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It started in elementary school for BYU philosophy major Theron Milo Christensen. A magician performed, and Christensen was asked to help. He wrote his name on a card and placed it back in the deck. The magician threw the deck of cards toward the ceiling, and only one stuck. Christensen’s card. His fascination with magic began.
Christensen performs magic about three times a week in the community and at BYU. On July 31 he performed at The Wall with three other magicians in a Harry Potter birthday celebration. Christensen uses magic to promote a motto of kindness and inspire others to dream.
“One of my favorite magicians is David Devant,” he said. “His motto for performing magic is, ‘It’s all done by kindness,’ and I really like that. I don’t want to be known as someone who teases his audience or makes them feel humiliated. I want to be the guy that everybody loves.”
Laurel Larsen, event specialist at The Wall, said Christensen is one of her first choices when she books performers.
“He is excellent. On a scale of one to five I would give him a seven,” Larsen said. “In addition to that, he is always trying to improve his skill and learn new tricks. He is respectful of our time and is very personable.”
Fellow magician and BYU student Collin Judkins said Christensen is not only talented but also a great person.
“He is really positive, very happy and very easy to get along with,” Judkins said. “He is a team player and wants to make sure everyone gets their fair share of stage time and to feel successful. He is the same person on stage as he is off stage. He is a very real person,” Judkins said.
Christensen began to learn magic through reading and spent a lot of time in the library growing up.
“The best way to learn magic is in a book,” Christensen said. “Every library has at least one magic book. Every time my family went on vacation I’d always ask can we stop at the library to find anything new.”
Once an aspiring magician has read all he can on magic, it’s time to apply the reading.
“After that you have to dive deeper. The tricks in the library books are good for beginners, but then you have to dig in,” Christensen said. “Now I have my own magic library, and I have started to write my own book.”
Christensen continued to learn new tricks and perform until he could complete his show with an assistant, who also happens to be his wife. Kate and Theron Christensen met in the BYU marching band, and Kate said the magic was a plus.
“I thought his magic was awesome. Just like anyone else would I think,” she said. “I went to his shows while we were dating and got involved shortly after we were married.”
Theron Christensen said he never had to use magic to impress his wife. “I’m pretty sure her love is sincere.”
Now Kate Christensen is an essential part of her husband’s shows. She helps with backstage setup and music and performs in a couple of routines.
“The show wouldn’t happen if it wasn’t for Kate,” Theron Christensen said.
Theron Christensen enjoys coming up with new routines.
“One of the ways I keep it fresh for me is inventing new skills,” he said. “You can take the classic principles and twist them into your own unique way and make it your own.”
Mary Dionne Johnson, an avid fan, has been going to Theron Christensen’s shows for almost two years. She attends every show she can with her husband and daughter.
“It is really fun to go because I have watched new tricks along the way, and it is fun to watch how he has developed in his regular tricks,” Johnson said. “I have never seen him slip up.”
Johnson said his ability to work an audience in one of her favorite reasons for going to his shows.
“It is fun to watch how daring he will get with the audience,” Johnson said. “Everyone is laughing hysterically the entire time … he feeds the audience, and they eat it up.”
Kate and Theron Christensen’s skills of reading an audience and being able to play to its needs is one of their strongest abilities.
“He has a lot of really good energy. He is pretty great with connecting to the audience and helps them let their guard down so they can enjoy the show,” Kate Christensen said.
Theron Christensen said his audience is the reason he keeps on performing.
“Its pretty rewarding to see people’s faces and see how they react. It’s pretty fun to shock people,” Theron Christensen said. “I love playing with my audience. Little kids are the greatest when you pull a coin out of their ear. They just freak out and think you are a superhero.”
Theron Christensen and his wife both dream of developing more acts, including dove magic, and performing an evening show in Las Vegas, New York or Branson, Missouri.
“It would be a dream to have a future career as a magician,” Theron Christensen said.
In the end, though, their joy and ultimate goal is to perform in a way that inspires the audience.
Kate Christensen said they hope their audience feels the world has no rules for what they can accomplish, and Theron Christensen agrees.
“This might sound a little too fairytale-ish but I would like my audience to be left feeling like nothing is impossible,” he said.