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Steve Spill's Bio

Magician Steve SpillSteve Spill has spent his entire life performing magic, producing magic shows around the globe in places such as the French Riviera's Cannes Film Festival, Universal Studios Hollywood, Harrah's Tahoe, Toronto's Massey Hall, and consulting for theatrical productions, films, and television. Among the projects on which Spill has provided expertise are the CBS TV special “The World Greatest Magicians,” The Learning Channel TV special “Magic's Greatest Illusions,” the A&E TV series “Comedy on the Road” and the FX TV series “Penn & Teller's Sin City Spectacular.” In 1998 Spill opened Magicopolis in Santa Monica, which is the permanent home of “Escape Reality,” his two hour theater show, for a list of Spill’s Magicopolis television appearances click here.

Steve Spill grew up at the Magic Castle, a private club for magicians in Hollywood where his father, Sandy Spillman, was a manager in the 1960's. Spill says, “I had a certain cachet at the Castle, partly because I was one of the only teenagers there, partly because I practiced relentlessly and could perform many difficult card sleights, but mainly because I was Sandy’s kid. Everyone always treated me with respect because they loved my father. I felt right at home with all the senior citizen magicians. For the first time I was accepted as an equal among adults, people with far more experience than I had, who recognized in me abilities and helped me to nurture them.”

When an aspiring magician wanted a magical education, there was no better place to learn. At their best, there were none better than Dai Vernon, Charlie Miller, Francis Carlyle… and a dozen others, all of whom are rolling in their graves because they aren’t mentioned here. Steve Spill feels he was blessed to have watched this cast of characters, and has said it was an incredible time for him. He craved their attention and absorbed by osmosis their lessons. Each one had his own trick, a nuance, a personal way of doing things, a lesson, a gesture, a story, a philosophy, an attitude… Spill says “I took something from each of them.”

At 21, Spill started working as a magic bartender at the Jolly Jester saloon in Aspen, Colorado. A magic bartender is a bartender who performs magic tricks and comedy schtick, a practice that was taught to Spill by Bob Sheets, the bar’s owner, and a hilarious comedy magician then known as the Jolly Jester… hence the bar’s name. At the Jolly Jester Spill perfected, and became known among magicians, for his interpretations of a number of sleight-of-hand tricks such as his Challenge Rice Paper Illusion and his rendition of Bill in Lemon, which are still part of his repertoire today.

Spill teamed up with Sheets and presented a two-man dinner theater show in the Washington DC area from 1980 to 1985. The duo performed classic tricks and comedic parodies of tricks. They floated lady volunteers from the audience, who didn’t always float, performed a Houdini-type escape where one was trapped in a locked crate with the other’s flatulence, and Spill did mind-reading stunts with stuffed animals. The long-running show, “Magicomedy Cabaret,” was appreciated by audiences and critics alike, Lloyd Grove of the Washington Post called it “…hard to resist.”

Spill spent the remainder of the 1980’s into the early 1990’s performing his solo act in comedy clubs; exploding fake bunnies, squeezing blood from stones, and doing his singular version of the East Indian Needle Mystery. He traveled a hectic cross country route, meeting, living with, and performing with Steven Wright, Bill Hicks, Dennis Miller, Louie Anderson, and opening for Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, and Garry Shandling, before many knew who they were.

In the years prior to opening Magicopolis Spill appeared in theaters and casinos worldwide, often as a specialty act in revue shows such as Spellbound, Kazzam, and Super Magic Spectacular. In those shows, Spill was the “token comedy magician” on the bill. As he entered his 40’s two life-changing things happened, first he fell in love and married actress Bozena Wrobel, to read more about that click here and read "Can You Make Me Float."

Next, Spill ended his association as a featured act in revue shows, and together with Bozena embarked on a new challenge, their own show in their own theater. Each has placed their personal stamp on the theater, Magicopolis, and the show, “Escape Reality,” which is unlike any magic show audiences have ever seen… to read more about the show click here. Spill says his entire life is squeezed into Magicopolis and “Escape Reality,” and that they are the realization of a lifelong dream.

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