His shows are uplifting, inventive, highly interactive, and oh-so-original; he surrounds himself with  silly antics, colorful, handmade props, and a live dove named Mozzarella; he throws ridiculously silly and meticulously crafted performances. Meet Mario the Magician, one of New York’s best kept secrets. 

Mario's Small School of Magic



Mario's Small School of Magic

What was your big dream as a child? 

My big dream was always to help people. As young as I can remember, my mom drilled into me how important it is to love. With her faith, she taught me those simple yet life-shaping lessons like doing unto others as you would like done to you, turning the other cheek when you feel like lashing out. Most importantly, she taught me to help, even when others turn a blind eye to those in need. In need of anything. Friendship, encouragement, food.

What is your favourite fictional character? 
Growing up, my favourite was Kit Cloudkicker from Talespin. Cloudkicker was an orphan who lived with Baloo. Baloo who owned a shipping company and an airplane, and together they would deliver packages all over the world in that plane. They fought against air pirates and delivered packages. What’s better than that?
Your best moment doing magic?
 The best is after a show, when a child asks me where I get all of my magic tricks from. I explain that I made them all myself, with pizza boxes, scrap wood, recycled electronics, etc, and that they can too! It’s when I see a little spark of inspiration in them. When they realise… “Wait? You made all of this? You don’t need a lot of money to buy big, fancy tricks?” I love that moment. My purpose is fulfilled. I want every child to know that no matter what they want in life, the power of their own imagination surpasses any item on any store shelf.
The thing you are most proud about?
 That I’m able to do what I love as a profession. But the credit doesn’t go to me. My wife, Katie, took what I love to do, and turned it into our livelihood. She is the real magician!
Your favourite restaurant in NYC?
Flor de Mayo, of course, on Amsterdam between 83rd and 84th. Their pollo a la brasa is amazing.
A cultural event or film you saw recently that you highly recommend?
Beauty is Embarrassing, a documentary about artist Wayne White. Incredibly inspiring.
A design object or new product that you cherish?
My Makerbot Replicator2, a 3D desktop printer. I am working on adding 3D printed objects into my magic show in the coming months. 3D printing is a technology that is absorbing a lot of time right now. In a very good way.
How is life at home, when the party is over? Life at home is setting up train tracks with my daughter, Gigi. Playing guitar and singing while she whirls around in circles with her tambourine. As we watch our daughter grow, Katie and I are realising how precious right now is, and we are trying to stop time and enjoy these moments.
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Click here to learn more about Mario ‘s coming performances at NYC’s Metropolitan Room, starting April 6th.