Eric Giliam's nine-to-five job is disappearing -- or, rather, making things disappear.
A recent West High School graduate, Giliam has performed magic in every major (and minor) Anchorage venue as well as Nashville, Tenn., Dallas and Las Vegas He's even won national magic awards for his innovative illusions. All before his 18th birthday.
Giliam was inspired by a David Copperfield show in middle school and began building an act from scratch.
"My friend showed me a trick and that's when I caught the magic bug," Giliam said in a recent interview. "I ordered some DVDs online and bought books to start teaching myself all I could."
Today his magic repertoire has grown significantly.
"The upcoming show has 18 distinct acts, each about four or five minutes long," he said.
In April Giliam won $500 and the Siegfried and Roy talent award for the most creative and original stage act at the Lance Burton Teenage Stage Competition at the World Magic Seminar in Las Vegas. Fourteen teenagers competed in the event from Korea, South Africa and elsewhere.
Giliam takes magic seriously, practicing and refining his acts three to four hours each day, but he doesn't subscribe to the widely held belief that a magician never reveals his secrets. He asks a member of the audience to pick one illusion for him to teach the audience.
While some performers might disapprove, Giliam thinks the audience enjoys it enough to risk being shunned by other magicians.
"I won't show them card tricks," Giliam said. "Those can take years to get right."
With the help of his father, Rick, who acts as his manager and promoter, Giliam is putting off college to pursue magic as a career.
"My dad and I are thinking of relocating to either Los Angeles or Salt Lake City to find a bigger audience," he said.
When: 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Grant Hall Theater, APU
How much: $7 - $10 Previews:
Watch videos of Eric's performances at youtube.com/user/giliameric
Young magician takes to stage for hometown crowd