Paul W. Draper

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Paul W Draper)
Paul Draper
Paul W. Draper

(1978-10-31) October 31, 1978 (age 45)
Occupation(s)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 Fortune 500 companies and universities. As the creator of the show Mental Mysteries, Draper blends his academic background as an anthropologist and communications expert with the arts of mentalism and magic. Draper performed live streaming shows during the COVID-19 pandemic.[1][2][3]

Paul Draper recently had an article published in "Anthropology News" in 2023 for the American Anthropological Association. The entire issue of the magazine focused on magicians as collectors of magic artifacts.[4]

Draper was elected to the leadership Council of The Magic Circle in 2023, a London-based British organization and one of the oldest magical societies in the world.[5]

Early life[edit]

Born in Utah in 1978, Draper first became interested in magic when family members discovered Showplace Magic and Novelty in Salt Lake City.[6]

The first full-length magic show that he saw was at the 49th Street Galleria when he was 7 and then developed his own show and started performing for his grade school every year.[7]

Draper began performing magic for his friends at age 8 and continued performing throughout his school years, lettering in debate, choir, and drama.[6][8]

In his high school years, he also became a national debate champion in original oratory and a state drama champion in pantomime.[6] 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.[6]


Before embarking on a career in magic and mentalism in Las Vegas, Draper received his bachelor's degree in anthropology at Weber State University.[9][failed verification]


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.[10][11]

In 2004, Draper gave up his full time academic career to follow his "childhood passion" of magic and mentalism.[11] 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.[12][13][14]

In 2014, the International Magician's Society awarded Draper the prestigious Merlin Award for Best Corporate Performer.[15]

He has lectured on these topics at Yale University, Apple Cupertino Headquarters, the University of Utah,[16] the University of Southern California,[17] the Magic Castle in Hollywood and The Magic Circle in London.[18]

Draper has appeared as himself in 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.[19] He appeared as a magician on Hair Battle Spectacular and as a scorpion handler in Guerilla Magic.[17] In March 2018 Draper was the guest scholar[20] for an episode of What'sHerName women's history podcast on "Queen of Magic" Adelaide Herrmann.[21][22]

Draper has also performed as an emcee.[23]

He has appeared at Comic Con as a moderator in a celebrity panel interview.[24]

In addition to performing, Draper also works as a consultant and guest lecturer for businesses.[25]

He has designed special effects for theater and acted as a religious advisor for theater companies, drawing on his Jewish faith background.[26][27] Paul Draper was also featured in an article by Makezine on his historical knowledge of Houdini's Legacy and Magicians in the Maker community.[28][29]

He was profiled in a six-page cover story in the August 2021 edition of The Magic Circular Magazine in London, England, the publication of The Magic Circle. He was previously profiled in a six-page cover story in the March 2017 edition of M-U-M Magazine, the publication of the Society of American Magicians.[citation needed]

He is a member of the senior faculty of the McBride Magic & Mystery School.[30]

Draper sits on the board of directors for the Inclusion Center for Community and Justice.[31]

Paul W. Draper performing a spoon-bending act
Paul W Draper pictured in Egypt

During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic Draper began offering live magic shows over streaming platforms, and presented educational lectures to assist other performers.[1][2]

He has been an Adjunct Instructor at Soka University of America for the following classes : Learning Cluster: The Art of Magic, Core 1: Enduring Questions of Humanity and Modes of Inquiry: Questioning and Exploring Truth.[32]


Film, television and radio/podcasts appearances[edit]


  • Penguin Magic Live Act Lecture [37]
  • Penguin Magic Live Lecture[34]
  • Murphy's Magic At the Table Experience[38]
  • 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"

Contributed chapters, interviews, and photography[edit]

  • Houstoun, Will and Thompson, Steve, Video Chat Magic (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 Same Old Lecture Notes" (editor)
  • Ogden, Tom, Idiots Guide to Street Magic (Photographer, talent and consultant)



  1. ^ a b "THE ESSENTIAL A&E PICKS FOR APRIL 23-29". Salt Lake City Weekly. Retrieved 2020-05-30.
  2. ^ a b "Penguin Magic Podcast : Paul Draper". Penguin Magic Podcast. Retrieved 2020-05-30.
  3. ^ Gill, Bob (August 2021). "Paul Draper Renaissance man". The Magic Circular. The Magic Circle: 230–234.
  4. ^ Draper, Paul (August 9, 2023). "Searching for Magic". Anthropology News. American Anthropological Association. Retrieved 2023-08-17.
  5. ^ "Like Father, Like Son - Marvin Elected President" (September 7, 2023) Magic News, The Magic Circle. Retrieved December 21, 2023.
  6. ^ a b c d "June 2009 "Paul Draper Making His Mark"" (PDF).
  7. ^ "Holladay magician reunites with teacher who inspired him long ago | Holladay Journal".
  8. ^ "Magician Paul Draper mystifies audience with impossible feats of mentalism and magic | Holladay Journal".
  9. ^ "Class Notes Fall 2023".
  10. ^ Gjorgievska, Aleksandra (January 29, 2012). "Entertainer mixes magic and academics". Yale Daily News. Yale University. Retrieved February 21, 2015.
  11. ^ a b "Wholesome Guide to Misbehaving". Psychology Today. Retrieved 2016-01-13.
  12. ^ GJORGIEVSKA, ALEKSANDRA (2012-01-19). "Entertainer mixes magic and academics: Yale Daily News".
  13. ^ "What Do Rainbows Have to Do With St. Patrick's Day?". Community Table. 13 March 2014. Retrieved 2016-01-13.
  14. ^ Brown, Brooke (2009-10-08). "Show isn't magic, but it's magical". Retrieved 2016-01-13.
  15. ^ "The Merlin Award". International Magicians Society. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  16. ^ "a Magic Show for Charity". Retrieved 2016-01-18.
  17. ^ a b "Mysteries of the Mind Event with Paul Draper". Archived from the original on 2016-02-07. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
  18. ^ "The Greatest Halloween Magic Show". Archived from the original on 2016-01-27. Retrieved 2016-01-13.
  19. ^ "Famous Mentalist Appears at NJC Tuesday Night". Retrieved 2016-01-13.
  20. ^ a b "Guests".
  21. ^ a b "THE DISAPPEARING WOMAN: Adelaide Herrmann, Queen of Magic". March 5, 2018.
  23. ^ Swensen, Jason (March 20, 2015). "Inclusion Center honors Pres. Uchtdorf, other community 'transformers'". Deseret News.
  24. ^ Jacobson, Matthew. "Salt Lake Comic-Con welcomes 'Stranger Things' star on Day 2". USA Today.
  25. ^ "The Magicians of Sleights of Mind". Retrieved 2016-01-19.
  26. ^ "Revised 'Sleepy Hollow' to be staged in Centerville". 15 October 2011. Retrieved 2016-01-13.
  27. ^ Adams, Casey (August 13, 2014). "'Beau' knows least as cultures clash in romantic comedy at Hale". Daily Herald. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  28. ^ "How Houdini's Legacy Inspires Generations of Maker Magicians | Make". Make: DIY Projects, How-Tos, Electronics, Crafts and Ideas for Makers. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
  29. ^ Carlson, Sonja (January 30, 2015). "Ogden theater opens 2015 season with 'Fiddler'". Standard Examiner. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  30. ^ "Faculty of McBride Magic & Mystery School". McBride Magic & Mystery School. Retrieved 2023-09-04.
  31. ^ "Inclusion Center - Who We Are".
  32. ^ "Paul Draper Soka University Faculty Staff". Archived from the original on 2022-08-13.
  33. ^ "The Merlin Award".
  34. ^ a b "Paul Draper LIVE: Cold Reading (Instant Download)". Penguin Magic.
  35. ^ "Mentalist Paul Draper | Home & Family". Hallmark Channel.
  36. ^ ""Demystifying The Online Show with guest Paul Draper"".
  37. ^ "Paul Draper LIVE ACT (Instant Download)". Penguin Magic.
  38. ^ "At the Table Live Lecture - Paul Draper 3/11/2015 - video DOWNLOAD - Murphy's Magic Supplies, Inc. - Wholesale Magic".

External links[edit]