When you describe someone as manipulative, it’s not usually a glowing compliment, however Dan Jaspersen’s ability to manipulate what you see and believe is not only a source of pride, it’s his livelihood. This month’s Art Cafe – Mentalist, Manipulator, Magician – is presented by the man, who also answers to Dan J.
Jaspersen taught himself to juggle – with one broken arm, no less – at an early age, then picked up a deck of cards in college, ultimately paying rent with his sleight of hand skills. After acquiring his degree in business communications, he was soon employed in Japan working in the field of international relations. But in his heart, he’s always been a performance artist, and less than two years ago his magic act became his regular gig.
“I design experiences for people,” he said, explaining his unique art form.
Unlike the glittery illusionists on television or children’s entertainers who pull rabbits out of hats, Dan has worked hard to create a new style from old school.
“What I love to do is go back into the really old books, tricks and ideas,” he said, adding that even science magazines from the 1950s provide inspiration.
Although Dan’s act is family friendly, he stresses that his primary audience is adult, setting him farther apart from the stereotype magician. His performance is classy, elegant and more thought-provoking, making him a popular draw for private parties, corporate events and education venues. His clientele includes everyone from Colorado State University, to the Rotary club, to Nonesuch Theater. The type of audience often determines what tricks he’ll pull out of his bag.
The Minnesota native now lives in Cheyenne with his family, but with wife Andi’s roots in Loveland, Dan is well-connected and sought out through the Wyoming and Northern Colorado region.
Dan Jaspersen’s program at Avo’s this Wednesday, Feb. 23, begins at 5:30 and he promises to combine some magic with a little behind-the-scenes look at the mentalist’s mindset.
“I believe in magic, but I know better,” he said enigmatically. As a magician, he strives to reconcile the contradiction of magic and the laws of science. “It’s a tricky thing.”
He paraphrased his favorite magician, Banachek, saying, “I like to take five senses and make it appear there’s a sixth.” In fact, Dan admits to mixing psychology and sleight of hand, mining the secrets of mediums and charlatans from a bygone era.
Fortunately for us – his delighted marks – he uses his powers for good, not evil. Bring all of your available senses this week and enjoy Dan J., Magician@Play.