Sleight-of-hand magician Farrell Dillon credits a family trip to Tahoe as a child for his start in the profession.
No, he didn't hone his craft by juggling pine cones. He attended a Tony Clark magic show and the next day discovered a Stateline magic store, which about a decade ago was torn down for redevelopment.
Dillon learned slight-of-hand tricks from a video. It's 14 years later, and the 26 year old is now part Masters of Magic, a family friendly show which is presented nightly through the summer at MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa. He is one of four magicians, which include the aforementioned Clark as the master of ceremonies.
"He's a very good, high-energy host," Dillon said. "He's the first magician I ever saw and he inspired me to be a magician. He does incredible magic. He makes the audience feel very, very comfortable right at the top of the show."
Masters of Magic's Christopher Hart and Danny Cole are two of the "best international magicians in the world," Dillon said. The high-energy Hart played the role of the disembodied hand, "Thing," in "Adams Family" movies. Cole is another inspirational performer to Dillon.
"About the same time I was watching Tony, I saw a magic special on TV with Lance Burton," Dillon said. "He featured a young magician and that was Danny Cole. Danny seems to invent everything that he puts into his act. New technology to old techniques. It's completely innovative and refreshing."
Presenting a traditional trick in an innovative way is the key to becoming successful, he said.
"A lot of comedians talk about the same subject matter but the routines are completely different," he said. "Magic's kind of the same way. We have standard tricks, let's say the linking rings or card tricks or sawing a woman in half. It's a magician's job to make their own routine with that prop."