Frustrated but fascinated, Martin couldn’t stop thinking about the magician. Soon after, he walked by a magic shop at a local market. Cards, coins, cups—the tools of the trade called to him.
Martin carries a deck of cards in his pocket. It’s clearly his métier—cards practically fly through his hands. He moves with a smooth elegance that seems easy to follow, until an unexpected card is turned and viewers are left with the same question: How’d he do that?
That’s not one of their tricks, but Martin and Archer can explain the centuries-long appeal of magic. They see magic as a form of escapism that still creates a sense of childlike wonder. When you go to see Romeo and Juliet or a Bruce Springsteen concert, they’re usually familiar with the work. That’s not the case at a magic show—and people delight in experiencing the unexpected. “There’s a joy in being amazed,” Martin says. “It’s really fun to hear people ask, ‘How’d he do that?’”
Smoke amp; Mirrors is already becoming a magical mecca. A 20-something Penn student recently trekked to Huntingdon Valley on the off chance of getting a minute with Martin. “I said, ‘Show me what you can do,’ and he did,” Martin says. “I was blown away. Danny was, too.”