Entertainer hopes to make magic less 'Korny'

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— Chris Korn can read minds and make coins move without touching them. While he's creating an artistic illusion using props and natural light, he may even crack a joke about your mother.

Korn would even spend thousands of dollars and travel thousands of miles just to see another magician's card trick.

While the Santa Monica, Calif., resident travels around the world gaining respect from other magicians, he also acquires secrets and tips to improve his own tricks.

Korn arrives in Steamboat Springs today after a visit to Aspen, where he networked at the HBO comedy hour shows that ran daily.

Comedians such as Robin Williams, Danny DeVito and Michael Richards were also in Aspen taping their shows and talking about the future and history of comedy.

"As far as mass media, I'm up and coming," Korn said.

Although Korn said he wishes he were on stage with these legendary comedians, making contacts and getting his name known is a major step in show business.

He will continue that same work at Chaps in the Steamboat Grand for an apres ski party today and Saturday.

He will not be serving or making drinks because creating magic requires doing about eight things at once, he said.

"I'm hoping he has another bartender. When you're trying to do eight things at one time, pouring a drink pushes the limit," Korn said during a phone interview Thursday.

Korn's signature magic tricks include coin tricks, card magic and mind reading. He said his magic is very crowd friendly and interactive.

"There will be a few surprises Friday and Saturday evening. But I'll have different things on both nights," Korn said.

Korn said his comedic influence is George Carlin a man that is versatile, creative and has stood the test of time for more than 40 years. His magician influence is Max Malini, who took risks and traveled extensively but died more than 50 years ago.

"David Blaine is a street magician who really opened the door for the style I do. Hopefully, I'll be the one who walks through it," Korn said, adding that Doug Henning opened the door for illusionist David Copperfield.

Although magic has a cheesy image, Korn said he intends to make it hipper and cooler than the stereotypical man standing in tuxedo on stage pulling a rabbit out of a hat.

"I learned in the beginning from books. There's an immense amount of practice put into it. But I like taking an old concept and making it new again. Only five people in the world do (coin magic). I like that it's a kept secret," Korn said.

Presenting comedy and magic to royalty across the globe may give many people an arrogant persona, but Korn looks at magic like art "the more you put in, the more you get out."

Korn is home less than two weeks each month because the road of magic keeps him researching, learning and practicing over and over again.

This spring, Korn will appear on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," "The Late, Late Show with Craig Kilborn" and possibly even "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

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