Local illusionist Reza Borchardt has been entertaining audiences with magic since childhood. Now the magician, whose show name is just Reza, has turned his hobby into his profession.
“I saw a magician perform at Hillcrest Elementary when I was an student there,” said Reza. After that experience, Reza eventually transformed from an awestruck child to a nationally touring illusionist.
Now that Reza is a professional illusionist touring throughout the United States, he cannot picture himself doing anything else.
“Performing illusions and seeing people’s reactions to them is the only thing that I want to do,” said Reza. “I couldn’t picture myself doing anything else. I could never work a desk job.”
Today Reza describes his shows as “a rock concert meets a magic show.”
“It’s magic, illusions, humor, plus lights and sound all mixed into one show,” said Jenna Sogn, a sophomore graphic design major from Canton, S.D. “It’s just so many different kinds of show all wrapped into one.”
“I love doing shows at colleges because the students are very relatable,” said Reza, who once studied at SDSU. “But we get audience members of all ages? kids with their parents, seniors and businessmen too.”
Although the illusionist is better known for his large-scale hijinks, like his signature trick of making a Kawasaki ZX12 motorcycle magically appear in his show’s opening number, Reza also specializes in illusions on a more personal level.
“It’s the things that he can do before your eyes that you can’t mistake that show that he is truly an artist,” said Karissa Grotenhuis, Vice President of Marketing at the Branson Agency (the company in charge of booking shows for Reza). “It separates the artist from the magician.”
Reza, who creates all of his own illusions, says that he will get an idea and then work to make the illusion possible.
“I will get ideas from everywhere,” said Reza. “It usually takes several years to make the illusion a reality.”
As far as the idea of moving away from Brookings, Reza admits he has thought about it. However, he claims that Brookings will always be his home base.
“It’s nice to come back from a tour to the chillness of Brookings,” said Reza.
Reza formerly did a large-scale show in Brookings every year, but now he has taken the show away in order to grow it and bring it back eventually.
Though Reza has humble beginnings, he has big plans for his show.
“We have had a lot of offers for TV, but you have to wait for the right one,” Reza said.
No one may know what the future holds for Reza, but it is clear that the present holds many opportunities for entertainment.
“I love what I do,” said Reza. “Even though it is hard, it never feels like work.”
#1.881451:979877655.jpg:Reza 1.jpg:Brookings based illusionist Reza has traveled around the country and performed his show to sold-out crowds.:Ryan Robinson