Ray Anderson (magician)
Ray Anderson (magician)
|Add a Photo|
|Born||June 18, 1961|
|Citizenship||United States of America|
|Alma mater||The University of Texas at Austin|
|Spouse(s)||Steven Michael Miller|
Ray Anderson (born June 18, 1961) is an American magician and entertainer who has performed in Austin, Texas, for over thirty-five years in the long-running comedy show Esther's Follies. A recipient of the Performing Fellowship from the Academy of Magical Arts, Anderson also choreographs and serves as the Artistic Director for the Follies.
The son of the local high school football coach and later assistant high school principal, Ray Anderson spent his youth in Victoria, Texas, a small town two hours southeast of Austin. After receiving a magic set from his parents at the age of eight, Anderson discovered his passion for the art and set his sights on making it a career.
Anderson launched his career in 1969 by hosting magic shows in his family's garage before escalating to birthday parties and performing at his hometown library and shopping mall. In 1979, he attended The University of Texas at Austin where he studied theater and minored in dance. To hone his skills, Ray performed magic while waiting tables at a Bennigan's restaurant and worked corporate gigs and comedy clubs around the country. For a period of time, Anderson lived in Pittsburgh and Washington DC. In the early 1980s, fate and a friend who performed as a juggler introduced Anderson to the comedy troupe called Esther's Follies and its theatre, Esther's Pool, named after the actress Esther Williams and located in Downtown Austin on Sixth Street. Anderson continues to headline the comedy show after thirty-five years.
Awards and honors
Ray Anderson was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Academy of Magical Arts on April 22, 2018, and named a lifetime member of the famed Magic Castle when he was awarded the Performing Fellowship for Stage Magic from Academy President Jim Steinmeyer at the Orpheum Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles.
Anderson was a featured speaker at MAGIC Live 2017 in Las Vegas when he was interviewed by fellow magician Jonathan Levit and discussed the forty-year success of Esther's Follies.
Vanish Magazine featured Ray Anderson in January 2019 as the cover story for the widely-distributed, online trade magazine for magicians.
In the media
- Holstein, Mark (September 2016). "What's a Nice, Talented Guy Like Ray Anderson Still Doing in Austin After 30 Years?". MAGIC Magazine (301): 57–61.
- Brenner, Wayne Alan (May 1, 2018). "Why Did Esther's Follies' Ray Anderson Go to L.A.?". Austin Chronicle.
- Stinett, Dustin (May 2018). "50th Annual Academy of Magical Arts Awards Show". The Academy Newsletter. 57: 21–22.
- Douty, Samantha (July 4, 2018). "Magician Goes from Performing in Victoria Garage to 6th Street in Austin". Victoria Advocate.
- Lewin, Nick (January 2019). "Ray Anderson - Master Magician". Vanish Magazine (54): 26–43.
- Abrams, John (February 25, 2019). "Ray Anderson -- The Secrets of a Successful Show". The Variety Artist Podcast.
- Steinmeyer, Jim (April 22, 2018). "Introduction of Ray Anderson at 50th Annual Academy of Magical Arts Awards Show". AMA Video Archives.
- Wells, Scott (August 16, 2017). "Day Four -- 2017 MAGIC Live". The Magic Word Podcast. 377.
- White, Anne (February 2003). "The Outrageous Talents of Ray Anderson". MAGIC Magazine. 12.
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