Ben Zabin has a remarkable ease for such a young magician. He’s been impressing audiences around the world and on television for many years, and most recently, on a local news show in Vermont. Even though he starts it out making it seem like he’s explaining how the trick is done, Zabin has something much sneakier up his sleeve. Vermont locals can see him continue to amaze on Saturday, March 17, at the Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center in Burlington. He has several other tour dates booked around the Northeast next month.
Zabin made a leap to fame in a somewhat surprising fashion: by goofing up his act live on Penn & Teller: Fool Us. But the plucky teen has certainly made lemonade out of that lemon, with an ongoing performance career and even a book to his credit.
Ben Zabin has some experience turning failure into success. After his trick went awry in one of the most public forums possible — on stage at Penn & Teller Fool Us — Zabin was inspired to pen a book where he collected tales of other such disasters from his fellow magicians. The cleverly titled AbracaDAMMIT!: Disaster Stories & Life Lessons From the World’s Top Magicians hit bookshelves last year.
“I got to talk with pretty much the best of the best in the industry and hear about what went wrong in their shows, what life lessons they’ve learned, and any regrets they’ve had,” he told The Berkeley Beacon. “There are great stories from strippers ruining shows to tigers getting loose.”
Most recently, Zabin went on a Magicians Without Borders tour to Costa Rica. The nonprofit aims to host magic performances for children in places of high poverty or war. It was an impactful experience for the 19-year-old, still a student himself.
“I went in to teach magic to them, and one of the kids started crying,” he said of the experience. “He was telling everyone he worked with a Las Vegas magician, and he just took that so much to heart—I have chills right now just thinking about it.”
Check out the whole article for more insights from Zabin, including his earliest magic performance.