Brookings native Reza performs at Swiftel Center


Reza’s assistant climbs through his chest durin ‘Edge of Illusions’ show at the Swiftel center in Brookings, South Dakota on Jan. 28, 2017.


Brookings’ prodigal son and former South Dakota State student, Reza, performed his show “Edge of Illusion” in front of a sold out Swiftel Center crowd Saturday night.

More than 1,800 people witnessed the internationally-known illusionist perform stunts, ranging from connecting two metal rings to climbing through a sheet of solid steel.

“It [the performance] was pretty awesome,” said Brookings resident Phyllis Cole-Dai. “He is pretty talented.” 

The show began with a fire-eating hula-hooper and, soon after, Reza appeared on stage in dramatic style; from behind a dropped sheet, sitting atop a red motorcycle. 

After appearing to push a large circular-saw through the neck of K-Country 102 personality Bryan Waltz, Reza invited members of the audience on stage. 

Audience members were shoved into a large orange shipping container and, in mere moments, transported to the second level of the Swiftel center, with the shipping container disappearing from sight. 

“It was very intense,” said Nathan Cole-Dai, referring to a stunt in which Reza puts a broken bottle underneath one of four paper bags and has an audience member pick one for him to slam his hands down upon. The stunt is one of the most stressful performances, Reza said, because despite his meticulous planning, he is completely vulnerable. 

“[The show was] excellent,” said Karen Clipper, a Brookings resident. She prides herself on seeing one of Reza’s very first performances when he was 6 years old. 

Clipper was one of multiple people in the audience who had seen Reza perform as a young illusionist. 

Reza was a full-time performer by his senior year in high school, but his career didn’t fully take off until he was noticed on YouTube during his time as an economics major at SDSU.

The 31-year-old started magic after seeing a magician at hist elementary school, afterward he asked his parents to buy him a magic kit. 

“They were always one-hundred-percent supportive,” Reza said about his parents. “Looking back, so seldom does a crazy dream like that come to fruition. They never treated it as impossible.”