves a variety of tricks using the colored square, including one where an audience member turns one cube while he turns another behind his back and both end up the same on all sides. To find out more about his magic and career, we caught up with Brundage via phone.
Inland 360: You’ve been doing magic for a while. How did that start?
Brundage: I started as a kid, about 5 years old. I saw the David Blaine TV magic specials and I got a book. I’ve been studying it as a hobby for 20 years straight.
360: Did you ever expect it to be more than a hobby?
Brundage: No, I never wanted to do it as a job, I just did it for fun, I did it to make friends. I’d be at a party and my friends would be, “Oh, do a trick” and I’d do it. I read a lot of books about it and I studied the business of it, but I never intended to make it a job.
360: So what changed that?
Brundage: I started doing it all the time for fun and then I started working the street, just doing card tricks and asking for money afterwards. After a few months, I started to make some decent money, you know, more than I could imagine working a normal job. One night I brought home $550 after being on the street for just a few hours. I didn’t even want to make it my career then, I was just going to go with the flow of it, see where it went. But each time I kept doing it, it kept on progressing and eventually I ended up here.
360: Now, there was an interaction you had with a police officer that went viral. When was that and what effect did that have on your career?
Brundage: That was about two years ago. A year before that viral video I was making a good living, doing pretty well for myself and that viral video happened and things kind of took off. It allowed me to really jumpstart my career. I got my first-ever TV appearances on “Good Morning America.”
360: Magic seems to have perennial appeal. Why doesn’t magic ever get old?
Brundage: Every time it gets old, it finds a way to reinvent itself, whether it’s technology — now people are doing tricks on the screen towards you, so that’s one way to reinvent or now that we have cellphones we can do magic with cellphones instead of old props like candles and doves or whatnot. Every time technology increases or the world changes, magic finds a way to change.
360: Which do you prefer — video performances or in-person shows?
Brundage: The in-person experience is something really cool because you get to see the person for yourself. On TV, you can edit it, you can cut it up, if they make a mistake they do it twice, so you don’t get that authentic experience.
360: The audience gets to enjoy the surprise and suspense of the trick. What is it that you enjoy about performing magic?
Brundage: I like the interaction with people. A lot of times it’s the same tricks, but it’s different people.
360: A musician is constantly creating new songs. Do you do the same thing, only with tricks?
Brundage: It’s an hourlong show, but we’re always working new things into it. You’re always working on new tricks and how to implement them in the show. It doesn’t happen in one day but over time it changes, you add stuff and tweak things up.
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: Steven Brundage
WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Silverthorne Theater, Lewis-Clark State College, Lewiston