Full Biography

Personal History: Dan Garrett was born in Georgia, USA, and has been a resident of that state all his life. He grew up mainly in Coffee County in the small town of Douglas (the home of South Georgia College, and also known for having the oldest tobacco market in the South). Dan took up magic as a hobby about the age of ten, when he discovered the magic book section in his regional library. He also became an avid reader, his favorite fictional reading being science fiction. Garrett remains a huge science fiction fan to this day. At an early age, it was Dan’s ambition to be an astronomer, and possibly become involved in the US Space Program. (He never dreamed he would eventually become a well-known professional magician!) In high school Dan was active in many clubs. He was an honor student, and in his Junior year was the S.T.A.R. Student (the Georgia Student - Teacher Recognition Program) which is for the highest county SAT and GPA scores combined. He was in the Beta club (academic), Science Club, 4-H Club (where he became a Master 4-H member, i.e., a state champion), and Interact Club (the youth division of Rotary International wherein Dan was chosen the first ever District Governor for the South-Central Congressional District). Dan graduated third in his class. During the high school years Dan was chosen twice as a finalist for the Georgia Governor's Honors Program (GHP) and twice for the federally-funded 8th Congressional District Honors Program (8CDHP). He also appeared, as a young actor, in several musical productions at South Georgia College while still in high school. These productions included “Kismet” where Dan had six separate roles, and Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta “The Mikado” where Dan had the title role. Garrett took up the study of music and piano at a relatively late age (as a freshman in high school), but rapidly developed a virtuosity at the keyboards sufficient to win him a piano scholarship to the 8th District Honors Program (8CDHP), as well as a first-place District award for his performance of the piano solo version of George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” Dan also performed this piece in the State music competitions.

Dan attended the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in Atlanta, on a partial scholarship (Hugh Moss Comer Scholarship) awarded through his work in the 4-H Club. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics. He was placed in the Honors Calculus class (based on his S.A.T. math score) and made the Dean’s List on several occasions. Here Dan met his future bride Carol, who was a nursing student at Georgia Baptist Hospital in Atlanta. They were married on April 1, just weeks after they both graduated. (Dan claims that they chose April Fools Day for their wedding so he would not forget an Anniversary, but Carol claims that Dan was the fool and maybe he did not really get married after all!)

During his college days, Garrett made a few extra dollars performing for fraternity parties as the keyboard player in a jazz combo. His piano skills were featured in several jazz numbers written by the famous jazz legend Dave Brubeck. Dan also taught himself to play guitar, and had a post graduate job singing and playing folk guitar music in a coffee house and a pizza parlour. But all of this came before Dan made his first dollar with the performance of magic!

At Georgia Tech, Garrett continued the development of his theatrical skills by joining the student drama club, DramaTech. Dan was directed by the noted Atlanta and New York actress Dana Ivey (with major film, television and Broadway credits) in productions of “Advise and Consent” and “Visit to a Small Planet.” Learning new acting skills under the direction of Charles Pecor, Dan appeared in productions of “Don’t Drink the Water,” “Black Comedy,” “Orpheus Descending,” “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “The Crucible” and others. He had lead roles in the plays “A Streetcar Named Desire” (as Stanley Kowalski), “The Physicists” (as Einstein), “What the Butler Saw” (as Dr. Rance), Eugene Ionesco’s “Rhinoceros” (as Berenger), and Agatha Christie’s “Ten Little Indians” (as Judge Wargrave). Pecor was also a magical mentor (as a magical teacher, author, historian and columnist), performing his magic at cast parties and introducing Garrett to Atlanta magicians J. C. Doty, Calvin Tooles, Hal Martin, John Miller and Tom Mullica, as well as magical greats Duke Stern and Bob Carver, who all became a significant early influence on Garrett’s development into a professional.

Dan Garrett further honed his magical skills by attending many lectures and magic conventions (entering magic contests and taking home numerous awards), as well as taking private lessons from legendary sleight-of-hand artists Dai Vernon and Slydini. He became the store manager of M & M Magic Emporium in Forest Park, Georgia (an Atlanta suburb), and ran the store for over a decade. Garrett became a full partner in the business before he sold his interest to pursue magic as a full-time career. Garrett joined the Georgia Magic Club (Ring 9 of the International Brotherhood of Magicians) and soon thereafter was initiated into the more exclusive Atlanta Society of Magicians (Assembly 30 of the Society of American Magicians). He sharpened his early writing skills by reviewing the performances at the Georgia Magic Club meetings (Ring Reports) for the Linking Ring magazine for over 10 years. Dan was chosen as the very first “performing live” Magical Burger King. This character appeared to kids on Saturday morning commercials as part of a 5-year advertising campaign by Burger King Corporation. Garrett performed live on a traveling stage for new BK restaurant grand openings and special events, as well as making TV appearances and riding in parades. One year he was Grand Marshall of the huge St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Savannah, GA. Usually the King would arrive at the appearance riding on back of a fire engine. Once, Garrett, as the Burger King, landed by helicopter on the center of the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, FL, and performed the half-time show at a professional sporting event. This remains one of his most lasting memories in magic!

Professional Achievements: Garrett’s professional career now spans over three decades, and his influence has been felt in the worldwide magic scene. He is a performer, inventor, author and lecturer — an acknowledged expert in the field of magic. As a teacher, Dan’s lessons, lectures and magic creations have had a direct influence on magic notables such as Jeff Justice, Rudy Coby, Jerry Camaro, Guy Hollingworth, and yes, even superstar David Copperfield. Because Dan has performed and lectured in over 12 countries, has released instructional videotapes in English and French, has published hundreds of books, manuscripts and magazine articles in over six languages, his influence has reached countless other magicians that even he doesn’t know about! Dan Garrett’s name appears on thousands of magic-related web sites. There are very few serious followers of the world of magic who haven’t heard of Dan Garrett.

One of the highlights of the professional career of Dan Garrett was a live appearance on CNN Headline News in August of 2002. This featured performance and interview went out to millions of homes world-wide.

In 2010, Dan performed magic on WXIA-TV 11-Alive Morning News with news anchor Karyn Greer and popular weatherman Chesley McNeil. He publicized the 2010 Society of American Magicians national convention which was held in Atlanta in the summer, as well as performed several amazing feats of prestidigitation. 

See the video page.

Magical Awards: (this is only a partial list)

  • 1974 First Place Originality Trophy — Chattanooga Harvest of Magic
  • 1976 Greater Atlanta Magician of the Year — Duke Stern Memorial Trophy
  • 1977 First Place Originality Trophy — Florida Magicians Association (F.M.A.)
  • 1977 First Place Originality Trophy —SouthEastern Association of Magicians (S.E.A.M.)
  • 1979 Linking Ring Trophy — “Best Mental Effect” in the Linking Ring magazine
  • 1979 First Place CloseUp Contest — Texas Association of Magicians (T.A.O.M.)
  • 1979 Greater Atlanta Magician of the Year — Duke Stern Memorial Trophy (first multiple winner of this award)
  • 1979 First Place Stage Magic — Georgia Magic Club annual contest
  • 1980 First Place Stage and CloseUp Magic — Georgia Magic Club annual contest
  • 1982 Elsworth Lyman Award — Super Session South hosted by Rick Johnsson. Awarded to the magician contributing most to the success of the event, by vote of all 25 magicians attending this exclusive invitation-only event.
  • 1984 and 1985 IBM Achievement Award — Georgia Magic Club
  • 1985 Cover story and “National Magician of the Month” — Society of American Magicians M-U-M Magazine
  • 1987 elected into the Magic Circle, London, England, as Associate of the Inner Magic Circle with Silver Star (AIMC)
  • 1988 Cover story in The Linking Ring — International Brotherhood of Magicians (I.B.M.)
  • 1989 National Certificate of Appreciation — Society of American Magicians, National Council
  • 1984-1990 Best of Atlanta Award — Published in the book Best of Atlanta
  • 1991 Linking Ring Award of Merit — Linking Ring Magazine
  • 1994 Trophy/Plaque — Puerto Rican Society of Illusionists for recognition of contributions to the art of magic
  • 1994 Cover story (National President) — Society of American Magicians M-U-M Magazine
  • 1995 promoted to Member of the Inner Magic Circle with Gold Star (MIMC, the highest degree of membership), the Magic Circle, London, England
  • 1997 appointed to Board of Directors of Fechter’s Finger Flicking Frolic (now known as Obie’s 4F)
  • 2005 Guest of Honor at the FFFF Convention (with Gene Anderson)
  • 2009 Appointed Regional Representative, USA, for The Magic Circle - London
  • 2009 Greater Atlanta Magician of the Year, the first triple-winner of this award

In addition to performing and inventing magic, Garrett is an author as well. For over a decade, in the 80’s and 90’s, his popular column “Pandora’s Box” in M-U-M Magazine (Society of American Magicians) gained worldwide acclaim. Another regular column “The Wizard’s Way” ran in The Magic SYMbol of the Society of Young Magicians for many years. Garrett has been a contributing editor for M A G I C — an Independent Magazine for Magicians, one of the most popular periodicals of the present-day magic world. Garrett wrote the “World Class Magic” column for M-U-M Magazine(S.A.M.) 2000-2006. He currently reviews DVD’s and new magic items on the market for the magazine. He has contributed articles and magic effects to many magic magazines around the world, including The Linking Ring, Apocalypse, The TrapDoor, The Minotaur, Genii, Imagik (France), Arcane (France), O Magico (Portugal) and many others.

Published booklets, DVD’s and lecture notes:

  • Squeakeasy (proper use of the bird warbler, with gags, routines, and bits of business)
  • Teasers and Ticklers (Garrett’s first lecture, 1976, includes platform magic and magic for children, some fast and simple balloon animals...)
  • CloseUp Connivery #1 (Garrett’s second lecture, including original non-card close-up and sleight-of-hand magic, now out of print)
  • CloseUp Connivery #2 (contains material by Garrett and contributions given by several well-known magicians, including Phil Goldstein, Michael Weber, David Williamson and Charles Pecor. Most notable is Garrett’s safety pin routine “Pin-Demonium.”)
  • Garrett in the USA (originally published as “Garrett Does the U.K.” and now also out of print)
  • Southern Hospitality (four routines from Garrett’s hospitality magic repertoire)
  • Garrett’s Top Ten (10 of the very best routines from Garrett’s previous 4 lectures)
  • The Last Palindrome -or- Send More Dan Garrett (Garrett’s 2002 lecture booklet)
  • CD: Forward Into the Past – Dan Garrett's 2012 Lecture Experience
  • CD: King Brain/Premonition Outdone
  • CD: Epic - Marked Down – A highly acclaimed presentation for the mentalist.
  • Garrett is also the designer/editor/publisher of the hardback book Buffaloed — the Magic of Jim Buffaloe.
  • DVD: CloseUp Connivery (close-up magic for hospitality functions)
  • DVD: Cabaret Connivery (stand up magic for platform, parlor or stage)
  • DVD: KidShow Konnivery (performing magic for children, with an actual performance by Dan the Wizard)
  • DVD: Grab That Pinhead (with Bob Sheets, an updated version of Dan’s Pin-Demonium routine with safety pins)

Dan Garrett has performed as a guest artist and numerous magicians’ conventions, many of them in [multiple] years, as a lecturer, emcee, close-up and/or stage performer. Here is a partial list of US Magic Conventions:

  • International Brotherhood of Magicians Convention — various U.S. cities [2]
  • Society of American Magicians — various U.S. cities [3]
  • Atlanta Harvest of Magic — Atlanta, GA [4 years]
  • SouthEastern Association of Magician (S.E.A.M.) — various cities, southeastern USA [5]
  • Texas Association of Magicians (T.A.O.M.) — various cities in Texas [3]
  • Winter Carnival of Magic — Gatlinburg, TN [4]
  • Florida Magicians Association (F.M.A.) — various cities, Florida [4]
  • Abbott’s Magic CloseUp Convention — Colon, MI [2] only performer to be invited to appear twice
  • Magic on the Beach — Miami, FL [2]
  • Super Session South — Asheville, NC [3]
  • Magi-Whirl — Washington, DC [2]
  • Fechter’s Finger Flicking Frolic — Buffalo, NY (an annual invitation-only event for the top 150 sleight-of-hand magicians in the world) [27]. Garrett has served on the Board of Directors for this special gathering of wizards known as “The Original Close-Up Magic Convention” since 1997. In 2005, Dan Garrett was the official Guest of Honor (with Gene Anderson) at FFFF. He currently hosts one of the major shows at this event each year
  • New York/Canada Magic Convention (NYCAN) — various cities in New York state and Canada [3]
  • New England Magicians Convention (NEMCON) — various cities in New England [2]
  • Denver Magic Days — Denver, CO [2]
  • Louisiana Magic Weekend — various cities in Louisiana [2]
  • Magi-Fest — Columbus, OH [3]
  • Close-up Encounters — Rochester, NY
  • Tannen’s Magic Jubilee — various resorts in the Catskills, NY [2]
  • Midwest Magic Jubilee — St. Louis and Kansas City, MO [5]

...and some of the conventions Garrett has made a guest star appearance in the international arena!
International Magic Conventions:

  • Close-Up Convention in Hakone, Japan
  • The First S.A.M. Japan Convention in Kyoto, Japan
  • British Close-Up Magic Symposium, Bath, England
  • British National I.B.M. Convention — various cities in England [4]
  • Blackpool Magic Convention — Blackpool, England [3]
  • New Zealand Easter Convention — Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Finnish Magic Days — Kouvola, Finland
  • Museum of Magic — Paris, France
  • Magic Hands Convention — Antwerp, Belgium
  • Germany Magic Circle — Wuppertal, Germany
  • Master Jubilee — Buenos Aires, Argentina [2]
  • Magic Days (Guest of Honor) — Rosario, Argentina
  • Scandinavian Magic Convention — Malmö, Sweden
  • Valongo City Festival of Magic — Valongo, Portugal
  • Festival of Magic — St. Vincent, Italy

Sadly, Dan Garrett was unable to perform (by special invitation) at the Spanish National Magic Convention, September 2001, in Granada, Spain. His flight to Spain was scheduled for Sept. 11, the day of the infamous terrorist attacks on the United States of America. Dan Garrett and Carol wish to convey heartfelt sympathies to the families and friends of those who lost their lives in this horrendous attack, and of the heroic rescue workers who also died.

Hobbies: Golf (about a 16 handicap), juggling (member of the Atlanta Jugglers Association), music (keyboards and guitar), origami, needlepoint, chess (former USCF member), baseball fan (also football and tennis fan) and World of Warcraft.

Dan’s wife Carol is also a member of the Society of American Magicians and currently Secretary of the Atlanta Society of Magicians (Assembly 30 of the S.A.M.) She is a Registered Nurse (RN, CNOR) by profession, and an avid golfer. (She has more golf trophies on the mantle than Dan!) Besides golf, Carol’s hobbies include collecting rabbits, needlework (cross-stitch) and craftwork.

(You may find this hard to believe, but this page is still under construction. Stay tuned for updates!)

If you have read this far, you have much MUCH too much free time on your hands! Or, perhaps you must be a nut for biographies. In any case, I hope you found this reading at least a little entertaining. Thank you!

  Home                            DanGarrett@aol.com   © Dan Garrett 2012