Some of Dennis Watkins' favorite moments as a showman come when he can't see his audience's reaction to the amazing thing he has just done, given that his eyes are covered by coins and duct tape.
"It's just so impossible," Watkins said. "I love to hear people asking, 'How'd he do that?'"
For more than a decade, magician and mentalist Dennis Watkins has mesmerized his audiences at shows in downtown Chicago and at appearances around the U.S. with feats that have been described as "mind-boggling," "astonishing" and "marvelous."
On March 1, Watkins will bring his show to the campus of Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove.
A third-generation magician and mentalist, Watkins learned the art of classical magic from his grandfather, who owned and operated a magic shop in Dallas, Texas.
After studying theater in college in the U.S. and the United Kingdom, Watkins came to Chicago to help launch the successful show "Death and Harry Houdini."
Watkins still performs in the show, but in more recent years has also hosted his own magic and mentalism show, "The Magic Parlour," at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel in Chicago. There, he performs in an intimate setting before crowds of several dozen each weekend, while traveling during the rest of the week to perform before crowds of hundreds or even thousands at corporate conferences, trade shows, and on college campuses around the country.
Describing his shows as a "great mix of classical magic, mind-reading and mentalism," Watkins keeps his audiences laughing and gasping in amazement in a fast-paced display, rife with sleight-of-hand tricks involving cards and other objects, as well as a large dose of crowd-pleasing mentalism.
Watkins said his favorite interaction with the audience, however, involves an act of mentalism in which he covers his eyes with coins, then covers those with duct tape, and then allows a member of the audience to blindfold him, only to the proceed to correctly name various objects audience members bring with them to the show, or guess the words audience members might write on a dry erase board.
Admission to Watkins' show in Chicago would cost about $75. But for the show at 7 p.m. at the auditorium on Waubonsee's Sugar Grove Campus, Watkins' amazing achievements can be witnessed for $12 for adults and $9 for children ages 12 and younger.
Tickets can be purchased at www.waubonseetickets.com.
For more about Dennis Watkins, visit his website, www.denniswatkins.net.