A longtime friend and client of the brand, Lee Terbosic, has been stunning people with his show "52 Up Close" and his awe inspiring stunts like Houdini 100 and looking proper while doing it. Lee, who is a Pittsburgh native is always dressed to impress in one of his custom CMMP suits, and as you will learn in the interview, there is a reason he has to present himself in such a way.. We got to sit down with Lee when he came into our Pittsburgh showroom to talk to him about life, his style, and what he has coming very soon.
CMMP: When and how did you get your start or did your passion for magic start?
LEE: My world was rocked by the incredible world of magic and deception at the age of eight after seeing a magician live at a party. By the age of ten, I was on weekly trips to the Carnegie Library in Homestead, Pennsylvania to hunt for magic books to check out and try to master the secrets they held within them. I also had regular visits to the local magic shop "The Cuckoo’s Nest" on the South Side of Pittsburgh to purchase anything I could afford with the few bucks I had at the time. I think my passion for magic first started when I discovered the ability to fool adults as a kid magician, that kind of power was hypnotizing at that age and it became my everyday obsession. I would practice sleight of hand for hours on end and would try to create and invent my own routines which I would begin to take to public audiences with performances at restaurants, parties, and corporate events. I slowly overtime pursued other areas of magic like creating TV magic shows like “Houdini’s Last Secrets” on Discovery Channel and now my own hometown residency public show "52 Up Close" at Hotel Monaco in the city of Pittsburgh and the creation of "Liberty Magic Theater”, a live magic venue with Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. I was learning how to become a magician but also loving the challenge of turning it into a career….fast forward 30 years and I can still say being a magician, entertainer & entrepreneur has been the only job I have ever had. I absolutely love it.
CMMP: You have an incredible presence during your shows, how does dressing in a tailored suit help that appearance?
LEE: My presence on stage starts with my costume and what I have on my back. My suits, jackets, ties, shirts, and shoes down to the socks each help paint a picture and tell a small detail in the story to my audience from the moment the lights come up. My wardrobe helps me sell the lie that I am a man to be trusted. My suits each fit a style and feel I am trying to subliminally convey to my audience during a show. The clothing sets the tone and backdrop for the magic the audience is about to witness and at the same time can even aid in the secrets. Magicians for years have been accused of having birds and cards up our sleeves but with a well-tailored Commonwealth Proper suit, I can hide a lot more than that. A magicians stye and originality are defining characteristics that make up any great magician, so having a fantastic tailor has always been a secret weapon for every great magician.
CMMP: What is your most memorable stunt/show you have put on? I know there are a lot to list but if you had to pick one.
LEE: For me Houdini 100 was the event and performance of a lifetime… I worked and trained for a little over 5 years in pull off a stunt that lasted 15 minutes in length but it was worth every second and a moment in my career i'll never forget. I wanted to bring a moment in time from Pittsburghs rich history back to life after finding a photo of Harry Houdini performing the very dangerous upside down straight jacket escape in downtown Pittsburgh on November 6th, 1916 at the corner of Wood Street & Liberty Avenue at 12:00 PM. Five years after finding that photo I was hanging in the same spot in a straight jacket and was able to recreate that performance and stunt at that same location on November 6th, 2016 at 12:00 PM noon and was able to get the same picture that inspired it from the beginning. The entire city turned out and packed the streets for the stunt that afternoon and the city even proclaimed it as Lee Terbosic Day in the city of Pittsburgh. It was a wild ride and it hasn’t stopped since.
CMMP: What is next for Lee, any new shows coming up or projects that you are working on?
LEE: At the moment I am in production with my live one man show "52 Up Close” at Hotel Monaco is downtown Pittsburgh which is a live 90 minute public show that features sleight of hand and deception with a pack of 52 playing cards and only 52 audience members for each performance. The show will be in production for New Years eve this year and run from March 2023 till August 2023. I only perform the show 52 times each calendar year at the hotel for the public. In 2019 I worked with CommonWealth Proper to create the suit I wear in the show each night. They created exactly what I envisioned for the three-piece banker-style suit with a custom Harry Houdini & CMMP crow lining.
My Houdini live show “The Life & Death of Harry Houdini” is slated to return to the stage in the fall of 2023 at "Liberty Magic Theater” which has me playing Harry Houdini each night. I also worked with Commonwealth Proper to craft the suit for that show that I perform in and even do a few stunts in. The suit was modeled from a 1919 Houdini photo of Harry in “The Grim Game” movie premiere that I wanted to bring back to life on stage. Commonwealth did exactly that with the suit and each night I truly felt as if I was in one of Harry Houdini's own suits.
As for TV you can check out my show “Houdini’s Last Secrets” which has me traveling around the world with my costar George Hardeen the grand nephew of Harry Houdini on our quest to learn intimate secrets about Harry’s life, magic, and family. The 4 part docuseries can be found on Apple, Amazon Prime & Discovery Plus. I had a new TV project get sidelined by the pandemic so that likely will be back in 2023 at some point as well.