MEET OUR STAFF
It is a pleasure to introduce you to some of our valued staff members! We are proud of all of our staff and some have been with us for well over 20+ years! The first feature is on one of our resident magicians by the name of Mark Toland. A college student attending Wichita State University and Mark has been with us almost three years! He has a passion for our art and his goal is to become a professional working magician and he has developed talents to do so. He is capable of close up, walk around, stand up, stage and can work either adult venues or children’s shows. His love for the art is obvious and he has developed into a purist and loves the technical sleights and psychology of magic also.
Please enjoy his "bio" and we’re proud to have him with us, as he is very important to our operation at Stevens Magic Emporium!
Mark Toland’s earliest memory is witnessing his father showing him a magic trick. His father wasn’t a magician by any means, but it only took that moment for Mark to fall in love with the art of magic. He was only three years old. Now, nearly 20 years later, he is just as infatuated with the art as ever.
Toland grew up performing magic for his family and friends as well as at libraries, nursing homes and schools around his hometown of Iola, Kansas. Later, during high school, he began to perform strolling magic for restaurants, weddings and parties. Along with being a part-time magician, Toland was also a state champion in both acting and singing during high school. He also participated in basketball, tennis and theatre. He was the valedictorian of his graduating class and is an Eagle Scout.
After graduating high school, Mark successfully auditioned for the School of Theatre at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. While attending USC, he was accepted into the Magic Castle Junior Program. However, Toland’s father passed away after his freshman year of college and he decided to return closer to home to finish his education.
While many of the up and coming magicians today learn from DVDs and internet sourced, Toland prefers to read and research his illusions in books. In fact, he wanted to learn magic so badly at a young age that he taught himself to read from Mark Wilson’s Complete Course In Magic . He admires the work of David Copperfield and Harry Houdini, along with the sophistication and class of Frank Sinatra and tries to combine these influences into his performances.
Toland credits his mother, Karen Toland, with giving him the opportunity and desire to follow his dreams. After college he plans to pursue his goal of becoming a full-time, professional magician. He knows that is does not matter where you grow up or what you want to do. “With hard work and dedication,” he says, “nothing is impossible.”
Toland is currently a senior at Wichita State University, majoring in Musical Theatre. Outside of school he serves as the resident magician and demonstrator for Stevens Magic Emporium.
Mark Toland will be with us through next spring when he graduates and I predict that he will succeed with his goals and we all look forward to watching him "climb the ladder of magic success"…You will hear about him, I’m sure!!
Thanks for reading our first "bio" on our staff!
Joe Stevens, Mark Toland and Mark Stevens
at TAOM 2008 in Fort Worth, TX