Chris Michael Kicks off Magical Mentalist Residency at Georgetown’s Graham Hotel

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This week, magician Chris Michael begins a year-long residency at the Graham Hotel in Georgetown, every Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m.

WTOP’s Jason Fraley Previews Magician Chris Michael’s Georgetown Show (Part 1)

You can call him a magician if you want, but the best title is mind-blowing showman.

This week, Chris Michael begins a year-long residency in the nation’s capital at the Graham Hotel in Georgetown, every Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m.

Beginning February 22, Chris Michael begins a year-long residency in the nation’s capital at the Graham Hotel in Georgetown, every Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m. (Photo Daryll Morgan Studios)

“It’s going to be everything from levitating, to looking someone in the eye and telling them about one of their deepest memories they’ve ever shared, to having a cocktail appear in the hand of someone who comes and joins us on stage,” Michael told OMCP.

The 75-minute show is called “Affinity”, combining magic, comedy and mentalism.

“We want to blow people away with weird coincidences in their lives. [that] they have with other people,” Michael said. “We try to show people how similar ideas and interests connect us all, but in a way that’s almost too coincidental to be real… We break it down and show you some of the statistics for why everyone is meant to be in this room at that time. time.”

Raised on Long Island, New York, Michael discovered his love of magic when he saw a flyer on the wall while attending Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

“I noticed this flyer for this show called ‘Magic & Jazz’,” Michael said. “I went there and it was just a bunch of students having fun with live jazz music and people doing magic silently to the music that was playing. I ran into this guy backstage [Zachary Gartrell] who tells me about a magic shop in Richmond called Divine Magic and Novelties.

So Michael drove to Divine Magic and Novelties on a Saturday to check it out.

“I expected to see card tricks hanging on the wall, thumb tips and bristles – there was none of that,” Michael said. “There were candles, leather-bound notebooks and, it seems like I’m making this up, but there was a potions section!” … I met the guy behind the counter named Hun Woo. … He hands me a coin and says, ‘Put this in your hand. Make it disappear.

He tried for hours, getting hit in the hand with a wand every time he failed.

“He said, ‘Look at this,'” Michael said.

“He puts the coin in his hand, he opens it and with a burst of fire it turned into a giant three inch red ruby ​​gem. I was dazzled. He said, ‘I’m going to show you how to do this, but you have to put this coin correctly in your hand. I’ll give you a week. Come back next Saturday, and if you’re right, I’ll show you.

It took him four more weeks to get it right, but from there his magical career was born.

“I went to a Comic Con convention with some of the guys I met at that magic shop, just playing at their booth,” Michael said. “I did this trick where I turned $1 into $100. This guy said, ‘You’re amazing!’ … The guy I did the rounds for was Bob Gale who wrote ‘Back to the Future!’ So I immediately printed business cards with his quotes on them.

He leveraged that compliment to attract corporate clients like Amazon, Kaiser Permanente, Lockheed Martin, SpaceX, CertainTeed, Fox TV Network, and Georgetown University.

Michael said his most educational gig was at the owner of the Blue Man Group.

“I was like a kid in a candy store at his house, just asking him all these questions, ‘What’s the one thing that made the Blue Man Group stand out?'” Michael said. “He said, ‘Well, it’s not the blue makeup, it wasn’t the weird instruments, it’s the use of negative space. All the laughs, all the great moments happened when nothing was happening.

He applied this lesson to his shows, including a private party in Potomac, Maryland.

“After the show, a bunch of guys came up asking, ‘Do you know Dan White from the NoMad Hotel in New York? … I’d like to talk to you about having a residency at the hotel,” Michael said. “So I rushed to write a show and contacted one of my favorite writers who worked on this ‘Magic for Humans’ show on Netflix.”

That show is “Affinity,” which now plays every Monday and Tuesday at the Graham Hotel in DC.

“Just come with an open mind and expect to see something you’ve never seen before,” Michael said. “I really want it to be something where you bring an open mindset and are willing to notice changes around you. … This is one of those shows that, if you see it a few times, will pay off. You won’t notice everything the first time.

Seats are limited for each show, so register online for the ticket lottery here.

WTOP’s Jason Fraley Previews Magician Chris Michael’s Georgetown Show (Part 2)

Listen to our full conversation here.

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