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Thursday, July 9, 2009

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Dennis Kyriakos, Magician

Magician Dennis Kyriakos is in constant demand to entertain at upscale social functions and corporate events throughout Metropolitan Area. One of New York City’s finest sleight-of-hand artists, Dennis is a charming and charismatic presence, and never fails to amaze and delight the most discerning audience.

His clientele includes Altoids, Bay Area Biofuel, Borders Group, Boys Town, Children’s Aid Society, Citadel Investment Group, Credit Suisse, GE, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Make-A-Wish Foundation, The MS Society, New Line Cinema, Nomura Holdings, Perdue, Sun Microsystems, TIAA-CREF, Visiting Nurse Service of New York, among many others.

As an actor, Dennis has performed in nearly thirty theatrical productions, and numerous independent and feature films. He is an accomplished theatrical director, and has written and directed nine short-films.

Dennis’s professional acting training and theatrical experience – combined with his knowledge and passion for the art of magic – make him the perfect tool for producers and directors in need of consulting on theater and film projects.

Most notably Dennis brought magic to the stage of The Classical Theater of Harlem’s production of Anton Chekov’s “The Cherry Orchard.” The production featured Wendell Pierce from HBO’s The Wire, and Earle Hyman from NBC’S The Cosby Show. Peachy Deegan has met him and loves his card tricks! He tricked her.

Peachy Deegan interviewed Dennis Kyriakos for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: What was your first trick?
Dennis Kyriakos: That is a very good question. It was a trick my uncle used to do for me, where he would move a cigarette across the table without touching it. He was the maitre d’ at Jimmy Weston’s for years and apparently something Sinatra showed him.

Has anyone ever figured you out?
Ha! Well, sometimes I actually structure things so that people “think” they figure it out, or that it looks like something has gone wrong. But then in the end, I pull it through.
When I’m working on something new, I usually show the trick to my wife or my friends. At that point, since I’m still working on it, there have been times when I’ve been “busted” and they figure it out.
But after a few weeks of practice and rehearsal I’ve tightened up the slack and the trick is seamless. Then it becomes quite difficult for the audience to detect how things are happening.
I do have an extensive working repertoire that I’ve been working of for years. This is some of the strongest magic I perform and packs quite a punch. And since I work professionally, for rather high-end clientele, everything I perform in the real world has to be 110%. And I never perform anything in public until it’s ready.

Has your magic gotten you out of any practical situations, i.e. speeding tickets, etc?
Guys often ask me if I pick up a lot of women because of what I do. I always tell them that I only use my magic powers for good.
Actually, one time I was flying to San Francisco to perform at a tradeshow for a client. I had forgotten to remove the money clip from my pocket, which obviously set off the metal detector. At the same time, my carry-on was passing through the X-ray machine. I never check my “gig bag” when I fly. Learned that the hard way!
Among other items in the bag was a set of brass cups, used to perform a classic magic effect, as well as a magic wand. This particular wand has metal tips and is designed to unscrew in the middle so it can be carried in a small pouch.
Anyway, they asked me to step aside and while one of the agents swiped me with a handheld metal detector, a second agent searched through my bag. I told them I was a magician and was flying for work. Then I did a very quick something for them, which got them all laughing and eased the tension.
Little did they know that while I was being swiped for more metal objects by that agent, I had the opportunity to lift his wallet, a set of keys from his belt, and one of his pens. You should have seen the look on their faces when I gave all that stuff back!

What is your favorite trick to play on people?
Well, I’m not sure “playing a trick on people” is the right way to look at what I do. I’m not necessarily interested in fooling people, per se, although that certainly is part of my job description.
The experience of wonder is important. To spend time in the presence of someone who can share a mystery and allow you to gain a different perspective of the world, even for just a brief moment, is refreshing.
That’s an important experience for us as human beings. And that, I believe, is my job.

Who is your most discerning audience?
My private clients have invited their closest friends, family, and important business associates to their event. They’re looking for someone who is going to seamlessly blend in and give their guests a once in a lifetime experience.
For corporate clientele, I’m usually designing custom-scripted presentations for a tradeshow that will draw a crowd to their exhibit and insure the company’s message is heard. Sometimes I’ve hosted meetings or entertained at a banquet and have been asked to include some key bullet points as themes for my magic. In such cases, I’m working closely with the marketing department, as they want to get a specific message across to attendees, team members, or potential customers.
In both cases, private or corporate, they are looking for something very specific and either they’ve seen me at another event or someone recommends me. And they always do they’re research on who they’re going to hire because they are investing their money and many are staking they’re reputation.

What audience is the easiest to entertain?
I enjoy entertaining smart, savvy people.

What are you proudest of?
There aren’t many people out there who can say they are doing exactly what they want with they’re life. But the fact that I make a very good living and I’m able to raise a child and support my family as a magician makes me very proud.

What is your favorite place to be in NYC?
Lately, because of the weather, I’ve been enjoying Astoria Park. I get out there early in the morning for some exercise to start my day.

What is your favorite shop?
The Men’s Store at Bloomingdales.

What is your favorite drink?
A dry martini, made with Bombay Gin, straight up, three olives. Go see Doug Quinn over at P.J.’s on Third Ave. He makes them right.

What is your favorite restaurant?
We live in Astoria and there are some terrific places to eat here. My favorite has to be 718 Restaurant. It’s a French bistro with a Spanish flare and it wonderful. We go there for almost every special occasion.

What is your favorite NYC book?
Through The Children’s Gate by Adam Gopnik.

What is your favorite thing to do in NYC that you can do nowhere else?
The simple fact that I can get anything I want, 24 hours a day, is very comforting.

What do you think is most underrated and overrated here?
The outer boroughs are underrated. Owning a car in the city is overrated. I am not a fan of alternate side parking.

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you?
I’m working on a couple of very interesting things at the moment. One of which is theatrical project for October.
This is an original play about two magicians and needless to say, there will be a lot of great magic. We start rehearsals in September and I’ll be posting more information on my website soon.

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers?
Visit my website at and join the mailing list for updates. Email me directly with questions at

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