TOPSHAM

Peter Boie, a Mt. Ararat High School graduate and nationally-touring magician, will perform at the Orion Performing Arts Center at Mt. Ararat High School on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Boie became interested in magic at age 11, when he found a magic book at the old Topsham Public Library. He practiced the art with his cousin, enjoying both the creative aspects of magic and working with his hands. One of his first shows was for family in the basement of the Topsham home he grew up in.

At age 15 he got paid $50 for his first real magic show — at the Topsham Grange.

“I was terrified,” he remembered. Still he put together a show and went out and performed.

LOCAL MAGICIAN PETER BOIE will perform Saturday at 7p.m. at the Orion Performing Arts Center.

LOCAL MAGICIAN PETER BOIE will perform Saturday at 7p.m. at the Orion Performing Arts Center.

Since that very first show, he said, he never lost his passion for magic — and now he travels all over the country performing.

Saturday’s show is a fundraiser by Orion and Mt. Ararat Stage Co., with part of the proceeds going toward stage improvements for the 900-seat theater. Orion Coordinator Judy Lloyd said money is also being raised for new proscenium curtains with a rope system, adding ropes to the mid-stage curtains, and new lighting set to be installed in June.

Even at Boie’s first performance with family, where they politely applauded during the show, he remembers the trick that really fooled them, where someone picks a card and it disappears, only to reappear in an orange. The applause he got was more than just polite, he said — “They enjoyed the magic.”

Early on as he honed his magic skills, he said, he never thought about turning it into a career. When he first got paid to do a show, however, he began to realize that magic had money-making potential.

During Boie’s senior year of high school, he decided not to go to college and instead pursued his magic career.

A small informal group of magicians based in Portland helped him to break into the field, Boie said. Now 34, he lives with his wife and 16-month old son in Arundel and tours nationally, traveling the college circuit.

Not everyone he meets along the way are believers in magic, he said, but he answers the naysayer with honesty and humor. When someone says they don’t believe, his line is, “Me neither.”

“I don’t want to insult anyone’s intelligence and make them think I’m going to make them believe in real magic and change their world view,” Boie said. “We know we’re not doing real magic so get over that part and get down to the important part. You were fooled…. that’s what I’m after, that wonder feeling, and try to break down their guards,” he said.

Boie has been featured on national TV and did a piece from his Summoning Spirits show on Penn & Teller — a stunt that has been very popular. He tells ghost stories with multimedia and the show “can really freak people out,” he said. He’ll be performing the Penn & Teller piece Saturday.

“I think it’s going to be a good time and I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

The one-night-only event is Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Orion Performing Arts Center located at Mt. Ararat Middle School. Tickets are now on sale at $15 for adults and $8 for students, and can be purchased in advance at the SAD 75 Business Office at 50 Republic Ave., Topsham; or with credit card through Brown Paper Tickets online at www.orionperformingartscenter.org.

For more information and to see youtube clips of past performances, visit Boie’s website at peterboie.com. For more information contact Coordinator Judy Lloyd at [email protected] or 729-2950 ext7.

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