It's more than a magic wand and a rabbit pulled out of a top hat. Modern magic shows let audiences suspend belief with sophisticated illusions.
An accomplished illusionist performs right here in East Tennessee.
Smoke and mirrors. Magic and illusions.
Terry Evanswood energizes the stage at WonderWorks' Wonders of Magic in Pigeon Forge.
He first knew he wanted to go into magic when his dad took him to a magic show when he was ten years old.
"He was making people appear and disappear and filled this empty stage full of these feather flowers and sawed his wife in half and made the girl float and I sat there and I thought to myself I want to do this," Terry Evanswood said. "So I turned to my dad and I said dad I want to grow up and be a magician and you know what my dad said? You can't do both."
He's been doing magic professionally for almost 20 years, entertaining audiences and earning the "Merlin" award for elite magicians.
Some of his illusions take years to perfect.
"One of my assistans, Natasha, and I have been working on the Houdini truck trick for six seasons now. And we finally are to the point where we almost read each other's minds. And you have to on stage. Along with Samantha and Michael my other assistants it's really a team effort to make the magic happen. It's certainly not a one man show," he said.
He says his family supported his dream. In fact his father built a specialized trunk that's part of the Houdini Trunk Trick.
"Five thousand shows later I still use it in every show. In fact, I tell people if I ever retire from magic that particular prop will be my coffee table because it's so important to me," he said.
It's important to him to help the audience escape reality if only for an hour or so.
"I'm a kid at heart and I like to make the audience feel that way," he said.
A magic show is a chance for everyone to trade their troubles for imagination and fun.
"A lot of people think the magic show is just for kids but it's not. Kids don't need magic, kids live magic. So it's really an experience for the whole family," he said.
Terry Evanswood hopes his show will inspire the next generation of magicians.
He said, "When I produce the flowers on stage and float the lady and and cut the girl in pieces I see the eyes of the kids and I know which one it is whose about to lean over to his dad and say I want to be a magician when I grow up."
He's a kid who never grew up and that's the magic of magic.
You can see Terry Evanswood perform six nights a week at the upside down building in Pigeon Forge, WonderWorks.