Magician Eddie Lou ’24 hadn’t always immersed himself in the world of illusions and sleight-of-hand. Rather, Lou’s dedication to this hobby of performing tricks came unexpectedly in what he once considered a disappointing holiday present: a magic set his sister gifted him for Christmas in fifth grade.
“[That] was the first year where I didn’t get Legos, so I was kind of upset. Then I actually played around with [the magic set], and I was like, ‘Oh, this thing is actually cool’ … A year later, I saw Shin Lim perform on ‘Penn and Teller Fool Us.’ It was a magic show. It was a clip on YouTube, and this was before he blew up…I think right then and there, that’s when I actually started getting into card magic,” said Lou.
Specializing in close-up magic, Lou performs with cards, coins, and other smaller handheld items. He explained that he especially enjoys defying convention by using Rubik’s Cubes, helping to create a uniquely unpredictable experience with every trick. For example, in his recent performance at the Class of 2024 meeting, Lou pried apart a Rubik’s Cube to inexplicably pull out the same card a volunteer, Amelia Quintero ’24, had previously chosen at random.
“He took a Rubik’s Cube and had my card in there and I thought I had figured it out…I didn’t, so I was amazed. It was pretty cool,” said Quintero.
Another important component Lou weaves into his performances is humor, which he feels is a natural part of his personality. Striving to do more than just surprise a crowd, Lou’s inclusion of comedy hopes to connect with the audience on a deeper level.
“Humor is a really, really powerful weapon for not only captivating people, but also making them engaged in something. I already think magic is a pretty engaging art form, so when you’re able to combine multiple things, it’s even better,” said Lou.
According to Lou’s friend Karen Wang ’24, magic was a passion of Lou’s that he nurtured to become a unique aspect of his identity. Wang also highlighted the energy Lou brings into every performance, as well as his engaging interactions with the audience.
“I feel like [magic] was where Eddie found his place…He’s really able to go off of how the audience is reacting and then adjust to their reactions live on stage, which [is] really cool. Also [he’s] just a really energetic performer, which makes him interesting to watch,” said Wang.
According to Lou, his favorite part about learning magic is seeing the ingenuity of the secrets behind each trick. In addition, especially in the current era, Lou feels that a seemingly infinite base of knowledge is often just a click away. As such, the awe of not knowing creates a rare curiosity, which he wants to foster within his audience through magic.
“When you’re giving a person something where they don’t know the actual answer to, it gives them a childlike wonder that they probably haven’t experienced in a while. So giving them the feeling of not knowing something can hopefully spark more curiosity and growth,” said Lou.
At Andover, Lou has performed at numerous events including Grasshopper, Class of 2024 meetings, last year’s CelebrAsian talent show, and more. During the pandemic, he also performed magic at senior citizen centers for residents. In addition, Lou created a magic club on campus, which he plans to further advertise and grow this year.
“[Grasshopper 2021] was the first time I performed at a really, really, large-scale venue, at school at least…This year, hopefully, I’ll be in G-Hop again, and then hopefully next year. I already know what I’m going to do next year is going to be even better, but I just hope that I can get it this year too,” said Lou.
Editor’s Note: Karen Wang ’24 is a Video Associate for The Phillipian.