When Mike Super wants to impress an audience, he thinks big.
He calls himself a “mystifier,” because he does a little bit of everything: There’s magic, illusions, mental tricks. Essentially, he’s a one-stop-shop if you’re looking to have your mind blown.
When he appears at the Chandler Center for the Arts on Sept. 22, blowing your mind will be the key. During his show, he will unveil predictions he’s made about what headlines will be featured on the front page of that day’s The Arizona Republic. In August, he made the predictions and FedExed them to the venue. They are locked up at the Chandler City Hall. And we do mean locked up — the predictions are in a sealed envelope under chains and padlock in the lobby.
You can’t say Super doesn’t have a sense of the theatrical.
“I really love the old days of Houdini and Blackstone,” Super says, calling from his home in Pittsburgh. “Before they even got to the show, they created a buzz in the community, and I really like that. It’s fun and intriguing, and it creates a buzz before the show because it’s something different.”
Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny signed the sealed FedEx envelope, ensuring that everything is on the up and up.
“I think it would be really cool if he gets them right,” Tibshraeny says. “It’s caught my curiosity doing this. I’m kind of wondering ‘what’s the angle?’ I’m excited for the show to come.”
On the other hand, if Super gets them wrong, the mayor’s ticket will be free. The same goes for everyone in the audience. You see, Super promises that if his predictions are incorrect, he’ll refund all tickets.
“It’s like a fun bet with the community,” says Super, which isn’t a stage name, by the way.
He done this trick approximately 12 times since 2008, and he’s never had to refund money to the audience.
“There’s two ways to look at it,” he says. “There’s, ‘He’s done it 12 times so he’s likely to do it again.’ But the more you do it, it’s like playing Russian roulette. One day it’s not going to work, and then it will be time to retire it.”
A lot of things go into deciding which performances will get the trick. Much of it depends on the community and their daily newspaper. And, of course, the size of the venue.
“If it was a huge venue and it didn’t go right, I could lose my house,” he says.
He has as a form of insurance policy in the $250,000 he won as the victor of the 2007 NBC reality program “Phenomenon.” Winning such a program and getting national exposure (he later appeared on “America’s Got Talent”) was a dream come true for Super, who grew up intrigued by the magic of such performers as David Copperfield and Doug Henning.
Even now, he still loves being entertained by magicians and illusionists, though it happens very rarely, he admits.
“I love to be fooled and, of course, the deeper you get into magic, the less you get to experience that feeling,” he says. “I try to live that feeling through other people’s eyes, from seeing them being fooled and enjoying themselves. And in the middle of all that, everyone in a while, somebody does fool you, and I’m like the kid in the candy store.”
Reach the reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-444-849. Twitter.com/randy_cordova.
When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22.
Where: Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler.
Tickets: 480-782,2680, ticketmaster.com.