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Magic Show At Funeral Homes Not As Grim As It Sounds, Performer Promises

By David Matthews | February 28, 2017 5:39am

CHICAGO — A local magician wants to take his show on the road ... and into funeral homes.

Neil Tobin, who was the "resident necromancer" for a decade at the shuttered Excalibur nightclub in River North, has launched an Indiegogo campaign for his next act: the "Near Death Experience." 

The point, Tobin says, isn't just to bring people closer to death. He also wants guests to consider their own mortality and how to live more enjoyable lives. Having the shows in funeral homes will help, he says. 

"This show is not about history; it’s about all of our futures," Tobin said. 

Excalibur (later Castle), at 632 N. Dearborn St. was rumored to be haunted, and Tobin said his new show will derive a lot of power from being "site-specific" as well. 

Tobin wouldn't share any of his tricks, but said he'll use "the tools of humor, magical and psychic performance, and interactive theater" during the show. The $15,000 he hopes to raise will go toward custom props and the cost of moving his show from place to place. Tobin aims to do the shows in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. 

Tobin hasn't selected specific venues yet, but said he's talked with local funeral directors who have expressed interest in hosting his shows. He will not perform during funerals or visitations. 

Tobin, who hopes to debut the show this fall, had raised nearly $1,400 as of early Tuesday morning. Visit his fundraising website for more information.