Stage

Magician Robby Bennett Brings A Renewed Sense Of Wonder To His Audiences



The history of stage magic goes back centuries, and some version of the art form can be traced back to the earliest human civilizations. People have always been entertained by performers who seemed able to create miracles onstage, as seeing the impossible appear to occur right in front of their eyes is still effective at creating a sense of wonder in modern audiences. Robby Bennett is one of a new breed of magicians bringing renewed life to an old art form, and entertaining crowds with his mesmerizing performances.

Bennett has deep roots in the Houston area, originally growing up in Clear Lake, joking that he "Went to school with a bunch of astronaut's kids", and discovered his love of magic early on.

"I got my first magic kit on my fifth birthday, around the time most kids did, and I was disappointed because I'd brought it home from Disney World and was upset I couldn't wave my wand and clean my room like in Mary Poppins. Initially it was a short lived interest and it sat in my closet for a number of years."

The magic kit was ignored for a long while, until an unfortunate turn of events led to Bennett exploring its charm with a renewed interest.

"When I was about nine I got sick with several different stomach illnesses, so that's what I did when I was home from school for the better part of two years. I brought that magic kit back out, and it sort of provided a foundation that I built upon. I started reading other books and learning new effects, and when I got back in school I got such a positive reaction from the other kids and my teachers that it became something I just kept pursuing."

Bennett's enthusiasm for performing magic continued to grow, and he was hooked by the reactions he got from others. Within a short period of time, he was busy performing for larger audiences.

"I started doing shows professionally around the age of 12, which looking back I'm really surprised I was able to do that, but it was just blind ambition. I did my first corporate show when I was 13 for General Electric at the George R. Brown Convention Center, and just kept going from there."

Bennett cites a handful of other magicians as major influences on his own work, and unsurprisingly, they are some of the heavy weights who brought major changes to modern magical performances.

"I think David Copperfield has probably done more for the art of magic than any one single person, and I think Penn and Teller's approach is by far the most creative and well thought out I've ever seen, and those are three performers I really admire."

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Chris Lane is a contributing writer who enjoys covering art, music, pop culture, and social issues.