Paul W. Draper

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Paul W Draper)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Paul Draper
Paul W Draper.jpg
Paul W. Draper

(1978-10-31) October 31, 1978 (age 44)
Occupationillusionist, 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 has been described as a pioneer in the field of live online magic shows, regularly performing live streaming shows during the COVID-19 pandemic with viewing audiences of thousands of people.[1][2][3]

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.[4]

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.[5]

Draper began performing magic for his friends at age 8 and continued performing throughout his school years, lettering in debate, choir, and drama.[4]

In his high school years, he also became a national debate champion in original oratory and a state drama champion in pantomime.[4] 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.[4]


Before embarking on a career in magic and mentalism in Las Vegas, Draper received his Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology at Weber State University and attended UNLV for a Master’s degree in Rhetoric.[6]

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.[7]


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.[7][8][9] Recently Draper has returned part time to teaching at Soka University of America as an adjunct professor and distinguished lecturer.[10]

In 2004, Draper gave up his full time academic career to follow his "childhood passion" of magic and mentalism, according to an interview with Psychology Today.[8] 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.[11][12][13][14] “Nothing I do uses psychic power," Draper said in an interview with Psychology Today. "All I use is influence and persuasion.”[11]

Paul W. Draper performing live.

Draper's work as the house magician at the Venetian Hotel and Casinos in Las Vegas lasted for several years.[11][15] Eventually, Draper evolved his performance to blend magic and the "science" behind mentalism: perception, attention, and observation play key roles.[16] 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.[17]

In 2014, the International Magician's Society awarded Draper the prestigious Merlin Award for Best Corporate Performer.[18]

He has lectured on these topics at Yale University, Apple Cupertino Headquarters, the University of Utah,[19] the University of Southern California,[20] the Magic Castle in Hollywood and The Magic Circle in London.[21]

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.[6][22][23] He has appeared alongside David Copperfield, Lance Burton, and Teller on the History Channel as a consultant and expert.[24] He appeared as a magician on Hair Battle Spectacular and as a scorpion handler in Guerilla Magic.[20] In March 2018 Draper was the guest scholar[25] for an episode of What'sHerName women's history podcast on "Queen of Magic" Adelaide Herrmann.[26][27]

Draper has also performed as an emcee, working with dignitaries such as Dieter F. Uchtdorf, of the Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.[28][29]

He regularly appears at Comic Con events and acts as moderator in celebrity panel interviews.[30]

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.[9][16] He also uses his performance to build self-esteem and agency in children.[31] He frequently consults for medical companies, coaching employees on various communication methods.[9]

He has designed special effects for theater and acted as a religious advisor for theater companies, drawing on his Jewish faith background.[32][33] Paul Draper was also featured in an article by Makezine on his historical knowledge of Houdini's Legacy and Magicians in the Maker community.[34][35]

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

Draper sits on the board of directors for the Inclusion Center for Community and Justice.[37]

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. He has been described as a pioneer in this field, also offering two educational lectures to assist other performers.[1][2] Draper's online presentations include corporate speaking as well as family entertainment and school shows, and he regularly has thousands of viewers participating in his online streamed performances.Before the pandemic he was regularly performing at Disneyland.[38][39]


Film, television and radio/podcasts appearances[edit]


  • Penguin Magic Live Act Lecture [44]
  • Penguin Magic Live Lecture[41]
  • Murphy's Magic At the Table Experience[45]
  • 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"



  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. ^ "Paul Draper Renaissance man" (PDF). The Magic Circle (organisation). Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d "June 2009 "Paul Draper Making His Mark"" (PDF).
  5. ^ "Holladay magician reunites with teacher who inspired him long ago | Holladay Journal".
  6. ^ a b "Spring 2012 Master's Tea Guests | Pierson College".
  7. ^ a b Gjorgievska, Aleksandra (January 29, 2012). "Entertainer mixes magic and academics". Yale Daily News. Yale University. Retrieved February 21, 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Wholesome Guide to Misbehaving". Psychology Today. Retrieved 2016-01-13.
  9. ^ a b c "5 Best Practices to Retain Top Hospital Leaders". Retrieved 2016-01-19.
  10. ^ Cristi, A. A. "Magician And Mind Reader Paul Draper Teaching Rare Course At Soka University". Broadway World.
  11. ^ a b c GJORGIEVSKA, ALEKSANDRA (2012-01-19). "Entertainer mixes magic and academics: Yale Daily News".
  12. ^ "What Do Rainbows Have to Do With St. Patrick's Day?". Community Table. 13 March 2014. Retrieved 2016-01-13.
  13. ^ Brown, Brooke (2009-10-08). "Show isn't magic, but it's magical". Retrieved 2016-01-13.
  14. ^ "Magician to explain, but he's not telling all". The Billings Gazette. Retrieved 2016-01-13.
  15. ^ "Is The New Vegas Good For Guys?". AskMen. Retrieved 2016-01-13.
  16. ^ a b "The Magicians of Sleights of Mind". Retrieved 2016-01-19.
  17. ^ "Your Cre8tivity: Paul Draper". Lennon Design. January 6, 2016. Archived from the original on January 7, 2016. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  18. ^ "The Merlin Award". International Magicians Society. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  19. ^ "a Magic Show for Charity". Retrieved 2016-01-18.
  20. ^ a b "Mysteries of the Mind Event with Paul Draper". Archived from the original on 2016-02-07. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
  21. ^ "The Greatest Halloween Magic Show". Archived from the original on 2016-01-27. Retrieved 2016-01-13.
  22. ^ "Paul Draper". IMDb. Retrieved 2016-01-13.
  23. ^ "Cortland Repertory Theatre Downtown Presents Magic and Mystery with Paul Draper Mysteries of the Mind". Retrieved 2017-02-18.
  24. ^ "Famous Mentalist Appears at NJC Tuesday Night". Retrieved 2016-01-13.
  25. ^ a b "Guests".
  26. ^ a b "THE DISAPPEARING WOMAN: Adelaide Herrmann, Queen of Magic". March 5, 2018.
  28. ^ Swensen, Jason (March 20, 2015). "Inclusion Center honors Pres. Uchtdorf, other community 'transformers'". Deseret News.
  29. ^ "President Uchtdorf Lauded as a Community Builder - Church News and Events".
  30. ^ Jacobson, Matthew. "Salt Lake Comic-Con welcomes 'Stranger Things' star on Day 2". USA Today.
  31. ^ "Paul Draper will unveil 'Mysteries of the Mind' at the Egyptian Theatre". Archived from the original on 2016-01-26. Retrieved 2016-01-19.
  32. ^ "Revised 'Sleepy Hollow' to be staged in Centerville". 15 October 2011. Retrieved 2016-01-13.
  33. ^ Adams, Casey (August 13, 2014). "'Beau' knows least as cultures clash in romantic comedy at Hale". Daily Herald. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  34. ^ "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.
  35. ^ Carlson, Sonja (January 30, 2015). "Ogden theater opens 2015 season with 'Fiddler'". Standard Examiner. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  36. ^ Archived 2018-04-24 at the Wayback Machine M-U-M Magazine, Society of American Magicians
  37. ^ "Inclusion Center - Who We Are".
  38. ^ "First Annual Diversity in Magic Conference Will Be Held Over Zoom Next Month". Broadway World. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  39. ^ "Mentalist and Magician Paul Draper Teams Up With Vegas, Broadway, and Late-Night TV Stars". KTVN 2 News. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  40. ^
  41. ^ a b "Paul Draper LIVE: Cold Reading (Instant Download)". Penguin Magic.
  42. ^ "Mentalist Paul Draper | Home & Family". Hallmark Channel.
  43. ^ "Mentalist Paul Draper | Home & Family". Hallmark Channel.
  44. ^ "Paul Draper LIVE ACT (Instant Download)". Penguin Magic.
  45. ^ "At the Table Live Lecture - Paul Draper 3/11/2015 - video DOWNLOAD - Murphy's Magic Supplies, Inc. - Wholesale Magic".

External links[edit]