Sometimes, good things simply fall into your lap. Mark Toland, a Chicago-based mentalist and mind reader, had long been interested in delivering a presentation for TED, a prestigious series of world-wide conferences originally focused on technology, education, and design; now just about any topic or inspirational idea is fair game for these impactful lectures. Magic and magicians have featured in quite a few. Mark tells GeniiOnline how he wound up landing the coveted gig at long last, which gave him a chance to speak about his desire for honesty and sincerity as a performer versus the deception inherent in being a professional mind reader.

For the rest of our interviews with Mark, check out the links here:

Part one: Mark Toland explains how small town life and zero back-up plan made him a pro magician

Part two: Mark Toland defines the ever-evolving Chicago-style magic

Part three: Mark Toland’s theatrical approach to mentalism finds freedom within limitations

Part four: Mark Toland shares why the Magic Penthouse is a treat for performers and audience alike

When a magician gives a presentation at TED or its independently-organized offshoot TEDx, they usually incorporate tricks as a way to segue into an unrelated inspirational or philosophical message. Scottish illusionist Elliot Bibby drops the pretense from his TEDx talk at Edinburgh Napier University in April 2017, and focuses strictly on magic and what it means to him. 

In the 12 minute video above, Elliot performs some card magic, then relates a few stories  about how his job allows him to bring joy and laughter to people’s lives. Magic isn’t just about impressing people, it’s about giving them memories to cherish—sometimes that’s all the message you need.