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Meet Harry L. Collins, who combined his love of magic and corn chips into one amazing dream job


You can find magicians in all walks of life. Many people simply moonlight in prestidigitation while they work day jobs. A lucky few manage to turn magic into a standalone career. Harry L. Collins managed to do both.

Collins was born in Glasgow, Kentucky in 1920. He learned magic as a young man, and applied those skills overseas as part of the Special Services during World War II. After the war ended, Collins took a job as a salesman at Frito-Lay during the daytime and performed with the stage name Mr. Magic at night. But even as a magician, he still was a devoted fan of his employer. He’d even use “Frito-Lay” as the magic word in his tricks.

In 1970, he was able to combine his two lives. Collins was appointed the official corporate magician for the food company. He took his magic act on the road, performing on behalf of Frito-Lay and sharing his twin loves for chips and tricks. Atlas Obscura has more of Collins’ story, including some photos of his memorial in Louisville.

His tale is an especially great one for those of us with multiple passions. You just never know when you’ll have a chance to follow both of your dreams.