Vincent Zhou '26 showcased his skills as a close-up magician when he wowed the entire Upper School during the 2023 Spring Talent Show. Zhou then took his magic to a different level this summer after being selected Start of Tomorrow at the 2023 American Society of Magicians Convention in New Orleans.
Zhou said he got interested in magic when he first watched Mat Franco perform card tricks on America's Got Talent when he was in fourth grade.
"I thought the tricks were really cool, especially after he won the entire show," Zhou said. "I learned my first trick in fourth grade, but I didn't start actively performing them for friends and family until seventh grade. Eighth grade was a big year for me, since it was the first time back in school and I found myself doing card tricks for my fellow advisees and advisor almost every day. That gave me an audience that I could rely on when I wanted to practice performing a new trick, since I knew they would always be willing to see them."
After seeing a show at a theatre called Smoke and Mirrors, Zhou got in contact with a group called Society of Young Magicians. After attending a meeting, and receiving some encouragement from his parents, Zhou submitted an entry video of himself doing a card trick, which wowed the convention organizers enough to issue him an invitation.
Although there were other youth performers at the convention who had their own magic show, Zhou was chosen to be the opening act for the professional-level magicians. Despite some hesitance, the rising sophomore dazzled the crowd and the other performers.
"Normally, I don't like performing magic for other magicians, since to me, it feels fake," Zhou said. "I felt like if I performed a trick they already knew, it would be pointless. However, they were really accepting and appreciating of me being there, and I ended up learning a lot from them.
“I think it was a cool experience, especially meeting the professional full-time magicians and seeing them work. Though I don't plan on becoming a full-time magician in the future, I think it's a cool hobby that I have that can amaze other people."