Michael Bairefoot is not your average magician.
Having honed his craft at parties and in venues all across the globe from the U.S. including the prestigious Magic Castle in Hollywood all the way to Canada, the United Arab Emirates and Europe, his accomplishments during his time as a performer speak for themselves.
One of the most award-winning magicians in the U.S., amongst his various achievements are a doctorate degree in magic from the Obie’s 4F convention, where he’s the only magician ever to perform, and being the first person named the stage illusionist and close-up champion as well as the winner of the golden tip award for excellence in magic at the International Battle of Magicians in Canton, Ohio.
Bairefoot began practicing and studying magic at an early age and has worked on it nonstop since.
“When I was six years old, I won a coloring contest and got my first magic set,” he said, adding that for him magic has “always been fun” and something he’s been able to make a living off of.
Bairefoot explained that his act has shifted throughout the years as he’s since focused a lot more comedy and improv instead of just stage and close-up magic.
Originally from Darlington County before moving to the Myrtle Beach area in the early ‘90s, Bairefoot is a leader in and member of several magician associations in the U.S. and continues to innovate his shows. He also owns the title of the only magician to perform in the Grand Strand year-round. His act, largely comprised of stand-up in addition to close-up magic, hinges on its unconventional nature.
“With my show, the audience is the star,” he said.
And he’s right.
At a packed show at Landmark Resort with over 200 people packing the resort’s ballroom, a venue Bairefoot performs at regularly, he showcased some of what sets him apart from other performers, interacting with audience members young and old and acting on the fly.
Strolling in to a loud amount of cheers and applause, Bairefoot greets the crowd before cueing background music to come to a complete halt instantly.
As a couple of stragglers walked in after the show had already begun, Bairefoot openly acknowledged them.
“Hey man, what’s going on?” Bairefoot said to one of them who replied curtly. While speaking to them, the song “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees begins playing suddenly.
“Your brother came in!” he said as other attendees filed in while replaying the song.
Bairefoot explained that he enjoys the fact that his shows are different each time, often including the participation of volunteers.
“I wanted to make the show special and have it not be the same thing every night,” he said.
Much of Bairefoot’s show is a display of his cheerful personality and sees him also dancing, playing music and performing gags in addition to close-up magic. Built largely around providing laughs, he describes much of his show as hinging on improvisation and what he calls “hardcore ad-libbing.”
Bairefoot added that his approach to the magic trade is a bit different than that of his peers.
“The magic tricks are irrelevant,” he said. “The presentation is what’s important.”
One fan sat outside the resort ballroom for over an hour before the show started, determined to get front row seats.
10-year-old Reed Dunn from Virginia said he’d seen Bairefoot’s show last year at Landmark during his family’s annual vacation in Myrtle Beach.
“I saw him last year, and, out of all of the magicians I've seen, he's my favorite,” Reed said. “I like how he brings the kids up on the stage and has them perform tricks.”
Bairefoot will continue bringing chuckles and amazement to fans like Reed in the audience all year long.
In addition to his shows at the Landmark, Bairefoot performs close-up magic regularly at Angelo’s Steak and Pasta and does shows at Ocean Lakes Campground and Comedy Cabana.
More information on Bairefoot and his shows can be found at 123magicshow.com.