Chicago Creatives: Meet Magician And Mentalist Luis Carreon

Chicago Creatives: Meet Magician And Mentalist Luis Carreon
Magician and mentalist Luis Carreon stops by Reset for our Chicago Creatives series on Feb. 13, 2020. Jason Marck / WBEZ
Chicago Creatives: Meet Magician And Mentalist Luis Carreon
Magician and mentalist Luis Carreon stops by Reset for our Chicago Creatives series on Feb. 13, 2020. Jason Marck / WBEZ

Chicago Creatives: Meet Magician And Mentalist Luis Carreon

Growing up in Mexico City, Luis Carreon first became interested in magic when he was 8 years old. His mom bought him a magic sword from the market, and that was the spark that ignited his passion for the art.

Reset sat down with the magician and mentalist to discuss his journey as a performer — and to see him present one of his best tricks.

On moving to Chicago and making friends through magic

Luis Carreon: When I moved here, you know, I didn’t know how to speak English. … I was trying to find ways to try to somehow make friends or communicate with them. And I thought magic will be a good little way, you know, because I didn’t have to say anything. It would just be a visual trick. You know, make something vanish and they will understand what’s going on.

It’s interesting because at that point you’re this foreign kid coming from Mexico and knows tricks and now they don’t know how to act to you. Are you a normal kid? Are you weird? So it was a little strange. I thought it was going to work much better than I thought, you know? But yeah, I made a few friends.

On deciding to become a magician

Carreon: My family, my parents just never really liked the idea of it. That was probably the hardest challenge that I had. … I come from a Hispanic family where you grow up, you get a job and that’s it. So when I was bouncing the idea with them about this is what I want to do, they just didn’t care for it. It was very, very difficult to make them believe that this is what I wanted to do. … Now that they know what I am and what I’ve done, my parents are just very proud of it.

On his magical style

Carreon: I do a little of everything over the years. … I’ve gone through so much magic, so many effects that I’ve done through the years. Nowadays I specialize in a little more parlor magic, but I grew up as a close-up magician. I do cards, coins. There was a moment in my life where I was just doing a lot of like mind-reading effects, but now it’s more like parlor and stage material that I do.

On how magic can provoke emotion

Carreon: It’s really just giving them a different type of feeling and emotions, you know, in a different way. I mean, we listen to music. We get excited by music. But with magic, you can get them excited because they are part of that moment right there. They’re just interacting with you, and they know that what was just happening was the connection between both of you in that moment.

On his long-term magic goals

Carreon: I definitely want to keep doing magic for the rest of my life. I think magic is just now part of my blood, right? … In the future, I want to definitely help the art of magic grow. And what I mean by that [is] I would like to teach more magic, and I want to make sure that it’s being taught well. Anybody can go on YouTube and learn a few tricks, but there’s still a lot of things that you’re missing from those lessons. So I would like to help them do good magic, you know, that’s the goal.

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity. Click the “play” button to hear the entire conversation.