My name is Rob Mendell. I've been entertaining people with interactive close-up card magic since 1973. I love what I do, and it shows.
I design my presentations to give my audiences the feeling of being magicians themselves. During my performances, people don't just watch me exhibit something I've practiced for years; instead, to their surprise, they discover their own magical abilities – at least that's my attitude and approach. In my wide experience, modern audiences prefer feeling this whimsical empowerment rather than a grandiose 'Ha! I fooled you!', which does not serve my intent or love of performing magic.
When you are integral in the magic, what you do and say affects the conversation, the choices, and the outcome. For me, audience participation is where it's at. I see every interaction as an opportunity for humor and connection. The show is fun and memorably mysterious. You and I and the cards are having a great time together as you successfully surprise yourself and other folks in the audience. Everyone wins. No one is made a fool.
*** Venues ***
I work at private and corporate parties, receptions, and other celebrations, such as bar/bat mitzvahs, weddings, company holiday events, and for client entertainment at hospitality suites, restaurants, or anywhere else that's conducive. In nice weather, I work at festivals and busk on the sidewalks, where I hone and edit new material, meet a broad spectrum of people, and often discover something funny, clarifying, or wise to say...
*** Material ***
I perform new versions of classic "tricks" of card magic, modify and combine lesser-known routines, and create my own pieces that no one else does.
Depending on the gig, we can also arrange for one or two pieces to be specifically customized for your company, your product, a person of honor, or the event. While my material is all 'clean' and suitable for children, and children certainly enjoy what I do in a family setting, I do not recommend my work for a gathering of children under the age of about 9, when most people become familiar with playing cards, what shuffling does, and how unlikely it would be that four selections would all have the same number of pips (i.e., the four Aces).
*** Logistics ***
At small gatherings, I typically perform standing by a table. At larger events, I walk around doing "strolling magic," performing small shows for ever-changing audiences, either standing with guests or approaching tables. Laughter or applause attracts new people to watch or get involved, and word of mouth spreads quickly at a lively occasion. I enjoy inviting people to join in the fun.
*** Memberships ***
I am a member of the Society of American Magicians and the International Brotherhood of Magicians.
*** On TV ***
ABC Channel 7 News coverage of Looptopia 2008 included a cameo appearance of me performing CARD MAGIC for a live audience inside Macy's on Sate Street.
*** Representative Client List ***
Akiba-Schechter Jewish Day School
Beverly Country Club
Boy Scouts of America
Blue Book Services
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois
Center for Conflict Resolution
Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group
Children's Memorial Hospital
Christian Liberty Academy
Degerberg Academy of Martial Arts
Edgewater Chamber of Commerce
Five Phase Wellness Center
Greater Rockwell Organization
Heritage of Des Plaines
International Brotherhood of Magicians
Jobs for Youth
Kearns Design Group
Kenwood of Lakeview
Latin School of Chicago
Marbles, the brain store
McCann Window & Exteriors
Muscular Dystrophy Association
Northside College Prep
Novak & Parker Appliances
Office of the Cook County Public Defender
Presence St. Francis Hospital
Regional Transportation Authority
Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
Saint Anastasia Catholic Church
Saint Ferdinand Church
Shell Oil Company
Sunrise Senior Living
Temple Judea Mizpah
I'd love to bring my unique repertoire of CARD MAGIC to your event!