Spotlight: The Magic of Steven Steele

The Magic of Steven Steele, High Desert, CA

Magician and Corporate Speaker Steven Steele

After spending some time over coffee getting to know Steven Steele, I was satisfied that I understood how his business worked, his history with the High Desert, and his thoughts on our new recession culture. Then he pulled out a deck of cards, told me to pick one and that is when he made the magic happen. The illusion is probably a standard one, and perhaps I’ve experienced it before, but when he pulled my card out of the deck, I was completely blown away. The effect every magician wants was written all over my face. My mouth agape, I asked, “How the heck did you DO that?”

According to Steele, he does it with years of practice. Like music, a magician starts by mastering the basics. Scales take a long time, but once you are proficient, it is easier to pick up a new song. The same goes with magic. For Steele, the talent behind the business The Magic of Steven Steele, a trick can take 2 weeks to six months to master. He spent 1-2 hours a day for a year and a half practicing the art of the Linking Rings. That kind of devotion and mastery leads to the effortless illusion like the one that surprised me.

Steele began his magic career as a hobby in elementary school.  In high school, in a public speaking class, he used magic to illustrate points and as a shy kid the props made it easier to engage people. As a student at UC Riverside he gained a reputation as a magician in the dorms. This led to an invitation to perform at the local college coffee shop. Each performance generated requests to do more resulting in his first stage show.

Even as he grew in popularity, Steele didn’t consider magic a real career possibility. Without much support for a career in magic from his family, he did it on the side for nightclubs as a strolling magician. He built a career in business and began a family while continuing to delight people with his hobby. After a number of years in management, he finally decided to make his lifelong hobby a career.

Now Steele travels around the country as well as internationally presenting to corporate audiences with his business The Magic of Steven Steele. He combines the wonder and amusement of magic with practical business experience to motivate employees and entertain groups. He is also active at The Magic Castle, a social and professional club for magicians, located in Los Angeles. Once or twice a month he will get together with his fellow magicians to talk shop. The goal is to present and preserve the performance of magic. They even have prestigious annual awards akin to the Academy Awards. Among Steele’s fellow magicians are well-known actors like Neil Patrick Harris, who is on the board of directors and Jason Alexander (you may know him as George Costanza) who is an accomplished mentalist.

But Steven Steele is looking to grow his local business too. He frequently provides strolling entertainment for birthday parties of all ages, company events, networking mixers, and restaurants. He is usually fully booked for the holidays by September and generally at least 30 days in advance throughout the rest of the year. He also enjoys speaking to students, encouraging them to think creatively about how to turn a hobby into a career and build the skills necessary to succeed.

Eventually our conversation turned to how the High Desert has changed over the years and how the recession has affected our culture. When Steven’s family moved here in 1968, he shared, “I used to ride my bike across Hesperia Rd at Bear Valley and not see a single car.  There wasn’t even a stop sign there.” For those of us who are relative newcomers to the Victor Valley, such an image is unfathomable! The growth of the region from about 30,000 then to approximately 350,000 now has given businesses new opportunities, but only if business owners are willing to step up to the plate. “We need to act like a real market before others will take us seriously as a significant market,” he explained. Thankfully, he added, there are more marketing opportunities now in the High Desert. Magazines such as High Desert Living and new business networking groups seem to be raising the standards for quality and customer service. It can still be a struggle, though, as area businesses still expect great quality talent to come cheap simply because it is in the Victor Valley. “People down the hill understand the real cost of providing a product or service more than they do up here,” he said.

These kinds of changes happen slowly. Meanwhile, the effects of the recession are deep and likely long-lasting. “People have shifted their spending habits,” Steele commented. “And it probably won’t come back. It has brought us to a more basic way of life.” I agreed, noting that my own thought process about spending is 180 degrees from a few years ago. “Many people see that no company, no government, no agency is going to save them,” Steele said. Indeed, nor will they turn our region around for us. As I frequently tell local business owners, we will have to do it ourselves. Steven added that he tries to support local businesses whenever possible. Mary Ann’s Restaurant in Hesperia is one of his favorites and High Tech Signs has given him great service for his business.

One way to continue growing the High Desert economy is to embrace our local resources. And that includes performers like Steven Steele. If you would like to hire Steven Steele he is available for everything from strolling magic, where he amazes from table to table, to full stage shows where he can saw someone in half. Graduation parties, dinner cruises, and company events – anywhere you want people to be engaged and entertained. The Magic of Steven Steele provides all the lighting, backdrops and materials needed and can customize the experience for your group. You can find out more information on his website, www.MagicSteele.com.

If you would like to see your locally-owned business highlighted on this blog, please contact Alyssa Penman by email at AlyssaPenman {at} RelyLocal {dot} com or call her at 760-246-5400. RelyLocal.com is a locally-owned business that connects local consumers to local businesses for a thriving, robust and vibrant local economy.

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