Paul W Draper
|Born||Paul W. Draper
October 31, 1978
Salt Lake City, United States
|Residence||Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Occupation||illusionist, mind reader, mentalist, magician, film maker, actor, anthropologist|
Paul Draper is an anthropologist, academic, and an award winning mentalist, magician, and film maker. As an anthropologist and communications expert specializing in the cognitive science of religious beliefs, he has lectured at various fortune 500 companies and universities on various topics including why people believe weird things and how organizations create a cult-like following. His TEDx lecture has been applauded for its ability to educate while still being enormously entertaining. As the creator of the unique show Mental Mysteries, Draper blends his academic background as an anthropologist and communications expert with the arts of mentalism and magic. Only a decade into his magic career, he received the prestigious Merlin Award for his work as a corporate entertainer.
Draper began performing magic for his friends at age 8 and continued performing throughout his school years, lettering in debate, choir, and drama.
In his high school years, he also became a national debate champion in original oratory and a state drama champion in pantomime. At age 16, Draper watched Michael Skinner perform at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, which propelled his interest in magic, which eventually led to his discovery of mentalism.
In 1999, Draper spent time as an anthropologist with the Navajo people on the Navajo Native American Reservation, where he learned about the power of oral tradition.
Before embarking on a career in magic and mentalism in Las Vegas, Draper worked as a lecturer in Utah at Westminster College and Weber State University and later as an instructor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where he taught communication studies.
In 2004, Draper gave up his academic career to follow his "childhood passion" of magic and mentalism, according to an interview with Psychology Today. At that time, he began working as the house magician at the Venetian Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
For Draper, these two career paths — anthropology and magic — coincide in the study of cognitive science, or how and why people believe what they do. “Nothing I do uses psychic power," Draper said in an interview with Psychology Today. "All I use is influence and persuasion.”
Draper's work as the house magician at the Venetian Hotel and Casinos in Las Vegas lasted for several years. Eventually, Draper evolved his performance to blend magic and the "science" behind mentalism: perception, attention, and observation play key roles. In Mental Mysteries, Draper attempts to make the audience the star of the show, teaching viewers to read body language and feel as if they understand the minds of others.
In 2014, the International Magician’s Society awarded Draper the prestigious Merlin Award for Best Corporate Performer.
He has lectured on these topics at Yale University, Apple Cupertino Headquarters, the University of Utah, the University of Southern California, the Magic Castle in Hollywood and The Magic Circle in London.
Draper has appeared as himself in numerous television shows and documentaries, including Hell's Kitchen, Pawn Stars, House Hunters, Criss Angel Mindfreak, HBO-sponsored The Comedy Festival at Caesars Palace, Ghost Adventures, and Houdini: Unlocking the Mystery. He has appeared alongside David Copperfield, Lance Burton, and Teller on the History Channel as a consultant and expert. He appeared as a magician on Hair Battle Spectacular and as a scorpion handler in Guerilla Magic.
In addition to performing, Draper also works as a consultant and guest lecturer for businesses, using his anthropology studies to talk about change management and leadership issues in the private sector. He also uses his performance to build self-esteem and agency in children. He frequently consults for medical companies, coaching employees on various communication methods.
He has designed special effects for theater and acted as a religious advisor for theater companies, drawing on his Jewish faith background. Paul Draper was also featured in an article by Makezine on his historical knowledge of Houdini's Legacy and Magicians in the Maker community.
Draper sits on the Board of Directors for the Inclusion Center for Community and Justice.
He has been a frequent performer at :
- The Magic Castle, Hollywood, California
- The Magic Circle, London, England
- Smoke and Mirrors, Bristol, England
- Cal Magic Dinner Theater, San Francisco Bay Area
- Mystique, Boise, Idaho
- Monday Night Magic, New York, New York
- Magicopolis, Santa Monica, California
- Mystery School, Las Vegas, Nevada
- Celebrities of Magic, Bakersfield, California
- Wonderground, Las Vegas, Nevada
- Wizardz Magic Theater, Orlando, Florida
- 2014 Merlin Award for Best Corporate Performer, International Magicians Society
- 2009 Houdini Award winner for Best Mentalist
- 2002 PCAM First place award winner for mentalism
- Volunteer Award 2003, National Conference of Community and Justice
- Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship, 2000
- American College Theater Association, National Theatrical Management Award, 1999
- Finalist in Original Oratory, National Forensic League competition, 1997
Film and television appearances
- The Hallmark Channel
- Travel, Ghost Adventures "Fear Factory" Season 9 Episode 5
- FOX, Hell's Kitchen 13 Chefs Compete
- The History Channel, "Houdini: Unlocking the Mystery"
- A&E, "Criss Angel's Mindfreak: Burning Man"
- Oxygen Network, "Hairbattle Spectacular 2: I'm a Beautician, Not a Magician"
- Steven Spielberg, "Poltergeist (25th Anniversary Edition)"
- HGTV, "House Hunters Las Vegas" episodes 1-5
- The History Channel, "Pawn Stars: Learning the Ropes"
- The History Channel, "Pawn Stars: Crosby, Stills & Cash"
- Comcast, "Hocus Pocus: Denny and Lees Magic Studio"
- Comcast, "In Utah: Mysteries of the Mind: Parts 1-3"
- WB, "15 minutes of fame"
- ABC, "Duel", June 27, 2008 (contestant on US game show)
- CBS, "Touched By an Angel: Show Me The Way Home"
- Penguin Magic Live Lecture
- Murphy's Magic At the Table Experience
- Michael J. Fraughton, “The Dark Waltz” (contributor)
- Macknik, Stephen, Sleights of Mind: What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals about Our Everyday Deceptions (interview)
- Sperber, Burton, "Miracles of My Friends II" (contributor)
- Tillar, Jack Kent, "Septet: Super Powers for Mentalists" (contributor)
- Banachek, Psychological Subtleties 2 (contributor)
- Beckwith, Tobias, Beyond Deception, (editor)
- Vanderwood, Jill, "Erase the Problem of Bullying" (contributor)
- Woodward, Chris, "Rameses: The Forgotten Star", (contributor / research)
- Hitchcock, Scott, The New Lecture Notes (editor)
- Draper, Paul, Mentalism: Theory, History and Performance
- Draper, Paul, Cold Reading with Playing Cards
- Draper, Paul, The Magicians Journey
- Draper, Paul, History of the American Spiritualist Movement 1880 -1920
- Draper, Paul, "The effect of a "Psychic Fair" on casino floor drop rate: State Line and Silversmith Casino Wendover, Nevada 2002"
- Ogden, Tom, Idiots Guide to Street Magic (Photographer, talent and consultant)
- "Tender", short, 2016 Salt Lake 48 Hour Film Project
- Mr. Clown, documentary
- "The Great American Novel", short, 2015 Salt Lake 48 Hour Film Project
- "Enthusiasm", short, 2015 Las Vegas 48 Hour Film Project
- "Inefficiency", short, 2013 Las Vegas 48 Hour Film Project
- "Legacy", short, 2012 Las Vegas 48 Hour Film Project
- Level Up, short, 2011 Salt Lake 48 Hour Film Project
- Inheritance, short, 2010 Las Vegas 48 Hour Film Project
- "Choices", short, 2010 Salt Lake 48 Hour Film Project
- The Pitch, short, 2009 Utah 48 Hour Film Project (winner of Audience Favorite and Best Writing, 2009 Salt Lake City 48 Hour Film Project)
- Nathan's Story : Teenage Sex and Fatherhood, 2001 documentary, KUED Channel 7 Utah (Rocky Mountain regional Emmy Award, Best Documentary in Cultural Affairs 2002)
- June 2009 "Paul Draper Making His Mark"
- Yale.edu January 18 2012 "Spring 2012 Master's Tea Guests"
- Gjorgievska, Aleksandra (January 29, 2012). "Entertainer mixes magic and academics". Yale Daily News. Yale University. Retrieved February 21, 2015.
- "Wholesome Guide to Misbehaving". Psychology Today. Retrieved 2016-01-13.
- "5 Best Practices to Retain Top Hospital Leaders". www.beckershospitalreview.com. Retrieved 2016-01-19.
- GJORGIEVSKA, ALEKSANDRA (2012-01-19). "Entertainer mixes magic and academics: Yale Daily News.".
- "What Do Rainbows Have to Do With St. Patrick's Day?". Community Table. Retrieved 2016-01-13.
- Brown, Brooke (2009-10-08). "Show isn't magic, but it's magical". DeseretNews.com. Retrieved 2016-01-13.
- "Magician to explain, but he's not telling all". The Billings Gazette. Retrieved 2016-01-13.
- "Is The New Vegas Good For Guys?". AskMen. Retrieved 2016-01-13.
- "The Magicians of Sleights of Mind". www.sleightsofmind.com. Retrieved 2016-01-19.
- "Your Cre8tivity: Paul Draper". Lennon Design. January 6, 2016. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
- "The Merlin Award". International Magicians Society. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
- "a Magic Show for Charity". web.utah.edu. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
- "Mysteries of the Mind Event with Paul Draper". usclpe.wordpress.com.
- "The Greatest Halloween Magic Show". BayAreaScience.org. Retrieved 2016-01-13.
- "Paul Draper". IMDb. Retrieved 2016-01-13.
- "Famous Mentalist Appears at NJC Tuesday Night". www.njc.edu. Retrieved 2016-01-13.
- "Paul Draper will unveil 'Mysteries of the Mind' at the Egyptian Theatre". www.parkrecord.com. Retrieved 2016-01-19.
- "Revised 'Sleepy Hollow' to be staged in Centerville". DeseretNews.com. Retrieved 2016-01-13.
- Adams, Casey (August 13, 2014). "'Beau' knows least as cultures clash in romantic comedy at Hale". Daily Herald. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
- "How Houdini's Legacy Inspires Generations of Maker Magicians | Make:". Make: DIY Projects, How-Tos, Electronics, Crafts and Ideas for Makers. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
- Carlson, Sonja (January 30, 2015). "Ogden theater opens 2015 season with 'Fiddler'". Standard Examiner. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
- http://www.inclusioncenter.org/who-we-are.html Inclusion Center - Who We Are
- http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/2872 Penguin Live Lecture : Paul Draper
- http://www.hallmarkchannel.com/home-and-family/videos/mentalist-paul-draper Hallmark Channel Live Appearance 1"
- http://www.hallmarkchannel.com/home-and-family/videos/mentalist-paul-draper_1 Hallmark Channel Live Appearance 2"