Henderson resident is youngest magician to headline his own show

Tommy Wind, the youngest magician to headline a Las Vegas show, is appearing, and disappearing in "Impact: An Explosion of Magic and Music."

Wind, 21, is slated to perform at 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays at the Wolf Theater inside the Clarion Hotel & Casino, 305 Convention Center Drive.

"It is still hitting me," Wind said. "It is a phenomenal feeling."

Wind, a Henderson resident, started at the Clarion Feb. 14.

Being the youngest headlining magician wasn't Wind's first accomplishment. When he was 19, the World Magic Awards named him Best Teen Magician of the Year. 

Wind has come a long way from his first magic trick to an illusionist who saws audience members in half or makes instruments disappear.

Since he was 7, Wind has been in love with magic.

"My grandfather showed me my first trick -- how to make a handkerchief disappear," Wind said.

His grandfather was an amateur magician who performed the occasional trick for friends and family.

"He never made any money from it but had a lot of fun doing it on the side," Wind said. "He started on the boat from Italy (to the United States) doing a vanishing quarter trick."

But his grandfather didn't just introduce him to magic. Wind was bitten by the magic bug and needed to learn and perform. He digested trick after trick and learned every conceivable amateur trick he could.

"My first gig was at a restaurant where I did it for five bucks and a slice of pizza," Wind said. 

Wind continued to do shows around his hometown, Staten Island, N.Y., just because he loved the art.

"I knew I had a knack for it," Wind said. "It was always a strong hobby."

The moment Wind knew the hobby would become his profession was when he performed during the farewell show on a cruise liner.

While on the ship, he caught the eye of many passengers and crewmembers with his magic shoelace trick, in which the laces tie themselves. The trick earned Wind, who was 16 at the time, an invitation to the 2,500-seat showroom.

"I remember standing in the headlights and hearing the audience go wild," Wind recalled. "That's when I knew I wanted to do that for life."

When he was 18, his family moved to Las Vegas right after high school, and he inquired about starting a show in Las Vegas.

Between searching for venues and starting the show, Wind traveled back to the East Coast for performances.

At one show, he caught the eye of audience members who asked why he wasn't headlining in Las Vegas. When they found out he was in the process of opening his show, they decided to become backers and provide financial support.

Since coming to Las Vegas, Wind has had to step up his game by buying larger- scale illusions and making sure "Impact" is different from other magic shows on the Strip.

"That way you aren't really competing with (the other shows)," Wind said. "You don't want the audience to sit down and say, 'I saw this last week.' You want to make it completely different."

Wind wants his act to keep evolving and works to get better after each performance. During each show, Wind sets up a video camera to record himself. He then watches it to critique his performance.

"It's not about just doing magic on stage," Wind said. "It is about the performance and making sure you are presenting it the right way."

Every now and then, Wind will perform his first trick -- the disappearing handkerchief.

"I do it because people want to see my first trick," Wind said. "I sell the trick after the show. I have it there so people can learn magic and in the future keep the art of magic alive."

For more information, visit tommywindmagic.com or call 990-1525.

Contact Henderson/Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at mlyle@viewnews.com or 387-5201.