The magic of Oz captures audiences

BY JAYA SONI
Daily Arts Writer
Published April 14, 2003

Graduating with a degree in electrical engineering this year,
20-year-old Oz Pearlman considers himself to be a "smart-alecky
kid." Still present within him today, this characteristic has
helped Pearlman to not only graduate so young, but to also possess
a unique power that few other students hold: the power of magic. As
one of the few college-age professional magicians, Pearlman adds a
unique flavor to the Michigan campus.

Last Wednesday, Oz performed in front of a group of Indian
American Student Association members during a senior recognition
dinner. Engaging his audience with witty jokes and a sincere
demeanor, Oz opened his act with a few rope tricks before moving
onto his specialty of card magic.

Within minutes, it was easy to see why Oz enjoys his profession
so much and why viewers enjoy his up-close magic. Trick after
trick, eyes widened and skeptical students allowed amazement to
conquer any disbelief.

Oz's presence around the Ann Arbor community has been noticeable
since his three-year career as a professional magician at BD's
Mongolian Barbeque. However, his professional abilities have
transcended the University community and Oz has performed at large
venues such as the Fox Theatre. Performing professionally since 15
in front of groups ranging from five to 1,500, Pearlman learned
that magic is more than a compilation of technical skills. Using
"magic psychology," Pearlman connects with his audience and uses
his charm to sway skepticism.

However, Pearlman's greatest magic accomplishments are recent,
as this year he has joined forces with Penguin Entertainment to
become the company's creative consultant. Created by two Michigan
alums, Acar Attinsel and Maxwell Murphy, the company aims to sell
magic via the Internet. Recently, Pearlman flew to Las Vegas to
film their first magic DVD where Oz performed in over 45 new demo
videos. Oz characterizes his street performance on the DVD as raw
compared to his normal acts for hired events.

In addition to his consistent presence on the Penguin Magic
website, www.penguinmagic.com, Pearlman has created his own website
with over 80-trick video demos, www.watchmagic.com. Magicians from
over 40 countries have viewed the site, and Pearlman has influenced
children to participate in the wonder of magic. In California, an
eighth grade boy contacted Oz for his school project. Oz, 13 when
he started to pursue magic, inspired the boy to become a magician
through his website.

As a professional magician, Pearlman correlates with magicians
from abroad including England and France, as well as locally.
Pearlman attends magic festivals to interact and refine his
abilities. Nearby, Pearlman attended the Magi Fest in Columbus with
only a selected few other college magicians.

Pearlman has been approached to pursue magic through other
corporate endeavors. While on a cruise, Pearlman performed for the
cruise "talent show." After his magical production, employees asked
him to join their company as a magic entertainer. Pearlman
thankfully declined the offer, but was reminded of his first taste
of magic. On a cruise with his father, the "smart-alecky" Pearlman
had been selected to participate in a card trick that challenged
his disbelief. Since then Pearlman has continued to challenge
himself and his viewers with the mysteries of magic.