Dan Sperry has been interested in magic and entertaining audiences ever since he can remember.

“When I was in third grade I did a dice trick where I would put the dice in a box and then they would show up somewhere else in the classroom,” Sperry explained. “The kids would have to run around the classroom looking for the hidden dice. I knew it would eat up time where I wouldn’t have to be learning cursive or math or something. So I used it to my advantage.”

Sperry also recalls entertaining family at backyard barbeques.

“My mom has a picture of me, I was probably 10 years old or so, with a skewer through my arm and blood coming out. It wasn’t the kind of stuff though that I could perform at a birthday party. So I had to dial it back a bit until I got older.”

In his early teens Sperry started performing in night clubs, often opening for bands and DJs. Many of the venues attracted goth or alternative audiences.

“If they advertised, Dan Sperry, magician, that probably would have been a turn off,” Sperry said. “So that’s where I came up with Anti-Conjurer and Shock Illusionist. It kind of stuck after that.”

He explains “shock illusion” as “stuff that Hitchcock would do with his movies, over the top, borderline ridiculous. People saying, I can’t believe he’s getting away with this.”

The career of the Litchfield native gained huge momentum after appearing on America’s Got Talent in 2010. Sperry became one of the top 10 Google searches after grossing out host Howie Mandel with one of his tricks.

Sperry now travels the globe with what critics call an “insane journey of magic, mischief and mayhem.” He’ll be taking a quick detour from his world travels on Nov. 18 for a show at the new Performing Arts Center at Waconia High School. Superintendent Pat Devine, who moved to Waconia after spending many years working in Litchfield Public Schools, watched Dan Sperry grow up.

“We wanted to make a big splash with the opening of the Performing Arts Center by bringing in a bigger act,” Devine said. “I had no idea if Dan would have the time or the desire to come to Waconia but I figured I’d give it a try. Within hours of contacting him, he got back to me and said he’d figure out a way to make it work for us.”

“It’s a reason for me to come back to Minnesota to see family,” Sperry said. “I travel so much I never see them so it just worked out. Plus, Pat was always pretty cool. I did shows while attending school and he was always an encouraging supporter.”

Even though his performances now take him around the globe, Sperry said he is not interested in getting a permanent show in Vegas or anywhere for that matter.

“My favorite part is getting out on tour and travelling. I don’t like to sit for too long and I like to go to different venues in different cities. Drink coffee in different places. See stuff,” Sperry said.

Along with his appearances on America’s Got Talent, Sperry is a regular on The Illusionists, which has been called Broadway’s best-selling magic show. He has also performed with Penn and Teller, appeared on Cake Boss, and has been seen on NBC, VH1, FOX, TLC, and ABC, in addition to numerous international outlets.

Most often he performs his show flawlessly but, there are the occasional malfunctions.

“Stuff has caught on fire. I also make blood come out of my eyes and I mixed it wrong. It’s not real blood, really. It kept coming out and I couldn’t see and it was like a red out. That wasn’t fun,” Sperry said.

His Anti-Conjuror show is on Saturday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at: isd110.org or dansperry.com.

Paul David is director of communications for ISD 110.

Dan Sperry has been interested in magic and entertaining audiences ever since he can remember. “When I was in third grade I did a dice trick where I would put the dice in a box and then they would show up somewhere else in the classroom,” Sperry explained. “The kids would have to run around the classroom looking for the hidden dice. I knew it would eat up time where I wouldn’t have to be learning cursive or math or something. So I used it to my advantage.” Sperry also recalls entertaining family at backyard barbeques. “My mom has a picture of me, I was probably 10 years old or so, with a skewer through my arm and blood coming out. It wasn’t the kind of stuff though that I could perform at a birthday party. So I had to dial it back a bit until I got older.” In his early teens Sperry started performing in night clubs, often opening for bands and DJs. Many of the venues attracted goth or alternative audiences. “If they advertised, Dan Sperry, magician, that probably would have been a turn off,” Sperry said. “So that’s where I came up with Anti-Conjurer and Shock Illusionist. It kind of stuck after that.” He explains “shock illusion” as “stuff that Hitchcock would do with his movies, over the top, borderline ridiculous. People saying, I can’t believe he’s getting away with this.” The career of the Litchfield native gained huge momentum after appearing on America’s Got Talent in 2010. Sperry became one of the top 10 Google searches after grossing out host Howie Mandel with one of his tricks. Sperry now travels the globe with what critics call an “insane journey of magic, mischief and mayhem.” He’ll be taking a quick detour from his world travels on Nov. 18 for a show at the new Performing Arts Center at Waconia High School. Superintendent Pat Devine, who moved to Waconia after spending many years working in Litchfield Public Schools, watched Dan Sperry grow up. “We wanted to make a big splash with the opening of the Performing Arts Center by bringing in a bigger act,” Devine said. “I had no idea if Dan would have the time or the desire to come to Waconia but I figured I’d give it a try. Within hours of contacting him, he got back to me and said he’d figure out a way to make it work for us.” “It’s a reason for me to come back to Minnesota to see family,” Sperry said. “I travel so much I never see them so it just worked out. Plus, Pat was always pretty cool. I did shows while attending school and he was always an encouraging supporter.” Even though his performances now take him around the globe, Sperry said he is not interested in getting a permanent show in Vegas or anywhere for that matter. “My favorite part is getting out on tour and travelling. I don’t like to sit for too long and I like to go to different venues in different cities. Drink coffee in different places. See stuff,” Sperry said.  Along with his appearances on America’s Got Talent, Sperry is a regular on The Illusionists, which has been called Broadway’s best-selling magic show. He has also performed with Penn and Teller, appeared on Cake Boss, and has been seen on NBC, VH1, FOX, TLC, and ABC, in addition to numerous international outlets. Most often he performs his show flawlessly but, there are the occasional malfunctions. “Stuff has caught on fire. I also make blood come out of my eyes and I mixed it wrong. It’s not real blood, really. It kept coming out and I couldn’t see and it was like a red out. That wasn’t fun,” Sperry said. His Anti-Conjuror show is on Saturday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at: isd110.org or dansperry.com.

Paul David is director of communications for ISD 110.

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